All it takes is a t-shirt

Remind folks to Wear Ya Mask! without saying a word

logo-wearyamask-white

All it takes is a t-shirt

Remind folks to Wear Ya Mask! without saying a word

We’ve all had that urge to ask somebody to wear a mask, but the fear of confrontation is in the back of our minds. Now with the Wear Ya Mask! t-shirt, you can remind people to cover up without having to say anything at all. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to Foodshare.

As seen on NBC’s Today.

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T-Shirt & Mask

$35

Ya T-Shirt
  • Made with 100% cotton so that you can stay cool on the courts, or wherever you go
  • Navy blue base with white lettering to show your UConn pride
  • Large block lettering used to clearly display the Wear Ya Mask! message
Ya Mask
  • Made with 100% cotton, for a breathable wearing experience
  • Elastic strap keeps your mask secured and comfortable
  • Navy blue base with white lettering to show your UConn pride

About

Founded by former NBA player and UConn men’s basketball star Chris Smith, Wear Ya Mask! was started to give ordinary people a nonconfrontational way to encourage others to consider the safety of those around them. Simple enough–offer t-shirts and masks with the phrase Wear Ya Mask!, providing a message that could be seen easily. To further support our communities, we decided to donate a portion of all proceeds to Foodshare, so that those who have been hit hardest this past year can continue to get assistance. Together, we can keep our communities healthy, and look damn good while doing it.

The scoop

It all began one night in late March 2020, when Chris was at a neighborhood shop in Shelton, CT. While he was in line at the store, two guys in front of him started to get into a heated debate about the merits of wearing or not wearing a mask inside. Chris had seen too many arguments quickly turn dangerous growing up in Bridgeport, so he paid for his items and quickly walked out.

Later that night as he went to sleep, he kept thinking about what he could’ve done to intervene or encourage the guy that wasn’t wearing a mask to put one on for everybody’s consideration in the store. He thought to himself, if he had a shirt on with the words Wear Ya Mask! then he could’ve said something without saying anything. The next morning he contacted a t-shirt supplier, designed the initial simple design on his computer, and sold some tees to his friends and family.

It was only months later, after he posted on social media about it and got some inquiries from local companies, that he had a local advertising agency, Haddad & Partners, where his college basketball team manager worked, design the latest version of the t-shirt.

FOUNDER

Founder player

Playing under UConn coaching legend Jim Calhoun, Smith remains the Huskies’ all-time leading men’s basketball scorer with 2,145 points, averaging 16.9 points per game for his career. As a sophomore in 1989-90, he was the Big East Tournament MVP, leading the Huskies to the Elite Eight. He was also an All-Big East first team selection in 1992.

Later in his hoops career, Chris played on the U.S. national team that won a silver medal at the 1990 Goodwill Games and bronze at the FIBA World Championships the same year; being drafted in the second round by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1992, and playing with them for three seasons, averaging 5.1 points and 2.8 assists per game; and he played six more years professionally in the CBA and Europe before retiring in 2000. He was recently named to the UConn Basketball All-Century Team.

After retiring as a player, Smith coached his alma mater high school team at Kolbe Cathedral in Bridgeport, CT for six years before becoming a probation officer for the state of Connecticut, where he currently works to monitor and assist parolees with their new-found freedom.

Partners

Foodshare

As federal pandemic assistance and a moratorium on evictions end, Foodshare has been hard at work to address the increasing demand for food assistance. Foodshare is the largest anti-hunger organization in the greater Hartford area, serving Hartford and Tolland counties.

Every year, Foodshare collects and distributes enough food to make nearly 14 million meals. They strive to not only keep people fed, but to maintain healthy eating habits, with 1/3 of the food they distribute being fresh produce.

Foodshare serves a network of more than 260 hunger relief organizations, including food pantries, meal programs, and mobile Foodshare sites. This network serves anyone who struggles with hunger, ranging from low-income seniors to kids facing food insecurity.

Haddad & Partners

Haddad & Partners is an award-winning, full-service, progressive advertising agency headquartered in Fairfield, CT with offices and employees all over the world, including Australia, Europe, and South America. Since 2007, its team of designers, animators, developers, copywriters, video producers, problem solvers, and doers has worked tirelessly for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small non-profits in generating innovative and measurable campaigns, while never losing sight of the importance of creating an agency-wide culture that promotes creativity and individuality.