Thursday night, we spent far too much time trying to decide what to wear to a T-shirt launch party and ended up wandering up to Brick to see what iDream.Ink had up their (pardon the pun) sleeves just in the nick of time. The chalkboard sign outside of Brick promoting the appearance of the T-shirts on Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta put a certain hair-pulling, backstabbing, bleeping dramatic party in our minds as we put on our bravest face and entered.

Prepared for flipping tables, we were surprised to see that what the party had to offer was the complete opposite of what our overzealous, reality-TV obsessed minds had managed to conjure. Tekisha Williams and Kalonda Shamaine, the founders of iDream.Ink, want their shirts to empower women. Looking past the irony of using the Real Housewives to promote women empowerment, the warm-fuzzy feelings of camaraderie, love, and friendship overwhelmed the room.

Around 8 p.m., the show started with a poetry reading about the strength of women from Charlotte entrepreneur Chicquetta Shauntai President. After that, models of all ages took to the makeshift runway flanking the bar. The designers’ friends Janeen Hamilton and Sasha Hamilton sat front row and kept the energy level high. Before long, the show was over, and the obviously relieved designers began to mingle.

Stealing a few seconds with them post-show, the pair exuded excitement, confidence, and hope — just like their tees.

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