Meena Harris didn’t plan on creating a movement—it just happened. Even using the “M” word to describe the popularity of the Phenomenal Woman T-shirts she makes causes her to pause. “It has really grown into what some call a movement, which makes me uncomfortable, because I never really set out to do that,” says Harris, founder and CEO of philanthropic lifestyle brand, Phenomenal. “I was thinking about how we continue to use our platform as a way to engage mass audiences around really critical issues, especially those that affect underrepresented communities.” Movement or not, Harris's platform boasts a wide reach. Phenomenal shirts frequently pop up on Instagram feeds, worn by celebrities, prominent social figures, and everyday women calling attention to the causes that matter to them most.

In the three and half years since Harris left her corporate tech lawyer background to become a full-time entrepreneur, Phenomenal has become much more than a T-shirt company. The brand partners with organizations and uses its messaging to create community engagement around Equal Pay Day and other major issues like voting, sexual assault, immigration, and female empowerment. And it’s been incredibly successful. “Phenomenally Indigenous,” “Phenomenally Black,” and “Phenomenally Asian” are just a handful of the brand’s equally successful offshoots.

As an entrepreneurial success story, Harris hopes that other company owners see the benefits of making activism a part of their business models too. Because, as she explains, “Not only is [activism] a good thing to do and the right thing to do, but it's good for your bottom line, and it's good for society.” It’s hard to argue with that, which is why we asked Harris to share her thoughts on the business of activism, taking risks, overcoming obstacles, and why she wanted to do good things with Phenomenal.