When it was time for Mariah Braddock to complete a senior project at her school, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, she knew she wanted to create a project that could somehow combine her passion for fashion with her drive to help people. Through a semester of research, she found a cause that she felt drawn to. She discovered that women and children are in growing need, especially with issues pertaining to domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, and overall lack of empowerment. “Going to amazing schools and having a supportive family, I have been very lucky to have always felt empowered and supported, but I have also seen what it is like when women are not so lucky,” she says.
And so, Mariah’s very own fashion company, her., was born. The main goal of this company, she says is “to create something that all women would feel empowered by.” Her. believes that empowerment can lead to a world where women do not live in poverty and are treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve. “My inspiration is really in the name of the company—it’s all about helping her.”
Each of the philanthropic company’s shirts are designed to spread the word and start conversations about women’s empowerment. 100% of the profits go to help women and their children in need. Her. Family Foundation is the direct nonprofit beneficiary of the company. Through this foundation, Mariah supports various charities that are dedicated to finding long lasting solutions to empowering women; such as, providing women with clothing, education, job opportunities, and are overall focused on empowering women and, in turn, breaking the cycle of poverty. As the President and Founder of her. LLC and her. Family Foundation, Mariah has done everything from the branding, marketing and development of the company, to the website management, social media, packaging and clothing design.
While she says she owes much of her success to her parents and their guidance, she also emphasizes how much MMS has cultivated her passion for the arts and the importance of helping others. “On my website and whenever I talk about my company, MMS is something I mention. The way the Montessori school system was set up really allowed my creativity and self-motivation to develop. I strongly accredit my drive to MMS.”
Mariah recalls how in her MMS graduation speech she had said how she didn’t exactly know what she wanted to do with her life yet, but she did know that as long as she was helping people, she would be happy. “Having such a strong foundation and belief in myself carried me to succeed through high school and college. It was that same belief in myself and my strong desire to help people, that inspired me to develop a real company and nonprofit. I will always be grateful to my MMS education because I know I would not be where I am today without it. “As her newfound success remains to grow, Mariah plans on continuing the development and progress of her. and its accompanying foundation after her college graduation this month.
If you are interested in purchasing a product or learning more about Mariah’s company, feel free to head to her website, www.empowerherclothing.com, and be sure to check them out on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest at her_empower. You can also see Mariah’s exhibit at the MIAD Senior Exposition, where over 110 emerging artists are showcasing their work. More information about the event can be found at MIAD.edu. The show is open now until May 12th!