ONALASKA, Wis. — A small business owner in Onalaska has made a big impact with her most recent custom-made item.
Shelli Kult's small online business LemonMade Custom Shop is ramping up a new product: A t-shirt, paying homage to science and the need for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“People send me pictures all the time of them wearing their shirts,” Kult said. “Then, they say by the way, a bunch of my friends want them too.”
The front of the royal blue shirts reads “Got COVID? Me neither! Thanks Science!” The back of the shirt holds just one word. “Vaccinated.”
She has sold about 40 shirts so far, even shipping some of them out to the west coast. She admits she was concerned a year ago that her business might not survive a pandemic.
“I was a little concerned when things started out because it meant no more craft shows and no more craft fairs,” Kult said.
Kult has made between 3,000 and 4,000 masks for her community, adapting to what these changing times have brought. The masks have been donated and sold.
Kult hopes these new shirts are a symbol of hope for those who haven’t had one in many months.
“We’ve been so careful to stay away from people who are at risk and this way, they know that they’re
probably going to be okay,” she said. “It also lets them know they’re not going to get you sick.”
Kult delivers the items herself. She brought one of the shirts to a friend, Mallory Gran, whose 95-year-old grandmother just received her first vaccine.
“We have a pretty big family, so it’s been hard for her not to see a lot of people,” Gran said. “Hopefully, this makes her more comfortable and we can celebrate her vaccination now with this shirt.”
Gran’s grandma will be fully vaccinated on March 16.
“From the time this all started it was like, protect grandma!” Gran said. “I’m sure a lot of other people feel the same way.”
Kult’s passion for giving back is reflected in these shirts as well. $5 from every vaccine shirt sold goes to the Mayo Clinic’s Oasis Fund. It helps people pay their medical bills.
Kult has a personal connection to that.
“About 20 years ago, I was in the hospital for an extended period of time and we had a lot of trouble paying our bills when I wasn’t working,” she said. “I know what it feels like.”
Those interested in ordering a shirt can send a message via the LemonMade Custom Shop Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lemonmadecustomshop.