Akron Children's Hospital // Entrepreneur hopes to turn vintage-brand t-shirt sales into a new NICU bed

Akron Children's Hospital Giving Back Good Humor Good Humor Ice Cream Ice Cream Local Locally Made Mahoning Valley New Product Ohio Small Business Store News Support T-Shirts Tees Youngstown Youngstown Ohio



Linda Barton has a passion for taking something old and making it new again.

She’s doing it with her Western Pennsylvania century home that she’s refurbishing, and she’s doing it in the business world with a vintage t-shirt business she’s building.

Her first product is a line of original-design t-shirts marking the 100-year anniversary of the Good Humor ice cream brand.

“Many people don’t realize the company was founded in Youngstown, as was the first ice cream truck,” she said. 

Cause marketing makes purchases more meaningful

Barton’s company, Sweet Memories Vintage Tees, is run out of her other business in Girard, New Dawn Design.

She’s relying on “cause marketing” as a strategy to help sell the t-shirts.

“I don’t want people to buy a t-shirt just to clothe their body,” she said. “I want it to mean something to them – because it means something to me.”

For Barton, that meaning involves Akron Children’s Hospital. It was there where her daughter Gwendolyn spent two weeks at age 12 being treated for the staph infection, MRSA.

“It was the most traumatic experience of my life. You don’t think you’d wake up one day and your daughter wouldn’t be there,” Barton said. “The team at Akron Children’s was great for Gwendolyn and our family. I want to give back to Akron Children’s for other people going through the same thing we did.”

8,000 t-shirts = 1 NICU bed

That give-back is taking the form of proceeds from the sales of the Good Humor t-shirts being donated to Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley. Barton wants the funds directed toward purchasing a bed in the NICU for babies born with drug addictions. A new NICU bed costs around $40,000.

“That’s a house in Youngstown,” she said. “My goal is to raise enough to buy a bed.”


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