In a Walnut Creek two-car garage, Katie Magidi is doing two pretty remarkable things.
First, in a year when thousands upon thousands of businesses have closed, Magidi opened one. She started Katie Dyesigns, a one-person operation making and selling tie-dye clothing online.
The venture has its roots, Magidi says, in a place which will sound familiar to any parent of a toddler these days: looking for ways to entertain and occupy her 2-year-old daughter, Roya.
"I was like every mom in the world, scrambling to find new activities to keep us creative and keep us going through shelter in place," Magidi said.
It was then that she spotted a tie-dye making kit online and grabbed it.
"I thought it would be fun," Magidi said. "It just sort of took off from there."
Took off, indeed. Magidi's first designs were quickly snapped up after she posted them on her Instagram account. World of mouth, and Magidi's background in retail and fashion merchandising, now have her company growing quickly. She regularly works into the night to fill and ship all the orders coming in.
Which, leads to the second remarkable thing Magidi is doing: giving away half of everything she earns to social justice organizations; groups, Magidi says, that work to keep all people protected.
It was a desire born out of the past few months. Watching social and racial unrest sweep across the country, Magidi felt a need to act.
"Awareness is one thing, action is another," Magidi said. "I had to put my money where my mouth was. I had to walk the walk. Here I was being outraged on social media, but I knew that this had to be bigger than me."
In just a few months since opening up shop, Magidi has raised and donated more than $4,000. And while she understands that some might see tie-dye clothing as silly during such serious times, it's not the medium Magidi cares about. It's the message.
"When you look at what's going on in the world, it was time for me to stand up and make a change," she said.
And who says a better world can't be a more colorful one as well?