Our Founders

Stand Up Speak Up Fashion started as a series of conversations between co-founders Karla Stephens-Tolstoy and her son Zachary Tolstoy.  Zach grew up learning about social advocacy and how important it is to look outside your own bubble to see the struggles that are going on around you.  Together, their passion for spreading the word about social justice and human rights topics lead to the creation of this clothing and home decor site.

Stand Up Speak Up is about more than just selling clothes.  Each design has been created to start conversations that might otherwise not be easy to have or happen at all.  Zach and Karla wanted a way to remind people that all it can take is one idea, one decision to act that can drastically change someone's life or start a movement that will change the world forever.



Karla Stephens-Tolstoy: 

CEO, Visionary, and Founder

Karla is moved by the ability to help others. Whether that is by bringing a voice to causes, or sitting and listening to a teen tell her their experiences, she believes that the key to change in this world is action. She strives to affect people from a personal level, getting to know who they are and what they need and helping to make that happen.

 To learn more about Karla, check out this post  Inside the Mind Of: Our Fearless Leader. Or, check out her interview with Idea Mensch here

Zachary Tolstoy:

Co-Founder, Magician, and Inspirational Teen 

Zachary Tolstoy is the Co-Founder of Stand Up Speak Up Fashion. His passion for making the world a better place is part of the reason his mother, Karla Stephens-Tolstoy, decided to start the company.

Born in 2001, Zach is one teen who understands the importance of speaking up for social change. Every day he strives to make the world a better place, and this company gives him a way to see his words and actions make a difference. He puts a lot of his own time and energy into making sure that Stand Up Speak Up is the change agent the world needs.

Zach is one of our models and contributes to our social media posts. He also generates ideas that keep us moving in the right direction. When he's not doing that, you can usually find him perfecting his magic tricks.