Fashion line helps human trafficking victims

Tourmaline Designs, Cleveland, Ohio

Tourmaline Designs is a local clothing line with a mission: to help victims of human trafficking. Founder Tiffany Halverstadt donates a percentage of her total sales to a local charity that provides a safe haven for human trafficking victims. She talked to us about choosing her clothing line's mission, what she's learned from running a business in Cleveland and what inspires her. She what she had to tell us below:

What made you decide to start your own clothing line?

It started with a mission to help those in need. I wanted to help women and children be free and receive the mental and physical help they need to recover from human trafficking. I originally took inspiration from Toms shoes, and I hope to someday be able to give a garment for every one garment sold. I would hope that the clothing would help rebuild self-esteem, confidence and feelings of worth from former victims.

What advice would you give to someone starting a fashion-related business in Cleveland?

1. Starting small isn’t bad. Yes, it takes time and patience to find your clientele and define your brand, but it’s a part of learning what you want. Your vision may shift and that’s not a bad thing! Just keep your focus on what it is you want.

2. Teamwork makes the dream work. Connecting with other people in fashion will help you gain new friendships and opportunities. If you find others that are willing to work together, you can help each other learn and grow. I have had opportunities to have my pieces added to shows at the last minute, when someone has dropped out, because they know me and that I have garments ready. 

Commendably, every purchase from Tourmaline helps support the recovery of someone who has been a victim of human trafficking in Ohio. What made you choose this charitable cause? Can you explain how the process works?

I can’t fully explain why I chose human trafficking. I think part of it started with the thought that every women wants to feel beautiful and confident. But when a women is sold, traded or abused, these desires are buried and hidden. They are merely wanting to survive. All I could hope to do is to give someone who has been traumatized in this way a twinkling hope for something better for themselves. Hope that they can be healed and feel beautiful. At the end of the year, we give a percentage of our total sales to The Lioness Foundation here in Cleveland.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I mainly find my inspiration from the beauty in nature and the spiritual connection with it.

What is the best piece of style advice you've ever received?

“You just be whoever you want to be!” This wasn’t style advice, but it is what I use as style advice! If I’m feeling like a unicorn today, then I will wear my polka dots and pink and be bright! If I want to have a hard exterior, then I’ll wear my masculine boots, button downs and oversized everything. 


Learn more about Tourmaline Designs at

Wednesday, February 13, 2019