ENGLEWOOD — Quentin Mables wants the T-shirts he sells to send a positive message.
The 27-year-old Englewood resident sells shirts saying "Bury Guns, not People" for $20 at Englewoodpeaceco.com. The shirts are printed by Excel, a local, black-owned screen printing business.
Eventually Mables’ business, Englewood Peace Co., will have other products such as coffee mugs, hats and jackets with similar messages, he said.
“I want to bring awareness to what’s happening in our city,” Mables said about the violence. “It’s time for a change and these products can be one of the ways we can promote, push and better ourselves.”
Mables will donate 25 percent of proceeds to Englewood nonprofit I Grow Chicago. The organization helped change his life in 2013, he said.
“As a kid I got in trouble ... I ended up catching a gun charge and spending a few days in the county jail,” he said.
“Eating that nasty food there didn’t concern me. Having guards telling you when you can sleep, shower and watch TV didn’t concern me," he said. "My only concern was missing my daughter. I felt like I let her down, and that’s a feeling I wouldn’t want any parent to feel. There are times that a light bulb goes off in your head and I knew then that something had to change in my life.”
He started doing yoga with I Grow Chicago and became certified.
“They changed my life,” he said. “Before I Grow Chicago, I wasn’t on the right path. I was basically driving with no where to go, no sense of direction. Yoga changed my life dramatically.”
The nonprofit's staff supported his business idea, Mables said, which has given him the much needed stability he said his life was missing.
Because of the difference the organization’s team has had on his life and the impact it’s had on the Englewood community, Mables said he has no problem giving back to them.
“I’m giving back to I Grow Chicago, so they can continue supporting others in accomplishing their dreams,” he said.
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