MINNEAPOLIS - Call it a fashion statement with nationwide appeal.
Two furloughed employees from Minneapolis started up their own business during the shutdown, selling furlough T-shirts with a strong message.
The front reads, "We got F'd." The back of the shirt explains the phrase, emblazoned with the word "FURLOUGHED."
The shirt idea was the vision of Abby Schneider and Nichole Burgess-Peel, who first dreamed up the fashion when the threat of furloughs began several years ago. The shutdown finally prompted them to put the plan to action.
"The language on here and the idea is a funny, edgy spin on a rather serious situation," said Burgess-Peel. "We wanted to make lemonade out of lemons."
They enlisted the help of the owners of the St. Mane Sporting Goods store in south Minneapolis, who agreed to help print the shirts.
Mostly, the pair has sold the shirts to friends and family, but after putting the apparel on eBay, sales are climbing across the country. The women are hopeful the shirts will become the latest wear in Washington.
"People think it's really funny. People who aren't part of the government want to have them A) because it is funny and B) to show their support," said Schneider.
Initially, Schneider and Burgess-Peel thought the shirts could help provide them some extra cash during a time without pay, but they say if they receive retroactive back pay, they plan to donate some of the profits to the Combined Federal Campaign which allows federal employees to give to charitable organizations.
You can find the furlough shirts on eBay when you search "funny furlough shirts" or by visiting the St. Mane Sporting Goods store at 4159 28th Ave. S. in Minneapolis.
You can also learn more on Facebook.com/furloughshirt.
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