VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
The product Hayley Besheer makes may make you blush and what she plans to do with some of her garments may raise your eyebrows, but the New Smyrna Beach woman has a plan to make money and help women in need at the same time.
By mid-August, Besheer hopes her company, MADI Apparel, will be selling underwear online and in stores. For every pair they sell, the company will donate a pair of brand-new briefs.
“Men especially laugh when we say that we’re going to donate underwear,” Besheer said. “People don’t understand it at first, which is fine because I love telling people about it.”
MADI stands for “make a difference intimate.”
She’s starting the business from her home in order to help women who have had to leave theirs.
"Undergarments are probably the most popular thing that we need [donated] that we don't often get," said Lynn Kaiser Conrad, chief operating officer of Domestic Abuse Council of Volusia County, one of three central Florida organizations that will benefit from the MADI Apparel donations.
The Domestic Abuse Council runs a shelter for battered women. They rely on donations of everything from shampoo to baby clothes.
“Women arrive at domestic violence shelters and sometimes they're carrying nothing, sometimes no [identification], sometimes even with children,” Besheer explained.
“If they don't even have the bare minimum of underwear it really doesn't help the healing process,” she added.
“When she first approached [us about the donations] I thought, ‘Wow. What a brilliant idea,’” said Conrad.
“It would be great if every shelter in the country got free underwear because she was that successful,” she continued.
The intimates by MADI Apparel come in several styles. They’re made in the USA, from organic bamboo fabric, but the main thing, according to
Besheer is this: "For every pair that you buy we donate the most modest brief."
Besheer hopes to have the underwear on sale in stores and online in the next couple of months..
She’s growing the company by accepting donations, too.
A fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo.com
raised the money needed for the first run of basic black underwear.
A second campaign is ongoing in order to raise the money to make the underwear in other colors. You can click here for more information: www.madiapparel.com
In addition to sending donated underwear to the organizations in Volusia County, shipments will go to an international organization and a women’s shelter in Besheer’s hometown of Kansas City, Missouri.