The Barr boys, founders of Feeling Swell®, are fortunate to enjoy the beach lifestyle. With the trademarked brand name, they seeked an opportunity to bring the same joy of beach living to others, but didn’t know how.
Caitlin Pirl is a Pt. Pleasant Beach native who was struck by a drunk driver on her way home from a party. The accident left her with serious brain damage and paralyzed on the left side of her body.
Soon after the accident, the Pirl family was one of the many NJ families who’s home suffered serious damage from Hurricane Sandy. Their life at the beach was suddenly missing the sunshine they expected.
The Original Feeling Swell Partnership
Mueller’s had customers, Feeling Swell had the brand name, and Caitlin and the Pirl’s could have used a helping hand from a neighbor.
So, just before the 2015 summer season, the Barr boys worked with local artist Jay Alders to design the first ever Feeling Swell shirt.
During the 2015 summer season, Mueller’s sold Feeling Swell shirts to raise thousands for the Pirl family, and the Feeling Swell positivity movement was born.
As shirt sales started to grow, Feeling Swell partnered with Ocean’s Harbor House– a local charity that provides housing and resources for neglected and abused youth in Ocean County.
More local businesses had a desire to give back to their community, and partnering with Feeling Swell was the perfect way to do it.
Now with multiple small business and nonprofit partners, the Barr’s couldn’t build the movement alone, so they turned to a few friends.
Dan Przygocki, long time artist, photographer, and friend of the Barrs was the right person to help get the brand off the ground. Along with Dan, artist and skateboarder Josh Eckert contributed his talents. Josh and Dan were two of the first major individual contributors to Feeling Swell.
To help spread the word about their partnership with Ocean’s Harbor House, Ryan Parry of Pt. Pleasant joined the team to grow charity outreach abilities.
A Growing Movement
The collection of Feeling Swell contributors continued to grow.
During that summer, proceeds supported a new partnership with the K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital.
Starting to gain recognition, Feeling Swell reached out to other local leaders to join the movement.
That is when ambassadors Michael and Jeffrey Arthur, Becca and Jenna Bontempo, Emily O’Connor, and Joey Caucino hopped on board.
And at the start of the 2018 summer, Feeling Swell partnered with their final NJ non-profit, the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County, with the ultimate goal of promoting mental health by eliminating stigma, encouraging dialogue, and providing access to care.