Twin sisters Rachel and Sarah Stanton believe in the personality of fruits.
During their final year at Temple, the two created Fruitstrology, a charitable clothing line focused on promoting healthy eating in the local community. Their fruit-themed T-shirts and tank tops are part of a donation initiative – for every clothing product sold, a serving of fresh fruit is given to a child in need.
The brightly-colored line includes eight types of fruit, from the “talkative grape” to the “easygoing banana,” and their bestseller, the “independent pineapple.” Each shirt is screen-pressed by either Rachel Stanton, a finance major, or Sarah Stanton, an entrepreneurship major, who both said they aim to represent the variety of fruits available and highlight the potential for fun that accompanies eating healthy.
Fruitstrology’s mission centers on education – through their descriptive clothing, the sisters said they want to encourage individuality, and through their charity work, they aim to teach children the importance of maintaining a balanced diet. Rachel and Sarah Stanton were introduced to Uber Street Garden, an urban garden near Main Campus, through volunteering with Net Impact, a student organization that focuses on sustainable business practices.
“We started urban gardening with kids and teaching them how to grow fruits and vegetables,” Rachel Stanton said. “Whatever they grew, they could take home with them. We thought that was really cool, and that’s how we started the beginnings of thinking of Fruitstrology.”
Fruitstrology eventually grew into a charitable organization that donates fresh fruit to Philabundance’s KidsBites program after each sale from the clothing line. The afterschool program visits James R. Lowell Elementary School in the Olney section of Philadelphia and Stetser Elementary School in Chester, Pa., twice a month, acting as a traveling farmers’ market that caters to low-income families.
“[Rachel and Sarah Stanton] reached out to us and they wanted to find a way to help,” Philabundance Public Relations Manager Lindsay Bues said. “We set up tables and provide food to all of the children enrolled in those schools.”
The fundraising efforts began in September with an appearance at Temple’s Welcome Week. The Stanton sisters saw their business endeavors produce tangible results on Feb. 24 when Fruistrology’s first donation of 300 meals was processed through Philabundance. As clothing sales increase, the sisters said they’d like Fruitstrology to make donations on a monthly basis.
In the Fox School of Business’ “Be Your Own Boss Bowl” in 2013, the Stanton sisters were finalists within the Top 3 of the competing business startups. The competition allowed young entrepreneurs to make connections with a mentor, draw out a business plan and pitch to a board of investors.
“So often, young entrepreneurs want to create the next Facebook, Twitter or other tech company that can cost a ton of money before becoming profitable,” Rachel and Sarah Stanton’s mentor Craig Taflin said. “The ‘Temple Twins’ idea was such a great old-school idea that could be scaled easily without a huge investment.”
Although they didn’t win the Be Your Own Boss Bowl, the sisters have found success in the early stages of managing Fruitstrology, which has been successful as a “business in a box,” Sarah Stanton said.
The Bell Tower and First Friday in Old City are tabling hotspots for the Stanton twins, who said it’s easy to pack up their supplies and move on after a night of sales.
The business also incorporates an online platform. Merchandise can be purchased at FruitstrologyCo.com, and the twins utilize social media in an effort to brand their product line as an interactive network.
“Our hope is to build little fruit communities,” Sarah Stanton said. “When you buy your ‘talkative grape’ shirt and you want to meet other ‘talkative grapes,’ you can see them all on the Instagram or Twitter hashtag ‘#talkativegrape,’ so maybe you’ll be more inclined to talk to that person. If you know what the shirt means, you know a little bit about that person wearing it. It’s a cool thing that translates online, as well as in person.”
The new business owners plan to continue their efforts with Fruitstrology after they graduate in May.
“I have high expectations for the [Stanton sisters],” Taflin said. “Entrepreneurship is very risky and they both have the drive and determination to achieve great things.”
The twins said they value their continued community involvement, which is what led them to start their business in the first place.
“We would also like to continue working with the Uber Street Garden,” Sarah Stanton said. “With some of the profits from Fruitstrology, we’d like to put that into buying seeds for the garden and buying garden tools. We like to be directly involved and interacting directly with the children, so the bigger we get, the more we can do.”
Brianna Spause can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.