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La Mesa teenager launches clothing business on Instagram to help BLM

UCLA student raises money for good causes using Clothing 4 Black Lives on Instagram.

LA MESA, Calif. — A La Mesa resident says supporting a black-owned business is as easy as buying a great outfit at a great price. In this Zevely Zone, I went shopping on Instagram.

Credit: KFMB TV

"This right here is what I call my BLM book. BLM of course stands for Black Lives Matter," said Taylor Vassar.

The 18-year old La Mesa resident and UCLA student and club track runner shut down what could have been a relaxing summer break to open up a clothing business.

Credit: Taylor Vassar

You can find Talyor's project called Clothing 4 Black Lives on Instagram.

"If you told me I would have been starting a non-profit back in March after I left campus I would have been like, no. But look at me now!" said Taylor.

She collects donated clothing items either new or used then sells them online for a smoking deal. "These are swimsuits, dresses and rompers," said Taylor.

"Dresses have been actually selling very fast."

Credit: KFMB

Taylor says as a member of the black and LGBTQ community she is more empowered than ever to, as she calls it, own her skin.

"I do get that feeling when I walk into a room or when I'm walking around a mall I just kind of have that tenseness in me and I have to remind myself it's okay you are you they are them. You are minding your own business, they are minding their business," said Taylor.  

Taylor launched Clothing 4 Black Lives about a month ago. Every dollar she collects is publicly posted on a ledger then donated to either a black-owned business or an organization that supports Black Lives Matter.

Credit: KFMB TV

"For the first week, I donated $121," said Taylor.

On week two, she donated $158. On week three, Taylor sent money to the ACLU.

"I raised $95 for them, so a little short of my $100 goal," she said.

That's okay, orders are coming in from San Francisco to Virginia.

I reminded her that it's her summer break and that she could be relaxing at the beach. She told me, "There is just something in me that I like to say I want to solve all of the world's problems in a day."

Credit: KFMB

Except for the expense of washing the clothes and shipping them to customers, Taylor passes all of the profits on to others.

"You're not paying yourself at all?" I asked.

Taylor told me, "Basically no. It's all for the cause."

It's a cause, Taylor says is worth getting dressed up for and just like her passion for long-distance running and community, she's in this for the long haul.

Credit: KFMB

"This is a marathon definitely," said Taylor. "Every dollar counts."

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If you'd like to go shopping on Taylor's Instagram page Clothing 4 Black Lives go to  www.instagram.com/clothing4blacklives.

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