InspireHer provides ‘apparel with a purpose’


Jose Cardenas: INSPIRATION COMES IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES. .PRODUCER ALLYSA ADAMS AND PHOTOGRAPHER ROB MCJANNET TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT A COMPANY OWNER WHO LITERALLY WEARS HER INSPIRATION.

Reporter: IN A QUIET ROOM, IN THE CORNER OF A BUSY HOME --

SOT: THE NEXT ONE I WANT TO DO IS MADE TO SHINE.

Reporter: ERICA CARDENAS IS LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION SHE CAN PRINT ON A T-SHIRT.

Erica Cardenas: WHEN I AM HEARING SOMETHING THAT IS INSPIRING TO ME I THINK THAT WOULD MAKE A GREAT SHIRT AND I JOT THINGS DOWN. I HAVE A WHOLE BUNCH OF DIFFERENT NOTES AND SAYINGS.

Reporter: CARDENAS BELIEVES WORDS ESPECIALLY THOSE PRINTED ON A SOFT SHERD SHIRT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Erica Cardenas: OUR WORDS HAVE SO MUCH POWER.

Reporter: HER APPAREL COMPANY IS ROOTED IN HER OWN STRUGGLES AS A TEEN.

Erica Cardenas: I WENT THROUGH THIS PERIOD OF TIME IN MY LIFE WHERE I BECAME DEPRESSED AND I WASN'T REALLY SURE ABOUT MY VALUE AND MY WORTH. THAT DEPRESSION TURNED INTO DIFFERENT THOUGHTS, DIFFERENT SUICIDAL THOUGHTS ACTUALLY AND FORTUNATELY THOSE THOUGHTS TURNED INTO ACTION BECAUSE AT THAT YOUNG AGE I DIDN'T REALIZE THAT MY LIFE HAD SUCH AN AMAZING VALUE AND PURPOSE.

Reporter: SHE FOUND HER PURPOSE IN REALIZED GIFTS.

Erica Cardenas: I BECAME A MOM AT THE AGE OF 16.

Reporter: AND HARD FOUGHT ACCOMPLISHMENTS.

Erica Cardenas: I FINISHED HIGH SCHOOL AND REALLY WANTED TO CONTINUE MY EDUCATION AND I ENDED UP GOING TO COLLEGE.

Reporter: NONE OF HER STRUGGLES WERE FORGOTTEN. THEY ARE ALL FODDER FOR MESSAGES ON A HANGER.

Erica Cardenas: THE STORY BEHIND THIS IS I DIDN'T THINK MY LIFE WAS VALUABLE ENOUGH TO WHERE I EVEN NEEDED TO BE HER IN THIS WORLD.

Reporter: SHE HAD NO BACKGROUND IN APPAREL MANUFACTURING AND JUMPING IN THE BUSINESS WAS A CHALLENGE.

Erica Cardenas: ONCE I JUST DOVE HEAD FIRST IN THE PROCESS AND JUST EDUCATED BYSELF AND LEARNED ABOUT THE INDUSTRY, SO TO SPEAK -- MYSELF -- I KIND OF GOT PASSED THAT HURDLE.

Reporter: SHE OVERSEES EVERYTHING DETAIL OF THE PACKAGE FROM THE SHIPPING, PACKAGING TO THE MESSAGES ON THE TAGS ATTACHED TO EVERY SHIRT.

Erica Cardenas: THIS GIRL BELIEVES SHE WAS SPECIAL AND CREATED FOR A PURPOSE. SHE IS BRAVE, SHE IS CHOSEN AND SHE IS UNIQUE.

Reporter: SHE IS CONSTANTLY UPDATING HER ONLINE STORE AND WORKING ON MARKETING.

Erica Cardenas: WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Reporter: BUT TAKING HER INSPIRATION ON THE ROAD IS WHAT KEEPS HER GOING.

Erica Cardenas: THIS IS A SPECIAL STATEMENT REMINDING YOU THAT YOU ARE SPECIAL AND YOUR LIFE HAS A PURPOSE.

Reporter: SHE TALKS TO LOTS OF GROUPS. TEEN MOMS, KIDS WHO MAY NEED A DOSE OF INSPIRATION FROM SOMEONE WHO SHARED THEIR STRUGGLE, AND SHE HEARS BACK FROM LOTS OF THEM.

Erica Cardenas: DEFINITELY HEARING YOUR JOURNEY MOTIVATED ME TO KEEP PUSHING FORWARD.

Reporter: JUST A YEAR OUT, CARDENAS AND INSPIRE HER IS GAINING IS FOLLOWING. SHE HAS SOLD THOUSANDS OF T-SHIRTS BECAUSE SHE KNOWS SOMETIMES THE MESSAGE ON A T-SHIRT --

Erica Cardenas: AND I HAVE LOVED, YOU KNOW, REMINDING GIRLS AND WOMEN THEY ARE LOVED AND THEIR LIFE HAS VALUE.

Reporter: -- IS ENOUGH TO KEEP YOU MOVING FORWARD.

Erica Cardenas: WE ALL NEED ENCOURAGEMENT, WE ALL NEED A REMINDER AND WE ALL NEED TO UNDERSTAND OUR VALUE AND YOUR WORTH. YOU ARE A MASTERPIECE. YOU ARE JUST ABSOLUTELY ONE OF A KIND AND YOU ARE JUST SO PRECIOUS.

Jose Cardenas: ERICA CARDENAS ALSO STARTED A PHILANTHROPIC ARM OF HER COMPANY CALLED "SHIRTS FOR HER" WHERE SHE DONATES T-SHIRTS TO ORGANIZATIONS HELPING TEEN GIRLS.

Video: HERE AT "HORIZONTE" WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. IF YOU HAVE COMMENTS, STORY IDEAS OR QUESTIONS E-MAIL US AT HORIZONTE@ASU.EDU.

InspireHer is a company rooted in one woman’s struggles as a teen. Erica Cardenas, founder of inspireHER is empowering girls through “apparel with a purpose.”

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