FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- A deeply rooted pride for Connecticut led a brother and sister team to start The Two Oh Three , apparel that highlights everything "203."
The lifestyle line, which began in 2014, includes shirts, hoodies, hats, cups, keychains, decals, koozies and even a doormat.
"To be honest, I don’t think I was able to truly appreciate this area until I went off to college in another state. When I moved away from home for the first time I immediately longed for ‘The 203’ and everything that came with it," said Tory Brown of the company's origin.
"Our products give customers a tangible piece of home."
From the beginning, quality has been key. Tory's brother Roscoe, a marketing student at Syracuse University, said each season they go through sample after sample in search of the perfect product. All gear is locally printed and embroidered. The Browns also work with local artists who hand paint many accessories.
Among their best-sellers: embroidered baseball caps and knit beanies, though the comfy t-shirts also do well. New products are always being added.
The two think their company's success works because they're genuine. "Our brand celebrates Connecticut and gives this area the appreciation it deserves. Our growth as a brand has been organic because people genuinely believe in the idea that our brand represents," said Tory, who now lives in Fairfield.
Products are sold locally at 15 area retail stores as well as at www.ShopThe203.com . The two, who grew up in Westport, also sell their gear “pop shop style" and look for local events to sell at.
They also look for ways to be involved in community. "From our annual 203 Community Day to sponsoring local beach clean-ups, we're on a mission to unify ‘The 203’ and encourage small acts of kindness along the way," said Roscoe.
"We believe that the tiniest efforts can have a massive impact on individuals and our communities."