When Jay and Raquel Winkler saw the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy, they decided to take their longtime love of the Jersey Shore and their burgeoning lacrosse apparel business and combine the two for a good cause.
“Jay and I are avid beachgoers … We love going to the Jersey Shore, and we were really just devastated by what Hurricane Sandy did,” said Raquel. “When something like this happens, you feel like you want to do something, but you don’t know what to do.”
Earlier this fall, the Winklers launched Mesh Lacrosse, an apparel business specializing in lacrosse shorts with creative designs—which has sort of become a niche market over the last decade, as lacrosse’s popularity has grown in leaps and bounds.
Jay said during a drive to Long Beach Island about a month ago, a friend suggested the Winklers create a pair of Jersey Shore-themed (the location, not the TV show) shorts.
“Then this happened (with Hurricane Sandy) … and we saw these families being affected, devastated,” said Jay. “It just kind of clicked.”
They decided to design the Shore shorts, sell them through Mesh Lacrosse and donate 100 percent of the profits to the American Red Cross’s Sandy relief efforts.
Jay, who serves as the creative director for Idea Lab Marketing in his day job, did the art, and then handed it off to graphic designer Anthony Peist, who took care of the rest.
“We thought we’d sell them locally,” Jay said, “raise a few hundred dollars.”
But the project has taken off in a way neither Jay nor Raquel anticipated. Besides getting plenty of local interest, they’ve received orders from a host of other states, including California, Indiana, Florida, Massachusetts and North Carolina. Four days in, they’ve already raised approximately $3,000.
“It’s actually a little overwhelming,” said Raquel, principal for Mesh Lacrosse. “It’s just evident, everybody wants to help.”
The shorts (pictured above) are only available until Nov. 19. They can be purchased for $35 through the Mesh Lacrosse website.
“We want to get the money to the people in need as soon as we can,” said Jay.
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