“Dress like a girl” gave Andrea Minnillo the inspiration to buck the stereotype

The day Andrea Minnillo decided she was going to make her dream a reality, she found herself frustrated in the juniors department. She had been clothes shopping for her son and two daughters when she noticed a striking difference between the clothes that were available to her children.

“I noticed all the boy clothes featured their passions and achievements, while the girls only had princesses or things that show them they should just sit and be pretty.”  

So, since Andrea always wanted to start a business, The Girl Republic was born. Combining her passion for women empowerment, her children, and a need for change, she created a brand determined to crash down gender barriers. Minnillo wants to “create something that girls will enjoy wearing. Things that speak to their passions.”

Her children inspire her the most, followed by her experiences. “I’ve lived through working in a male-dominated world,” she says. “I grew up being a girl who loved math and sciences and that wasn’t common.”

She reminisced on her first The Girl Republic event at the City Flea. Her children were up alongside her at 6 a.m. to go help set up the tent and sell their products. Minnillo’s daughter has been so inspired that she has planned every single detail for her own Child’s City Flea Market next month. It will feature 10 other child entrepreneur’s on the Minnillo’s front lawn featuring the products the kids have created.

For people who have been dancing around the idea of following a personal spark or interest, Minnillo says: “Don’t be afraid to try. I was scared to do a lot of things that were maybe more unique, but why wait? We’ve come a long way, but there’s so much farther to go. Every generation moves us forward.”

Speaking of moving forward, Andrea hopes to eventually get into a brick-and-mortar storefront.  In the meantime, she is looking forward to attending more in-person events. With the effects of the past year still lingering, she can’t wait to be able to meet more people and get The Girl Republic’s name out there.

Andrea has been creating different designs and is planning to execute them on an expanded product list, gearing for the next phase where she ideally gets to sell her items on Amazon. 

She is open to honest feedback from the community and welcomes it, as she aims to grow in a way that will reach a large amount of people. Minnillo is also open to partnerships with other local small businesses. This month she teamed up with The Oakley Soap Co. and is looking for other people Cincinnati companies interested in collaboration.

If you know someone who is kicking butt and taking names and you want to celebrate them this Women’s History Month, shop The Girl Republic and help redefine what it means to “dress like a girl.”
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Read more articles by Amy Briana Counts.

Amy Briana Counts is an aspiring young writer in Cincinnati. When she's not writing you can find her climbing rocks, traveling out west, and being "mom" to her cats, Fred and George.