Park Slopers launch T-shirt business to benefit Brooklyn businesses

Rob and Julianne
Rob Hebron

A Park Slope couple has launched an online T-shirt shop, where Brooklynites can freshen up their wardrobe from the comfort of quarantine — and support a small business of their choice at the same time! 

Julianne and Rob Hebron said they felt “hopeless” watching local mom and pop shops hurting while they remain shuttered after the state’s stay at home order, so they decided to help out in whatever way they could. 

“We felt a little hopeless seeing our community struggle and watching it from our couch,” Julianne Hebron, an accountant by trade, said. 

The couple decided to center their altruistic endeavor on t-shirts donning the phrase “Let Brooklyn Sleep” — a nod to both the classic Beastie Boys song No Sleep til’ Brooklyn, and the current state of the borough’s business sector.

“People love getting t-shirts,” Hebron said. “They love to show off their goodwill.”

The shirts double as a cat hammock!Rob Hebron

Wanna-be customers looking can head to the couple’s newly set-up Shopify, where they’re selling five versions of the shirt for $25 each. After the Hebron’s take a $5 cut to pay for supplies and printing, customers can choose which Kings County small business will receive the other $20.

The couple has sold about fifty shirts so far, with donations being made to a wide range of Brooklyn businesses — including One Girl Cookies, Electric Lotus Tattoo, Screamers Pizza, Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store, and others. 

The effort is particularly timely, as a whopping 84 percent of the borough’s small businesses have not received funds from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program as of late April, according to the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. 

“It has been made abundantly clear [the programs are] underfunded, and lean toward benefiting larger, well-established businesses,” said Chamber President Randy Peers.

Without help, businesses — which still need to pay rent and other expenses — have been forced to layoff staff, and many fear they will be forced out of business for good. 

Until Businesses can reopen, the Hebron’s are going to keep on shipping out their shirts, and are trying to expand into the boroughs southern reaches through the help of local Business Improvement Districts. 

“We’re trying to cover more areas still,” Hebron said. 

Shirts can be purchased at www.letbrooklynsleep.com.