Rising Wharton sophomore Celine Farhadi and rising College sophomore David Garnick launched Penn Quaranteam, an online retail store, on May 11 in response to the impact of COVID-19 on Penn and Philadelphia communities.
Penn Quaranteam sells merchandise featuring both Penn-related and quarantine themed designs, ranging from various clothing items to stickers and homeware. All profits will be donated to the Philadelphia COVID-19 Fund.
Farhadi said Penn Quaranteam has made just under $1,200 in sales and is currently working with the merchandise manufacturing company to determine how much the final donation will total.
Garnick said it was an important part of the initiative to offer affordable options so that every member of the Penn community could contribute to the relief efforts. Of the 17 items Penn Quaranteam sells on its website, every item costs under $40 and the least expensive item is $6.99.
Farhadi and Garnick said they created the program to assist vulnerable Philadelphians amid uncertain times of the coronavirus pandemic, and said they believe it is Penn’s responsibility to help the city of Philadelphia heal from the effects of the virus.
“The University of Pennsylvania would not exist without Philly and all of its amazing offerings," Farhadi said. "We wanted to use our initiative to support the city that supports Penn so much."
She said Penn Quaranteam relies upon collaboration with other University organizations to achieve the goal of helping the community, which has resulted in overwhelming responses. On Penn Quaranteam's launch day, over 50 orders were placed.
“I am inspired by Penn students’ need to do something about any issue they see around them. They are always ready to mobilize and stand up against adversity, so that is why they are so ready to encourage us,” Farhadi said.
Garnick said they do not intend to end the initiative after quarantine and hope to expand their design capabilities and collaborate with as many students as possible.
Farhadi and Garnick both said that when they designed the merchandise, they hoped to create joy within the Penn community during a difficult time.
“[Our merchandise] like the ‘Masked Ben Franklin’ or ‘Penndemic’ really aims to bring laughter and positivity out of pain and confusion,” Garnick said.
All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.