Inspired by Camelback Mountain, Valley designer creates custom clothing line

It's clothing inspired by one of the Valley's most popular hiking spots.

The local company, Camelback Culture, creates customizable shirts inspired by the creator's love of the outdoors.

"Everybody really seems to always have that same feeling when they get to the top, just really amazing about what they've accomplished and what they get to see, and it really seems to be a unifying force," said Camelback Culture owner and designer Jes Shapiro.

Camelback Mountain in Phoenix is majestic, stunning, and attracts locals and visitors from all over the world. It's the inspiration behind Camelback Culture.

"We happened to luck out with a house that has a perfectly unobstructed view of Camelback. I would take pics of it, and I would do all of my kids' homeschooling activities in the yard, so we could look at it," said Shapiro.

Jes Shapiro

Years ago, Shapiro owned a business in Texas and did interior design, where she perfected the art of technical drawing.

Shapiro moved to Arcadia in 2011.

"One day after staring at the mountain for seven years, this design just popped into my head, so I made the first one by hand for my husband. Hand painted, and looked really hand-done, and everybody really liked it on the mountain," said Shapiro.

Shapiro then taught herself how to re-create her drawings on the computer. She digitized the design, and started selling t-shirts online.

"People really love the design because it really seems to capture the power that Camelback makes people feel, because it's really a magic mountain to be here," said Shapiro. "I think if you've ever been on Camelback or anywhere around it, you know just how special it is. Just the way it looks and everything too."

"We specialize in fabrics that are good for our Arizona climate because obviously, it's very hot," said Shapiro.

Through word of mouth and social media, with the hashtag #crushingonthecamel, the shirts are pretty popular. Shapiro says now she's focusing on personalized designs.

"Our new goal is to customize for people, so I've been working with our customers to add their handles and their websites and their interests, and customize a little bit," said Shapiro. "It really represents the best of all of us, so we really want to customize that, so we can show off what we call their 'super.' So you discover your super, and show off your super."

Hiking Camelback is a spiritual experience for some, and a physical experience for others. Once people make it to the top, they can feel the same sense of accomplishment. That is something Shapiro wants to preserve, with fashion, for many years to come.

"We want the entire community and everybody that comes to this mountain to really love the mountain, because if you really have a hard crush on something, you treat it properly. You're good to it, and it brings out your best."