Eagles ‘heart the struggle,’ build clothing line

Bradie Gray

Stanson Baskin and Carlos Clay model baseball tees and crewnecks for the brand’s up and coming website.

As college students, Eagles struggle with a number of challenges like paying for school, balancing jobs and classes and finding their way.

Senior Carlos Clay said everyone should love, or “heart,” the struggle.

Clay, along with sophomore criminal justice major Zach Ferguson, is spreading the message with a motivational clothing line that has made its way into many classrooms around campus.

“Heart the Struggle” is a compilation of inexpensive and customizable t-shirts, baseball tee’s and crew necks with a logo designed to remind people of the great things that will come from their current struggles.

“All the obstacles you have to overcome before you get to that success, that’s the struggle,” Clay said. “So you have to ‘heart’ the struggle. You have to love the struggle because in due time, that’s going to get you to where you want to go and what you want to become.”

The kinesiology major said his personal struggle is doing whatever he needs to do to provide for his family. Having been raised with his two younger sisters by a single parent, he said he would just like to give back to his mother.

“My father passed away at a young age so it has just been me and my mom, and I’ve seen her always living paycheck to paycheck, so it’s been a struggle,” he said. “Why I’m in school right now, why I’m working my tail off right now is to provide for my family, they are my ‘why.’”

Clay hopes to become a physical therapist. He said part of his struggle is getting through his kinesiology classes because he knows that in the end, “they will get him to where he wants to be.”

Despite working toward a career in physical therapy, Clay said he doesn’t quite know which path he’ll take in life yet – kinesiology or entrepreneurship.

“I’m a really diversified person,” he said. “I like to do a lot of different things and branch out. I love studying kinesiology and I love learning about the body, but whatever opportunity comes my way, I’d like to roll with that.”

Junior elementary education major Ashley Grimes “hearts” her struggle much like Clay.

Grimes met Clay two years ago through a mutual friend. She is one of approximately 50 USI students following the movement.

“Carlos is one of my good friends, so I want to support his endeavors but also, like he said, we all have different struggles, so this gives me an outlet to talk about mine and draw on other people to support his business and support ‘heart the struggle,’” Grimes said.

She said she’s a very outgoing person who has no problem telling people about her struggles, but said the more introverted people share their struggles by simply wearing the brand.

“I think leaving home (Charlestown, Indiana) was a big struggle for me,” Grimes said. “Moving away and finding different outlets and finding a home in USI was a big struggle. School and student teaching next semester will be a struggle but – I heart it.”

The brand is still in the initial stages of development. Clay and Ferguson plan to trademark “Heart the Struggle” and eventually sell it in stores like a real clothing brand.

After seeing the enormous following the brand gained in its single month of existence, the duo decided to create a website to extend their services to fans outside of the local area.

The website is expected to be up and running within the week.

“We’re getting direct messages from people in California and all over the U.S. who are wanting shirts, but we can’t provide them with that just yet because we’re still working on the website,” Clay said. “Once everything’s set in stone, I can see the vision. I can really see everything blowing up.”