On March 3, 2020, Sarah Riggins was surfing Facebook when she noticed a post from her friend in Tennessee that simply said: #NashvilleStrong. Riggins immediately hit Google and learned about the devastating tornadoes that had touched down in the middle of the night.

At 1:50 a.m., a violent and devastating tornado tore a path nearly 50 miles long through downtown Nashville and its surrounding suburbs while thousands of people slept. “I was moved to take action,” says Riggins, who’s director of operations at DesignAShirt, an online design decorating company that grew out of a Tempe, AZ-based screen-printing shop. “In 2011, dozens of tornadoes touched down where I lived in North Carolina. Then, in 2018, a tornado ripped through my hometown of Marshalltown, IA. These unpredictable events are simply devastating to residents and businesses, and the recovery takes years.”

In 2018, Riggins created a shirt design to raise money for local relief efforts in Iowa. The campaign was very successful, with shirts selling across the country for people whose “hearts were in Iowa.” “Since we had previous success with this type of fundraising””and knowing that T-shirts help provide a sense of community during disaster recovery””I decided to launch a store for “˜Nashville Strong,'” she says.

Riggins launched her “Nashville Strong” store using InkSoft Stores. For a few years, the DesignAShirt team has used InkSoft Stores, popping up stores for teams, groups, clothing lines, and nonprofits. “I proposed the Nashville idea to my team at 9:26 a.m. and the store was up by 9:44 a.m,” she says. “Without Inksoft, it could have taken hours to build products and publish pages. We’re a very small and lean team, and we find great value in the ability to move quickly without involving expensive web developers.”

#NashvilleStrong Online T-Shirt Fundraiser
#NashvilleStrong Online T-Shirt Fundraiser

A division of DesignAShirt.com, “My Heart is in Nashville” is dedicated to raising money toward relief efforts for those affected by the March tornadoes. The store includes a selection of men’s, women’s and children’s T-shirt and hoodie styles with “My heart is in Nashville” text designs. Another design is a simple white outline of Tennessee, with a heart over Nashville. “It was amazing, because after creating the store we acquired the domain MyHeartisinNashville.com, which currently points to the InkSoft store,” Riggins says.

From each shirt sale, Riggins and her team will donate $5 to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which benefits the lives of individuals and families affected by local disasters.

“As a team, we have decades of screen-printing experience driving our site, averaging over 10 years of experience for each DesignAShirt employee,” Riggins says. “That’s why we’re capable of handling almost anything the industry can throw at us.”

Visit the “My Heart Is in Nashville” to support the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.