Made in Our Hometown: Athletic Apparel
What do you look for in workout clothes? Clothes that support your body? Clothes that incorporate your workout accessories? How about clothes that do both of those - and also support your community.
Aroque Athletic does all that says Aroque President Joel Barrett.
"This is where I grew up, this is my home..... Rochester, it's where I am.... it's a place that doesn't get as much credit as it deserves," Barrett says, proud of his community. So when choosing a spot for a recent Aroque Athletic photo shoot, he chose to stay in Rochester.
The models were local. The location was local. Barrett is local.
"I've always wanted to be involved in business my whole life - I started as a paper boy for the Democrat and Chronicle," Barrett said. He's an Irondequoit High School and St. John Fisher graduate who works with manufacturing companies in his nine to five job. He's also an athlete himself who wanted to listen to music while being active. "I would use an arm band and it would get in the way or i would clip it to my belt and it would knock into things and it would fall out of my pocket, so our compression short with the iphone pocket was a way for me to be able to play basketball and listen to headphones at the same time."
The compression shorts were Aroque's first product. Barrett and Creative Director Annika Tibando have expanded to ten products, including some for women.
"I like the simplicity of it, it matches everything," said bikini athlete Mary Musso of Fairport who added, "I am all about fashion."
The actual making of the clothes happens outside of Philadelphia, but the warehouse is Barrett's basement and the inspiration for his marketing campaign comes, in part, from Rochester in 2003 when his close friend Andrew Attinasi was shot and killed while walking someone home in the East End.
A charity was formed in Attinasi's name which was something positive for Barrett and his friends to focus on while grieving.
Now, through Aroque, Barrett is bringing business, sports and charity together.
"Every sale that we do online commissions a local athlete like these individuals here and a local charity so the athlete gets to select the charity that they want to partner with and when you log on for a sale you cannot purchase anything without aligning with an athlete and a charity."
Mary is aligned with Camp Good Days and Special Times
Phil Valenti is aligned with a charity he created called "Push Yourself".
And Pete Roberti is aligned with Habitat for Humanity.
"I am a big supporter of Made in America and supporting locally so this is something I am happy to be a part of," Roberti said represents suit maker Adrian Jules.
And supporting our hometown.