In 2019, Waterloo native William Heathershaw was driving back home to Iowa when he saw the “People of Iowa Welcome You” sign and thought it said “love” rather than “Iowa.” Inspired by this optical illusion, Heathershaw, with the help of designers, created the “Iowa Love” symbol, a cursive design that perfectly weaves together the two words. He started printing the design on T-shirts and ultimately founded his company, Iowa Love, that year.
What started as a platform for Iowans to express their love and pride for their home state has evolved and is now serving an even greater purpose: to support local businesses amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Iowa Love is helping its fellow local small businesses throughout the state by selling gift cards to those businesses on its website. Now, customers across Iowa can show their support for their favorite local business, whether it be a jewelry store, spa, flower shop or photographer.
Even before COVID-19, Iowa Love was a mission-driven clothing and goods brand, partnering with several local nonprofits to help fundraise. Iowa Love also donates 50 percent of its quarterly profits from its apparel and gifts to local nonprofits that are experiencing an immediate need, primarily those that positively impact children. The company also partners with local retailers across the state to bring “Iowa Love” to you, no matter where you are.
“Iowa love” T-shirts and apparel are screen printed in Cedar Falls, while operations are based in Waterloo.