The journey began in Lesvos, Greece, when I (Haley) spent a month volunteering in the Moria & Kara Tepe Refugee Camps with my sister. Lesvos, an island off the coast of Turkey, is where thousands of refugees pass through on their way to seek asylum in Europe from countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, & other countries.
Upon returning home from Lesvos, I began my senior year at Brigham Young University studying Industrial Design. Having seen first-hand what the camps were like, I wanted to design a product that would benefit these families.
Refugees often travel thousands of miles by foot, car, bus, & sea to reach a new country in hope of a brighter future. Anything they bring with them must be carried, which means they need to balance bringing family heirlooms and life necessities, such as sleeping products, shelter, and food.
Prototyping started by using a small iron and scrap fabric to create an inflatable. After testing a few mini models, I was able to visit a local outdoor gear company to create life-size prototypes and refine the design.
After many, many prototypes the design was almost ready to go. Senior year came to a close, I officially graduated from BYU, and then came the question- what should I do next?
July 2020 - Present
"Kara Tepe Kids" is born! In July I applied to be an official business here in the state of Utah. I found a manufacturer and started receiving more refined prototypes, made several changes, and have continued to build the business.