With the Pope’s highly anticipated visit to the City of Brotherly Love rapidly approaching, how are Philadelphians going to rock their papal pride?
One young, newlywed couple hailing from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania may have the perfect answer: Pope T Shirts.
Newly married couple Michael and Ally Tandarich are designing custom Pope Francis T-Shirts — the Official Pope Francis Philadelphia Apparel, mind you — with great emphasis on what the city of Philadelphia is known for: brotherly love, of course.
Michael, who also runs a branding agency in the city, No-Comply Designs, felt that designing custom t-shirts would be an excellent way to show support and give back to the Catholic community while continuing to build excitement for the papal visit. Also, it gives papal fans something unique to wear to the event.
A portion of the proceeds of each shirt sold will be donated to local Catholic churches, the seminary, The Culture Project, and the Catholic Charities Appeal, Michael said.
“We wanted to make them stand out from other brands that were going to be at the event,” Michael said in regards to the T-shirt designs. “We wanted them to look like Philadelphia and the Pope.”
Pope Francis is scheduled to be in Philadelphia on Sept. 26 and 27 for the World Meeting of Families. The Pope will mostly likely participate in the meeting’s closing ceremonies, including the Festival of Families held on Saturday, Sept. 26 and a Papal Mass on Sunday, Sept. 27. Both events will take place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and are open to the public.
Both active members of the Catholic Church, Michael and Ally met when they were teenagers, only to reconnect again while in college. At the tender ages of 22 and 21, the young couple feels that the Catholic youth population is stronger, more involved and more influential than ever.
“You’d be surprised at how many young people are involved in Catholicism,” he said. “I’m expecting a lot of youth will be there to see the Pope.”
Michael and Ally have already sold a couple hundred Pope t-shirts and are currently sold out. However, more will be made soon, Michael said. The couple make the t-shirts out of their apartment and sell them on their website.
The couple also plans on selling the t-shirts during the Papal visit, and may even set up a booth or simply walk around and sell them, he said. While Michael has yet to see or hear of other Pope t-shirts, he anticipates competition closer to the Pope’s September visit.
“A commemorative t-shirt for the Pope’s visit will definitely sell out and I predict many other designers and printers jumping on board to make t-shirts! These t-shirts will definitely be valuable to those that visited the event,” said Elise Harding, owner of Tee Compressed. “T-Shirts often hold a memory of a time, event, or milestone in your life. What better way to mark this important visit than with a quality, life long, keepsake that you can wear.”
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