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Inspiring Conversations with Simryn Thind of SLXT Merch

Today we’d like to introduce you to Simryn Thind.

Hi Simryn, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I have the word “SLUT” tattooed on my inner lip. I would consider myself to be a major slut and it led me to start my own clothing line. It is my rebellious way of conveying a message that I think our society needs to hear. And I believe, just as VoyageLA says, that the rebel spirit and small businesses are what make our cities exciting to live in.

SLXT MERCH, pronounced “slut merch,” is a genderless clothing line whose mission is to reclaim the word slut, remove the negative connotation associated with the word slut and prevent slut shaming. We use sexually suggestive imagery & quotes on bamboo cotton pieces so they are so soft, breathable and sustainable. Our messaging pushes the boundaries by always making a statement & putting a humorous spin on labeling. SLXT MERCH is inclusive and empowers women, BIPOC & the LGBTQ+ community. It also promotes sexual freedom, gender equality & gender fluidity. We have been in business selling our merch online since October 2020 and we are now expanding into bath salts, sex toys, lubricants and CBD products. 

This is how my whole SLXT journey started. One night out at the bar in West Hollywood with all my gay besties, we were calling each other sluts and hoes like we always do. However, in my circles, this is a compliment. I never feel judged about my sex life when I am around these men and when I used to think I was a slut, I actually realized how “vanilla” I may be. I can always be myself around my group of friends. We love our sexual freedom and as long as we are safe and it is consensual, we are generally proud of having sex. It is never looked at as a bad thing when we have sex, call each other whores, dress scandalously or “walk of shame” it home from a one night stand. After a few margaritas, I said I was going to get “SLUT” tattooed on my inner lip and everyone dared me to, thinking I would never go through with it. Well, I did it!

I have over 30 tattoos and they have become a part of my identity. It is my favorite form of self-expression and it says so much about who you are without having to say anything. I get them wherever I travel so that my body is a map of where I have been and the experiences I’ve had. Two years ago, I decided to fuck it and pose almost nude in the backroom of a tattoo shop where the artist took photos of me. He then traced this photo and tattooed my nude portrait on my upper arm, which I am very proud of. I wanted to take a stand against body shaming and embrace my unique beauty because we are all different. That being said, I also like to have fun with my tattoos and try not to take them too seriously. I’ve definitely gotten a few when I’ve had one too many drinks; one of them from a shady dude on the beach in Bali. I even have lips on my ass insinuating “kiss my ass” to all the haters (or maybe that was solely for an ex-boyfriend).

However, my “SLUT” tattoo has a deeper meaning. Being a woman, I have been called many names. Hoe, whore, hooker, skank and especially SLUT, are just a few of them. We have all been called names, whether it is behind our backs or to our faces, especially when we are not in fear of expressing ourselves. Recently people on social media have slut shamed me and although it may not bother me directly, it bothers me that this is part of a larger problem that attacks women.

The meaning behind it definitely resonates with other women. My goal is to take the negative power away from this word that is so often used to shame women who embrace their sexuality. Women and the LGBTQ+ must have an equal voice and not be stigmatized for doing the same thing that straight men are praised for. This double standard is increasingly becoming a problem in our society and directly discriminates against women. I call men sluts all the time and why shouldn’t we? I believe it is my responsibility to take a stand against sexism and derogatory labeling to promote gender equality, gender fluidity and sexual freedom.

Because of this tattoo, I was inspired to start SLXT MERCH and I have never looked back. The feedback I have gotten from diverse groups of people has been so rewarding. Another goal of this brand is to make everyone look sexy and feel confident about themselves. At your next dxck or pxssy appointment, you’ll feel your best wearing SLXT MERCH; it’s your hook-up wear!

If even one person reads this and feels better about the time they may have been attacked for freely expressing themselves, I will have done my job. Self-expression is one way we can tackle this issue, so be yourself! Do what makes you happy whether it is dying your hair pink, piercing your nipple or even having a threesome with two guys you just met at the bar (as long as you’re safe)! Be your fucking self and slut it up!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I don’t think anyone has had a smooth road when it comes to business or life for that matter. The obstacles make your product better and force you to make decisions fast. Being decisive has definitely been an asset and being a sole proprietor has its advantages and disadvantages.

Designing, branding and modeling are my favorite aspects of the business. The fact that I have full control over these processes and am able to make the final decisions has been advantageous. I believe that my branding is very cohesive and sends a clear message because I have been able to control this process from start to finish. Also, because it is my passion, the process flows easily.

On the other hand, I still do like to ask my customers and friends for their input on certain aspects of the business. I think it is always good to get opinions from others. Although my background is in accounting, I hate doing the accounting work because the process is extremely tedious. Another obstacle has been marketing. I have had to work with some of my friends that have marketing backgrounds because this is such a huge job that I have not been able to take on myself. There are so many different routes to go with marketing and I am still in the process of figuring out what works best for the brand.

With the new world we are living in, I’ve had a few COVID struggles and have had to adapt. From photoshoots to shipping to manufacturing, everything has been affected by COVID. For example, when gathering restrictions continued to get tighter, it was difficult for me to have photoshoots with bigger teams and market my product in person. My initial idea was to promote the brand at bars or events which was put on hold for 2 years because of the pandemic. Fortunately, we are doing SLXT parties and events now!It has been difficult to find a fabric manufacturer for my underwear pieces because half of the fabric manufacturers are now closed and the other half are extremely busy making masks. Also, everything is taking much longer than I expected. Manufacturing and shipping are both moving at a slower pace, so I have had to make a lot of adjustments. I now know what I have to do moving forward and I need to be working on collections much earlier than I have been to release them on time. The good thing is that customers are much more understanding during these tough times.

