About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use DMCA Opt-out of personalized ads
© Copyright 2023 Market Realist. Market Realist is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.

Ex-JPMorgan Banker's 'I Survived the NYC Earthquake' T-Shirts Rack Up $9,800 in 21 hours

Kerry Colley started printing the t-shirts just 15 minutes after the quake
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Kai Pilger
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Kai Pilger

Balancing work and life, especially after the pandemic has become a challenge for many. Amid the growing stress and companies issuing return-to-office mandates, many are moving away from corporate life and starting something of their own. Such is the story of Kerry Colley, who quit his job as an executive director at JPMorgan Chase, to start his business. 

Now, after the 4.5 magnitude earthquake hit the Big Apple, Colley's "I survived the NYC Earthquake" t-shirts went viral on the internet.

The business saw the highest earning retail weekend after his shop sold roughly 1,000 earthquake shirts in just 21 hours on Friday and Saturday soon after the earthquake rattled the northeastern United States.

Colley started printing the t-shirts just 15 minutes after the quake hit the city and in just one weekend, his shop, a franchised location of Big Frog Custom T-Shirts, which saw 70 customers waiting in a two-hour line all in hopes of getting their hands on a, "I Survived The NYC Earthquake” cotton shirt that afternoon. Many tourists also started flocking after they saw videos of his shop on local news channels in Italy, via CNBC Make It.  So far, the shop has sold $9,800 worth of NYC earthquake T-shirts.


"We didn't even post it, someone else did, and somebody else made us go viral!" Colley tells Fox 5 New York. 

Before this, Colley spent more than two and a half decades working in banking, and after nearly 12 years of service at JPMorgan Chase, he felt pretty burned out. This is when a business coach advised him to get into entrepreneurship, he tells the publication.

After he made this decision, he met with a franchise specialist, who introduced him to a couple of ideas. Colley soon landed on Big Frog which has more than 75 locations across the country. He says that he chose the company as its owners weren't sure how to market a store in New York giving him the freedom to run the store his way. 


Currently, the company is run by Colley along with his husband Joshua Drumm, who helps out on the side. Colley is working full-time along with three full-time and three part-time employees. Colley tells the publication that initially this was only meant to be a "semi-retirement" job, only for it to become his main job. 

"I’ve learned more in the last five years than I could ever imagine. I’d never go back,” he says. "There’s pure joy in the experience of it. That’s why I liked this franchise ... You’re being creative, you’re working with all kinds of different people."


"We weren’t looking to make a million dollars,” he says. “We weren’t looking to make anything at all. It’s just fun."

The store has now launched the earthquake t-shirts online after seeing people selling identical copies. The shop has already brought in $1,600 in online sales by Monday evening, he says. The shirts cost $10 each, which is less than the standard $30 Big Frog shirt, and Colley said that he had no plans to raise the prices.