Nitin Beri didn’t want to have a run-of-the-mill senior project.
So, Beri, 18, combined his interests in clothing and non-profit organizations to form an apparel brand, Live Love Northwest, with all proceeds benefitting programs for homeless youth.
“I really liked the idea of running a non-profit and didn’t want to do a generic senior project,” he said.
He had the help of mentor Nitasha Kumar, who founded the “Focus on Kids” nonprofit lab guild associated with Seattle Children’s Hospital. It directly supports the department of laboratories.
Beri formed his non-profit, created a website and started designing Northwest related clothing logos for tank tops, T-shirts and sweatshirts.
Funds raised support New Avenues for Youth, a Portland organization that seeks to help hungry, homeless and at-risk youth.
“I looked at some of the bigger foundations, but since this is a Northwest-themed apparel brand, I wanted to benefit a charity closer to home,” Beri said. “New Avenues for Youth does after school mentoring programs as well as helps homeless youth. I thought it was a good way to give back to kids who don’t have all the advantages we do in Camas.”
So far, Beri has collected $300 for the organization, and hopes to continue the project into his college years.
Shirts range in price from $18 to $25, while sweatshirts are $25 to $30. All feature simple, clean, Northwest-themed designs Beri has created.
“If kids know it is a good quality shirt and for a good cause, I hope they will support it,” he said. “They drop that much on a shirt at the mall.”
The most important thing Beri has learned from his project is that without a budget, it is difficult to market a product, even if it is for a good cause.
“It’s hard to get the word out when you’re on your own,” he said. “Doing stuff alone is pretty challenging but also rewarding.”
To purchase an item or for more information about Beri’s project, visit www.livelovenorthwest.com.