Two Scottsdale teens have launched a company with the intention of empowering women in India. It’s called SAND. Custom Designs, and they sell canvas tote bags.
Isabella DiGiovanni and Connor Nannen have been close friends since elementary school. They've both always wanted to start their own business, and they also want to help others.
"We wanted to get that out there and I think we both through our lives have learned that giving back is super important, that life is about being a part of something bigger than yourself," said Nannen.
Two months ago, they launched the company. The tote bags are imported and screen printed by an Arizona company. Isabella and Connor package and ship them.
"They're sturdy, you can do anything with them, you can hold anything in them," said DiGiovanni.
They did some research and found there's a massive shortage of nurses in India.
"Our goal is to send five women in our first year through a two-year nursing program, therefore giving those women further opportunities and hopefully inspiring other women there," said DiGiovanni.
They'll take a portion of every sale and set aside $5,000 to pay for it. They're be working with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi.
Isabella is a top-ranked basketball player at Seton Catholic High School and will be playing at Dartmouth next year. Connor will be going to ASU.
"We're still going to keep it going as long as we can," said DiGiovanni.
"I think if we can reach our goal of sending five women in India and surpassing that making a bigger difference than just five, that'd be incredible," said Nannen.
This story was originally published by Claudia Rupcich at KNXV.