Three students from Mattituck High School demonstrated that they not only have a nose for business, but also a big heart.
Joe Aiello, Brady Mahon and Francis Buonaiuto – all juniors – run their own clothing line business, Left Field Stop Line.
Left field stop line started two years ago, originally with Brady and fellow Mattituck students Sean McDonald and Tyler Olsen. After Sean and Tyler went to college, Joe and Francis stepped in to help Brady out.
From its humble beginnings when Left Field Stop Line only offered a baseball-themed tank top, the line has grown. Now a variety of products are on sale, most with the LSFL logo printed on them. Items are varied: crew neck tops, sweatpants, hoodies, travel bags, gaiters, tank tops, backpacks, official LSFL pong jerseys, drawstring bags, sweatshirts, jackets, caps and shorts among them .
“I think definitely right now he’s picking up a lot more,” Brady said. “The first year, I would say, it was kind of like, we were kidding about it. It was like a baseball thing. Now we see this more as a school wide thing.
And they have fun.
The three young businessmen are in close contact with many of their clients – Mattituck classmates whom they see walking the halls of the school and wearing their brand.
The trio collaborate on design ideas and use social media to promote the brand. “We all design stuff,” Joe said. “We all participate in videos.”
And they do a lot of brainstorming.
“Almost every night I would say we get a call or someone’s house and we just like to throw out ideas and draw the designs and talk to our friends and see what they want, like what they think is cool. , “said Francis.
The sudden death of Mattituck sophomore Ryan Oliver on January 28 hit the school hard. Francis recalled the shock waves that hit the school the morning students were told of Ryan’s death.
“The whole school was silent,” Francis said. “You didn’t hear a sound in the whole school the first two periods.”
The LSFL trio saw evidence of the pain their classmates were feeling and decided to do something about it. They decided to have a fundraiser, a two hour bowling event. The All Star VIP room in Riverhead was rented on March 27, attracting around 40 people. Tickets and merchandise were sold. Gift certificates from local businesses were drawn. In all, $ 969 was raised. All proceeds were donated to the Ollie Three Foundation on Ryan’s behalf, Brady said. The money was to help fund a school assembly presentation on mental health, he said.
“I found it touching and impressive,” said Mattituck High School principal Shawn Petretti. “They weren’t looking for any of that, any attention or anything like that. They weren’t pushed to do it for their own personal reasons, but on behalf of Ryan.
“Leveraging this for a common good rather than personal gain just shows extraordinary maturity and compassion, which I have found most impressive.”
Ryan’s memory will be kept alive by planting a tree ahead of Friday’s boys’ lacrosse game near the Mattituck High School lacrosse field, where he played for the Tuckers. Members of the Second Class kicked off this by soliciting donations for the tree and a plaque, Petretti said.
LFSL website – leftfieldstopline.com – was uploaded on April 24.
So where does LFSL go from here? Its operators are talking about possibly hosting future fundraising events and ways to grow their business.
“We all had a chat one night, and we realized that neither of us can see ourselves being older and working a 9 to 5 year old job,” Francis said. “So we really want to develop that.”
Mr Petretti said: “I think they set a great example for their classmates: if you’re a little creative and a little talented and you’re willing to take risks, there are a lot of opportunities. When kids get together to do anything, you know, they never cease to amaze and impress the teachers and staff here. It really is a wonderful group of children.