Total loan: $15,000


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Ypsilanti, MI, United States / Clothing

Cynda's loan finished fundraising,
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A loan helped me to grow online sales and continue to support our community.

Cynda's story

I was born and raised in the Detroit area. After graduating from the University of Michigan, I lived on both coasts, worked in the legal field, and obtained a law degree. When the economy crashed in 2008, I was left without a job, and an existing alcohol problem turned into a full blown addiction. After several unsuccessful attempts at sobriety, countless programs and treatments, I lost support from friends and family, ran out of money, and definitely had run out of hope. By 2013, I was back in Detroit. In the middle of that year, I was admitted to the hospital with severe stomach pain, which cascaded into kidney and liver failure. There was not much hope of recovery. After three months, a miraculous and unexplained turnaround gave me the gift of another chance at life. An end had turned out to be a new beginning. I began the long, slow process of starting over. This included a yoga practice that allowed me to truly work on myself, and it changed my outlook in many ways. The personal transformation I was going through was not very different from what was happening in my hometown of Detroit. Reflecting on that, I created a shirt that simply said, “Breathe in Detroit.” Sometimes, your breath is all you have to keep you going. I wore the shirt, people responded, and I made a few more. In 2015, I launched my company, Breathe in Detroit. I had never run a business, and had never planned to, but it felt like the right thing to do. I wanted to share what I was learning through my journey, but I also wanted to share the resilience and spirit that is embedded in the city and people of Detroit. I had returned to something familiar, yet new and limitless at the same time. I also wanted this to offer more to the world than just another shirt. From the beginning, I wanted the company to give back to the community through donations and fundraising events. In fits and starts, Breathe in Detroit grew. I now have an entire line of products designed to inspire positive personal connection, and most importantly, hope. When you build something from nothing, it inspires others to do the same, to take chances, to follow dreams, to do what they are meant to do. I intend to continue building, creating jobs, impacting communities, and fostering others' dreams as far as I can.