Sarah and Rachel Stanton, fondly known as “Temple Twins”, are seniors at Temple University and entrepreneurs of their own company called Fruitstrology. They design and create shirts with different fruits on them, each with their own meaning, to raise money for Philabundance’s KidsBites programs.
Sarah, an entrepreneurship major, and Rachel, a finance major, say they came up with the idea for their company after volunteering with Urban Gardening in Philadelphia through Net Impact, a group they’re involved in at Temple that strives to use the power of business to improve the world.
The twins garden every week with kids of Philadelphia and got inspired after they saw how much of a positive impact the gardening was having on the children. They’ve been volunteering with Urban Gardening for four years and feel like they’ve seen some of the children grow up. The kids would enjoy the gardening so much that they would take the fruit home with them and almost always come back to the program.
“We feel like we can reach the kids in a different way because we’re younger,” said Sarah and Rachel. “When they put their hard work into it and grow the fresh food themselves, it makes it a better part of their life. If they take it on as their own project they’re more likely to like the food, eat it, and learn about it.”
They launched the company in September 2013 and decided to partner with Philabundance. All profits they make go to the KidsBites program, which was created to ensure that all kids across the Delaware Valley get enough food and nutrition.
“Once we had done the gardening we wanted to do some social mission business,” said Sarah. “We knew how to screen print and make t-shirts, so we thought, ‘how can we pair what we can do with what we want to do?’”
Sarah and Rachel also wanted Fruitstrology to educate young adults and college students in Philadelphia about the problem of urban food deserts, which is an area with limited access or no access to grocery stores.
So far, the twins have sold about 70 shirts and were even featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer in March, which helped business. Every 2-3 months they screen-print unisex shirts in their basement, order about 1,000 tags, and create the tags as well. It usually takes them about a week to make 200 shirts, which is one order of shirts.
A friend of Rachel and Sarah’s from elementary school, who is also a graphic design major, draws out the fruit and sends them the design to screen-print. Clearly, they can pride themselves on having a very hands-on and self-sufficient business.
“We want to bring together everyone who buys our shirts and unite people who are philanthropic or like to give,” Sarah said. “It’s a very social mission and we translate it online through social media.”
Their company is called Fruitstrology because every fruit has their own personality. They have the Ambitious Coconut, Charismatic Peach, Independent Pineapple, Funny Pear, Smart Apple, Easygoing Banana, Active Orange, and Talkative Grape.
The girls chose the eight fruits they wanted to put on the shirts and came up with the personality traits for each. Rachel identifies herself as Easygoing Banana, while Sarah identifies herself as Talkative Grape.
They also created hashtags for each fruit to use on Twitter to further the social media aspect of their company and sell the shirts online. At different events they set up a table to sell and promote their shirts, creating a “business in a box” feel and a flea market environment.
“When we’re selling to the customers off the table and they give great feedback and think what we’re doing is awesome, it makes all the time sitting in the basement making the shirts worth it,” Rachel said.
Sarah and Rachel both agree that being students at Temple has helped gain them positive publicity because Temple is such a huge part of Philadelphia. They have many teachers and mentors here that have also helped them make connections.
The twins plan on expanding Fruitstrology to other cities with urban food deserts and partnering with their food banks, but always keeping their donations local to the city that the shirts were bought from.