A California Baptist University business student has combined his love for business, art and philanthropy by creating the retail company, Elevate, which donates some of its profits to a mental health organization and orphanage in Uganda.
Julian Carvajal, junior business administration major, started a company that is progressively picking up momentum as people learn how he is uplifting others and inspiring his customers to do the same through his social media marketing and collaboration with well-known YouTubers.
The Elevate brand is currently selling shirts Carvajal and an artist from his hometown designed and handcrafted bracelets he makes from volcanic stones. With every product he sells, he donates 10 percent to a Ugandan orphanage called the Kamran Farid Foundation.
“I went on a mission trip to Uganda for two months where I taught English, and then I came back wondering why the world was so unfair,” Carvajal said. “I didn’t understand why people over there had to live like that while we live like this. I wanted to do something that could help in some way.”
On his featured product — currently the Elevate Emerald bracelet — he donates 25 percent to Kami, a mental health organization that offers counseling and therapy for people struggling with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. He is passionate for these two organizations because of his own personal experiences.
“I know it’s OK to struggle, so that’s why I chose that organization,” Carvajal said. “It’s dear to my heart.”
Anabel Medina, sales associate for Elevate Wear, joined the company because she is passionate about using her creativity to have a positive impact on others .
“The name of the brand speaks for itself, Elevate, meaning to rise or to go higher,” Medina said. “To rise even in the darkest of times and to strive for something higher, to push ourselves and prove that we are capable of anything to which we set our mind.”
Alicia Knaggs, sophomore liberal studies major, is a customer of Elevate and enjoys the designs and the purpose behind the brand.
“It’s awesome that Elevate donates to these places,” Knaggs said. “It shows how selflessly the company was created. It is also nice knowing that your purchase can help in some way; it’s not like your money is going solely to the owner. You know what the money is being used for in the purchase.”
Carvajal’s next step for his company is meeting with prospective investors and finding a team of people who share the same passion he does.
“Eventually I want it to be something people associate with a movement — a collective of creative people coming together to help others,” Carvajal said. “If you put the work in and keep your vision, you can do it.”