CLEVELAND — Kelly Danko had always dreamed of being a mother, but her path to motherhood was anything but easy.
“We had gone through five rounds of IVF (in vitro fertilization)," Danko said. "And after some good, it basically ended in some heartbreak. And so at that point we were faced with two roads: One would be more IVF and maybe have the same outcome. The other one would be scary, and an unknown path of adoption.”
She chose to embrace the journey of adoption so she would without a doubt have her forever family.
“It ended up being the best thing we've ever done. I can't even begin to tell you how amazing it is. Two beautiful, healthy, happy, awesome kids. And I love being their mom every single day,” she said.
Everybody has a story and this is only a part of Danko’s. She embraced her life, and among the struggles she persevered and wants to help others do the same. With the help of a neighbor, she co-founded WithINSPIRED, a clothing company that creates customizable T-shirts unique to each person.
“You can customize your own or you can choose from these premade ones,” Danko said. “These shirts make great constant reminders that you can do anything.”
Unlike many other inspirational or graphic T-shirts, the inspirational word or message is hidden as she wants these T-shirts to help people look within themselves and find what motivates or inspires their own journey.
“I have used a lot of inspiration in my own life to get through a lot of my own personal hurdles,” she said. “And when you're going through a hard time, that's when you need it. Especially, you know, to look in the mirror and or look down at a glance and remember that you're wearing that and whatever your personal message is that you can focus on that and find inspiration or, you know, find strength to continue on to that journey.”
Whether it’s a goal, a desire or a mantra, it’s a reminder to be true to yourself and to go for your dreams. With the added time to ponder and reflect about life during the pandemic, Danko said these shirts couldn’t be more relevant.
“It's almost like wearing a hug,” she said. “2020 has been a hard year for everybody, and I think we all learned a little bit more about ourselves and had to reflect and look within and grow from how we dealt with that year and the experiences that we had. So this is really relevant and the fact that you know, now that you've come out of this, maybe you have new inspiration, new goals.”
Danko aspires to make her company about more than just cool T-shirts, she wants withINSPIRED to be a movement.
“We love the idea of keeping the logo on the outside. So when you see somebody in a coffee shop or something you recognize the brand, you know there's more to it than just a T-shirt. You maybe spark a conversation and talk about on-eto-one what it is that your word is, you know, so you can connect with people that way,” she said. “This company was inspired around that everybody's going through something. We all need help, we all can help each other and it's about learning the process as you go.”
It's a movement to inspire others to let their intentions become words and their words become reality.
“My shirt reminds me that life is uncertain and challenging at times, and if you embrace life, it often leads you to exactly where you're supposed to be,” said Danko. “Embrace is my word, and I help others look inside themselves and come up with their own words.”
WithINSPIRED T-shirts make great gifts to family members and friends. You can also purchase gift cards. For more information you can visit their website.