About Sully's: The History!

Sully's roots stretch back to 1999 – I was working at a Boston record store a few blocks from Kenmore Square during the day and at an indie record label at night in Mission Hill, just getting by.  A buddy of mine approached me about making anti-Yankees gear to sell to the crowds around Fenway during games.  I was already designing similar t-shirts and stickers for the record label – so applying the "YANKEES SUCK" slogan to our existing merchandise was an easy move. The Yankees Suck bumper sticker that I first made in 1999 helped cement that chant into Boston sports history and it became the seed of what Sully's would become 10 years later.

The whole concept was to start manufacturing merchandise that had slogans that you couldn't get at the pro-shop.  I wanted to create a brand that was based on what the fans wanted to say. It was a simple idea. I wanted to make the t-shirt that you had to have, couldn't get anywhere else, and everyone asked you about.

The first couple of years were a blur…Each summer I recruited a dozen or so of my friends and members of Boston area bands to help sell my gear out of boxes and back packs – all of it insulting the Yankees in some form or fashion – and all of it resonating with the fans.

During the fall of 2000, I developed our first attempt to bring “Yankees Suck” to the web. I started manufacturing other items like hand held flags, embroidered patches, souvenir pins… Each item was a finger on the pulse of Boston fans nationwide and as our catalog of anti-Yankees sentiment began to grow, so did our popularity with the fans. Then, the tragedy on the morning of 9/11 happened in New York City and it became clear that I should spend less time criticizing the Yanks and more time finding the good in Boston. With Yankees Suck” having played itself out, and to give the company the character and dimension that it needed, the “Sully's” brand was born.

No longer restricted to a single subject, Sully's began manufacturing merchandise that celebrated all things Boston. Our signature 
“BELIEVE IN BOSTON” slogan was one of the first to break out of the original mold. In addition to a new Sully's identity on the web, I started hitting the pavement to find new stores that could carry Sully's brand items. I had used my contacts from the record label to get my “Yankees Suck” merchandise into the Newbury Comics chain early on, but one by one I started finding new stores around New England to carry our gear.

During the summer of 2004, Sully's had the honor of helping the radio station WFNX raise over $2,200 to benefit the Gabe Kapler Foundation, by designing and fulfilling orders for a charitable t-shirt. That was our first opportunity to give back as a company, and it was an exciting experience for us. We started donating annually as a company to The Jimmy Fund, and just this past year we had the honor of collaborating with The Lester Project on a t-shirt to benefit The Jimmy Fund in Lester's name, raising almost $4,000!

Between 2004 and 2005, I began to notice other similarly themed companies begin to start up.  The whole concept of a “Fan Brand”, edgy merchandise that you couldn't get in the pro-shops – was resonating with other people who wanted to follow our lead. That just pushed me harder to develop my brand and differentiate Sully's from the rest of the pack. I started bringing out new products like our 3' x 5' flags, refrigerator magnets, air fresheners and chrome automobile emblems – stuff that you couldn't get from your local print shop. Sully's started to shape itself into a full service apparel and souvenir brand – with an attention to detail and quality.  Our own Sully's hologram stickers, hang tags & ultimately tagless branded apparel soon followed. We want our customers to know that they're getting the real deal when they purchase a Sully's Brand product!

Now, in 2009 – in what is our 10th year in business, I'm focused as greatly as ever on developing the most relevant merchandise of the highest possible quality under the Sully's brand. Our original mission – to make cool apparel and stuff that helps you represent your city – is what continues to drive us to this day, as well as our desire to help give back to our community. Thank you for visiting our site and learning a little about our history, and thank you for supporting Sully's as we enter our next decade of business!

Chris Wrenn
Owner, Sully's Brand
January, 2009

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