I’ve noticed that with the uncertainties of COVID, a pre-order model has worked best. Customers are not willing to spend as much as they used to due to financial hardships. With a pre order model, I can make sure I don’t have too much inventory on hand and the printers/manufacturers have been very understanding that I am not able to place huge orders as a new, small business. It is also very hard to keep customers’ attention. There is so much information being thrown at everyone, it is very difficult to secure a fraction of their interest.

Overall, everything is a learning experience and although you want to predict all the obstacles coming your way, you can’t. Sometimes you just have to tackle them as they come and find the best solution.

We’ve been impressed with SLXT Merch, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
SLXT MERCH sells superior quality, genderless pieces for the bold, sexy, confident & slutty human. We specialize in pieces that are sustainable, made of bamboo cotton, eco-friendly and sweatshop free. SLXT MERCH is inclusive and empowers women, BIPOC & the LGBTQ+ community. It also promotes sexual freedom, gender equality & gender fluidity. All pieces are made in Canada and we are a WOC-owned business.

We specialize in bamboo cotton underwear pieces all made in Canada (I was born and raised in Canada before moving to LA). Bamboo cotton has so many benefits. No bacne or ass acne before your hookups! It is antibacterial, keeps you odor free, highly sweat absorbent, powerfully insulating, one of the softest fabrics on the planet, naturally UV protectant, hypoallergenic and the most eco-friendly fabric on the planet. All pieces are printed or embroidered only using the best technology so that you can wash over and over without the SLXT washing off of you. Our biggest sellers are all of the underwear pieces – the Big D Boxer Trunks, the THOT Thong and the Bottxm Boob Bra. In addition, all orders come with FREE SLXT condoms. Stay safe out there, SLXTS!

Apart from our biggest sellers, we have tees, sweatshirts, beanies, socks, tote bags, swimsuits and CBD lubricant. Sex toys are next on the list, as well as maybe a SLXT Gloss and SLXT Wine. I believe this brand has a lot of potential to grow and expand into many different product lines. I can’t wait to get started on new projects for you slxts!

I think what sets us apart from others is that we have a clear message. Customers wear the clothing for what it means to them. It is a subtle way of conveying a message to the world. We don’t just make clothes, SLXT is a whole culture and when the world opens again, we want to be able to throw events that convey the message. Also, quality is our top priority. We only buy the best quality fabrics, regardless of the cost. Even our masks are water repellant and we have red jasper crystals in our CBD lube. We want this to be a luxury brand.

Brand wise, I am most proud of the clear, simple and clean branding of the product. Everyone wants to wear something simple and comfortable, especially during COVID. We are spending all of our time at home. I love what the brand stands for and the message it conveys to the world.

I also try to keep my audience engaged by doing IG lives and showcasing my product. I have also started a SLXT Sunday where I interview a slxt and we talk about our sexcapades. No filter, no judgment, shame free. This is shame-free fashion at its best!

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
Making others feel good about themselves and having a positive impact on the world matter the most to me. The most amazing feeling to me is when everyone feels confident, sexy and comfortable in my clothes. It’s about loving yourself- your mind, body and soul.

Also, having a platform where people can express themselves freely is very important to me. Being able to have sex without judgment or have non-traditional relationships and talking about it is another way we can support each other. I try to almost act as a big sister where followers can talk to me about anything sexual. I have had people on IG come out to me, tell me about their open relationships, orgies, swinging, men’s desires to wear women’s clothing…pretty much anything you can think of. I’ve heard it all. It makes me feel so great that people feel comfortable enough around me to tell me their deepest, darkest secrets. It’s all part of living a non-judgmental and inclusive lifestyle.

I also love collaborating with other women of color and local businesses. Recently, I just teamed up with my great friend Anisha at HighKu.Co. She educates people on the benefits of cannabis and makes all vegan/organic cannabis products. We just released SLXT SPIT, which is a CBD lubricant with Red Jasper Crystals. Next, we are planning on doing a CBD lip gloss. The possibilities are endless and I love to support other women of color, especially during these times. My other close friend, TeaFannie is an amazing rapper who made a song for the launch of SLXT MERCH. In the song she says “Call me slxt. but it’s an honor!” Our next project will be for Pride, so stay tuned!

The LGBTQ+ community also means so much to me. Although I identify as a cis straight woman, the LGBTQ+ community has always been my family. They allowed me to be myself and taught me how to love myself. They encouraged me to express myself sexually without judgment. They taught me to be courageous, confident and unapologetic. They taught me that family isn’t always blood. Without the loves of my life in the LGBTQ+ community, I would not be half the person I am today. Thank you for teaching me to be open-minded and the true meaning of love.

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Image Credits

Image 1 No credit Image 2 Photo by Shotphyred, model is Simryn Thind (myself) Image 3 Photo by Savraj Thind, model is Simryn Thind (myself) Image 4 Photo by Shotphyred, model is Simryn Thind (myself) Image 5 Photo by Moises Gonzalez, model is Simryn Thind (myself) Image 6 Photo by Moises Gonzalez, model is Simryn Thind (myself) Image 7 Photo by Moises Gonzalez, model is Simryn Thind (myself) Image 8 Photo by Moises Gonzalez, model is Simryn Thind (myself) Image 9 Photo by Moises Gonzalez, model is Simryn Thind (myself) Image 10 Photo by Moises Gonzalez, model is Simryn Thind (myself) Image 11 Photo by Brandynn Leigh, SLXT Launch party Image 12 Photo by Brandynn Leigh, SLXT Launch party Image 13 Photo by Brandynn Leigh, SLXT Launch party

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