While sitting in Long Island MacArthur airport, Garden City sisters Maya and Veronica Tadross visited the gift shop and noted that while the T-shirt inventory featured the ubiquitous "I Love New York" T-shirts they couldn’t find any Long Island shirts.
Ten-year-old Maya and eight-year-old Veronica, students at Stratford School, came up with an idea for a T-shirt based on their grandmother’s enunciation of Long Island. The girls learned that their grandmother, Marilyn Tadross, who is originally from Brooklyn, wasn’t the only one turning Long Island into one word.
Sure enough “Longuyland” is defined as the way people from Long Island pronounce Long Island.
The girls liked the word so much they decided to start their own T-shirt business using their new favorite word which they trademarked. They designed a logo by utilizing the shape of Long Island and adding a smiling face inspired by Maya’s love of cartoons.
They’ve sold more than 300 T-shirts primarily by wearing the shirts. The shirts are available at clothing boutiques such as Summer Girl in New Suffolk and they sold scores of shirts at St. Francis Hospital. However, the majority of their sales are prompted by inquiries when the girls wear the shirts.
“We get a lot of comments when we wear the shirts,” said Veronica. “We sell a lot of shirts that way.”
Initial capital came from their parents, which they have already paid back. The girls have experimented with different colors and introduced a ladies cut based on customer feedback. The business has allowed them to learn about dealing with money, trademarks, design and promotion.
“Sometimes stores say they're not interested,” shared Veronica. “I learned not to give up.”
Recently their mother, Danielle Tadross, visited the "Rachel Ray Show" and gave Rachel a T-shirt.
“Overall it’s been a great learning experience and a lot of fun for them,” said their father, Ron Tradross.
For further information or to order a T-Shirt, email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.