SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

April 26, 2013

Peabody company's shirts benefit One Fund

PEABODY — It’s Chris Wrenn’s business to catch the public mood.

Sully’s Brand T-shirts generally carry a written sentiment.

“We make things that people want to say,” Wrenn said.

This week, he caught exactly what the public wanted to say — “Believe in Boston.” But instead of making money, the Peabody business is donating all proceeds from sales of the special-edition T-shirt to The One Fund to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Over the past week, Wrenn, 37, has sold more than 3,000 of the shirts, in Boston Marathon colors of yellow and blue, earning $50,000 for The One Fund.

And that’s not all. Wrenn has a second company, Bridge Nine Records, supporting a number of punk rock bands, which is selling four T-shirts associated with those groups. They include sentiments like “Have heart. Watch us rise.”

Already, 1,000 of those have been sold, also to benefit The One Fund. Wrenn hasn’t finished totaling up the contribution from that, which will be added to the $50,000 he’s already raised.

“All proceeds are going to the fund,” said Wrenn, who alerted loyal customers to these offers via the Internet. “Just like everybody else, we wanted to do something to help.”

The response had Wrenn and his staff up until 1 and 2 a.m. getting out shipments. “We did four months of orders in one week. ... For us, a $50,000 donation is mind-boggling.”

The attacks hit close to home for Wrenn.

“I’d been preparing to go down to the marathon,” he said.

Sports are a key part of his business. He employees five regular workers and a number of street vendors who sell his T-shirts, as well as flags and bracelets, outside Fenway Park, TD Garden and Gillette Stadium, among other places.

Additionally, he’s the father of a 2-year-old daughter, so the death of 8-year-old Martin Richard, killed in the blast, hit hard.

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