Jonathan Mendez, BA’08 and Olivia Chamberland, CAG 02, MS 01, BS 99 --
When Jonathan Mendez and his sister Olivia Chamberland started their T-shirt business in Quincy a little more than two years ago, they knew they wanted to create a company with a conscience.
Next month, they’ll show that they’ve done that. Zamforia Industries is sponsoring Zamfest, a summer festival planned for noon to 4 p.m. on June 6 at Quincy’s Merrymount Beach.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Project Zamforia, the company’s newly formed nonprofit that will help sponsor students’ overseas travels with the People to People Ambassador program.
Zamforia Industries’ “It Says Love” T-shirts include a line of about 20 designs, each one delivering a message of love in a different language.
When Mendez designs a shirt, he says inspiration just comes to him. The neighborhood kids, who make themselves at home in Zamforia’s store, also bring him suggestions and drawings.
Mendez, a 23-year-old Suffolk University graduate with a degree in international relations, said he and his sister decided to offer teenagers the opportunity to travel with People to People because of the learning and growth experience the students gain.
“We want to help willing, hardworking kids earn the right to travel,” Mendez said. “We want kids who are going to do something with their experience when they return. The application process will help us determine which kids want to do the work, who have unique ideas, who have the desire to make the most of the experience, and who deserve to go.”
Zamfest will feature a clambake and barbecue catered by Rock Island Food Co. of Quincy, live music and children’s activities such as tie-dying T-shirts and face painting.
Artisans will pay for booth space to sell their goods, including artwork and jewelry, and there will be raffles and refreshments.
“This is our first Zamfest,” Mendez said. “We’re making it up as we go. It’s going to be a fun, community day to raise money for kids. That was our company’s goal from the beginning.”
Mendez and Chamberland are working closely with the Quincy Business Association and community groups to make Zamfest a successful annual event.
“We want to make an impact while selling T-shirts,” he said. “We started as a socially conscious T-shirt company, and that’s how we’d like to be known.”
Patriot Ledger, May 27, 2010