Samantha Smith, who plays Mary Winchester on the show Supernatural, recently launched a campaign entitled “RISE” with Stands. The shirts, sweatshirts, and hats all feature a red and orange Phoenix with the word “RISE” written inside as a symbol for empowerment and strength, especially for women.
Sam’s campaign with Stands is to support the Chicago Foundation for Women — an organization devoted to empowering and investing in women to build stronger communities for all.
We were able to connect with Sam about the campaign, Supernatural, and more. Additionally we spoke with Supernatural actress Rachel Miner about what “RISE” means to her. Check out our conversation below, and click here to join the campaign.
We’re in the final week! Together we will #RISE— let’s make sure it’s ALL of us.
— Samantha Smith (@SamSmithTweets) January 23, 2018
Nerds and Beyond: What made you want to do the campaign and how did it come about?
Samantha Smith: With all the political and emotional turbulence we’ve all seen this past year, as outspoken as I feel I’ve been, I felt frustrated and that I wasn’t effecting much change. It’s all been a lot to unpack. And then I realized that if I’m feeling that way, a lot of other women probably are as well. My thought was that providing a symbol of unity and strength might be helpful. And by partnering with Stands, I was able to get the message out a little bit more. Create more conversation and solidarity; that’s my hope, anyway.
Nerds and Beyond: What made you choose the Chicago Foundation for Women?
Samantha Smith: I wanted to find an organization that touched on everything, the most obvious being assistance to women who are literally rising from the ashes of their lives to begin again. Education, training, housing, employment, health care, child care— these are all mandatory to be able to build a life. CFW does all of that. They provide grants and have a “giving council,” donating to other organizations, all in the interest of serving as many women and girls in the most comprehensive ways possible. That’s next level. I have limitless respect for all they do.
Nerds and Beyond: What made you choose the Phoenix symbol, and what does it represent to you?
Samantha Smith: At first I was thinking about something close to what I did for the [If I Could Tell you] calendar, about being “Your Own Alpha,” incorporating wolf imagery. But as I thought about it more, I realized that being a strong leader, whether just for yourself or for others as well, was only a piece of the puzzle. You need to have courage and resilience and vision. The phoenix is awe-inspiring, and I think that it’s a really worthy symbol of forging ahead fearlessly. As an inside wink, the fact that Mary (my character on Supernatural) was literally reborn after a fiery death made it really the perfect choice.
Nerds and Beyond: What would you hope people who wear the RISE apparel feel when they wear it?
Samantha Smith: I hope that anyone who wears something from this campaign feels like they’re part of something bigger. I hope the image will remind them that they are not alone, and that the need to continue to find the courage and fortitude to keep moving forward is universal – and can be accomplished.
Nerds and Beyond: How has returning to Supernatural affected your connection with the SPNFamily?
Samantha Smith: The SPNFamily has always historically been very loving of Mary, and of me, honestly. But since Mary’s return, it’s gone so deep! Not everyone is a fan of the “new and improved” Mary Winchester, but I’ve never once felt any angst extended to me personally, and the issues have brought about some really interesting conversations. It’s hard to express how vast and solid this fandom’s support really is. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Nerds and Beyond: What are your hopes for 2018/what are you looking forward to in 2018?
Samantha Smith: I hope Mary gets out of the A.U.! And I’m really looking forward to the elections in November.
Nerds and Beyond: Finally, since we’ve been asking this in all of our interviews: what color Star Wars lightsaber would you have?
Samantha Smith: Gold! Is that an option?
— Rachel Miner (@RachelMiner1) January 19, 2018
We also asked Rachel Miner about the campaign, which she has been supporting! You can see what Rachel said about RISE below!
Nerds and Beyond: what does the Phoenix symbol represent to you?
Rachel Miner: The phoenix is a symbol I’ve always loved. It represents the ability to transcend and recreate ourselves; to look at life with fresh eyes. Sometimes we get stuck on these “treadmills of life” and it’s an existence I cannot breathe in. I try to always be present and always live each moment like it’s a new one, and I think the phoenix really represents that.
Nerds and Beyond: Why do you support the Rise campaign?
Rachel Miner: Why support Sam’s campaign? It just makes total sense! (laughs) Sam is wonderful and a perfect example of female friendship that is really needed. (And of course the other Supernatural women are too, but Sam is just amazing.) She’s putting an amazing message out into the world, and I love it.
Thank you to Sam and Rachel for answering our questions!
Once again, you can join Samantha’s #Rise campaign here. Additionally, anyone who purchases something from the campaign before Monday, January 29 will be entered to win a custom “Rise” Samantha Smith Pop! Funko from Little Pop Workshop!
"Though she be but little, she is fierce…"
— Stands (@Stands) January 26, 2018
You can also see all of the support from other Supernatural cast members below!
— Ruth ♛ (@RuthieConnell) January 27, 2018
Even in times of darkness, we've still got each other. Join @samsmithtweets' campaign to help women in need. When we share our strength, we empower everyone to #RISE! https://t.co/teTIoCUEcg
— Alaina Huffman (@AlainaHuffman) January 23, 2018
— ΞXΓЯΞMΞ ҜIM (@kimrhodes4real) January 27, 2018
Joining @samsmithtweets to support Chicago Foundation for Women & women's empowerment? I am HERE for THAT! Join me & let's all #RISE up like the BADASSES we are! https://t.co/FEkEheY5eR
— Briana Buckmaster (@OfficialBrianaB) January 17, 2018