KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A metro entrepreneur is using her intimate apparel business to raise awareness about domestic abuse and help women in shelters.
MADI Apparel stands for: Make A Difference Intimate Apparel. For every pair of underwear purchased, a pair is donated to a domestic violence shelter to help women in need.
Twenty-six-year-old Hayley Besheer is selling underwear to highlight how unaware people are about domestic violence. Besheer says she was touched by a family member's story about surviving domestic violence.
“When I talk to my relative about her experience with domestic violence, it really hit home," she said. “I started MADI apparel for the reason of giving back to women in need underwear specifically because it's so under donated."
Besheer says she donates underwear to SAFEHOME and the Rose Brooks Center here in Kansas City, and other domestic violence shelters in California, Florida, Texas and Ohio.
“Most people come here with either just the clothes on their back or maybe a few possessions usually in a trash bag,” Sharla Nolte with the Rose Brooks Center said.
Nolte says they receive a lot of gently used items for women in need, but underwear is something no one wants used.
“People don't think about something as simple as underwear, and so they don't think to donate it unless they’re asked to or unless they're told it's an incredible need that we at Rose Brooks Center have and all domestic shelters have," she said.
Nolte says 25 percent of women will experience domestic or sexual violence in their life, and providing something basic like underwear gives women comfort and confidence.
Besheer will launch her new underwear line at Birdies on March 5, and she plans to open her own store in the Westside neighborhood in April. The store will be located at 1659 Summit St.