Linda Barton has a passion for taking something old and making it new again.
She’s doing it with her Western Pennsylvania century home that she’s refurbishing, and she’s doing it in the business world with a vintage t-shirt business she’s building.
Her first product is a line of original-design t-shirts marking the 100-year anniversary of the Good Humor ice cream brand.
“Many people don’t realize the company was founded in Youngstown, as was the first ice cream truck,” she said.
Cause marketing makes purchases more meaningful
She’s relying on “cause marketing” as a strategy to help sell the t-shirts.
“I don’t want people to buy a t-shirt just to clothe their body,” she said. “I want it to mean something to them – because it means something to me.”
“It was the most traumatic experience of my life. You don’t think you’d wake up one day and your daughter wouldn’t be there,” Barton said. “The team at Akron Children’s was great for Gwendolyn and our family. I want to give back to Akron Children’s for other people going through the same thing we did.”
8,000 t-shirts = 1 NICU bed
That give-back is taking the form of proceeds from the sales of the Good Humor t-shirts being donated to Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley. Barton wants the funds directed toward purchasing a bed in the NICU for babies born with drug addictions. A new NICU bed costs around $40,000.
“That’s a house in Youngstown,” she said. “My goal is to raise enough to buy a bed.”
That’s 8,000 t-shirts, which will be sold year-long at local events and through local retailers.
“I have to have a reason to be all-in,” she said. “When I wake up I the morning and I’m working for a cause that’s bigger than me, it motivates me.”
The vintage t-shirt line, which Barton is in negotiations to expand with other well-known brands, was launched at Akron Children’s Hospital Beeghly campus with a two-day sale outside the bistro.
“The t-shirts aren’t about me. They’re about Youngstown and the brands that were built here,” she said.
And they’re also about helping give the most vulnerable babies their best chance at thriving.
Click here to view Barton’s line of Good Humor shirts and place an online order. Twenty percent of proceeds will go to Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley.
To learn more about how to get involved or give back to Akron Children’s Hospital, click here.