Sherrill woman makes clothes to stop sex trafficking - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sherrill woman makes clothes to stop sex trafficking


SHERRILL (KWWL)-- We all have dreams. Many of which start as a young child. But one woman in Dubuque County has followed her dreams and is making a difference in the process. And get this, you can help for a little less than $20.

"Polyester rayon, spandex. So they won't shrink too much," fashion designer Katie Behnke said. Welcome to Benke's studio and office, in her parents' basement.

"Just feel like this is part of why I'm here," Behnke said. "To reach out to woman to make them realize that you don't have be a size 0 and you don't have to be what the models want you to be."

Just a few months ago after studying fashion design Katie moved home from New York City. And this is where she decided to launch own clothing line, Elegantees, "marriage of elegance and tees".

"I wanna be a able to offer something that is affordable for everybody. And you can look great," Behnke said.

But her newly established business goes beyond fashion, beyond Dubuque and even beyond New York City.

"It was really on my heart to kind of do something that was bigger than myself," Behnke said.

While in the big apple Katie met Kristina Grandstaff, founder of a non-profit organization, "History Starts Now".

"Fights sex trafficking and helps the people that have kind of come out of it, the survivors, get their lives back," Behnke said.

Grandstaff inspired Katie to put her passion and talent to work. She sends her designs to a factory in New York, each named after a woman of inspiration. They send back the product and she sells it.

"I've always wanted to do this when the doors opened up to it. I got to," Behnke said.

She receives a modest salary for her work. And the rest of her net profit goes to help stop sex trafficking.

"Everyone woman is beautiful. Especially if your heart is good," Behnke said.

And it's all a part of something bigger that she helps grows far beyond her parents basement. Behnke is currently manufacturing in New York City.

But, a personal dream is to start manufacturing in a country or various countries where trafficking happens. She hopes to change the country for the better by improving economic conditions. Click here find a link to her cause.

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Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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