Northshore Magazine

May / June 2015

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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66 | MAY + JUNE 2015 FACES Business partners Tony Peluso and Peter Ettenborough had long run a data aggregation and analysis com- pany together. But for years, they wanted to do something that would have a social impact. Then, in 2013, Ettenborough's son asked a question: "What do you guys do to give back?" That question spurred the pair to action; they began looking for an answer. A lottery ticket, bought on a whim, proved key. They discussed the near-infinite number combinations the lottery yields, and wondered if colors could replace numbers. If so, charities could use their own individual combinations to identify and brand themselves. "There's this unlimited supply of color codes, each one as unique as a fingerprint," Peluso notes. The result of this unorthodox train of thought was Newbury– based KonectIDY, an ever-expanding line of beaded bracelets, each using a distinctive permutation of colors to support and promote a nonprofit. HERE'S HOW IT WORKS Nonprofits partnering with Konec - tIDY design a bracelet, choosing four beads (from a selection of 30 colors) and one cord (from 15 dif- ferent options). The bracelets are sold through KonectIDY's website for $9.95; for each bracelet sold, two dollars goes to the nonprofit. Individuals can choose their own BY SARAH SHEMKUS The purchase of a lottery ticket turns into a win for all. Band Together color combinations as well, but must select a charity to support. The new design becomes linked to the organization, and all future sales of that bracelet support the group. Once a specific combination of bead and cord colors has been used, it is registered and permanently associ- ated with one cause. In August 2013, the pair tried out the concept, bringing 600 bracelets to a children's triathlon just to see if there was interest. They sold out in less than two hours. They spent the next six months building an e-com- merce-friendly website, researching international shipping, and sourcing materials; they launched officially in March 2014. Today, the company works with about 80 nonprofits, including the National Farm to School Network, World Oceans Day, the Breast Cancer Fund, and the Children's Hospitals National Foundation. KonectIDY has also launched an initiative to help high school groups promote their own charitable fund - raising campaigns. The first partner is Billerica Memorial High School, where students are raising money for the family of a local woman fighting breast cancer. The Konect- IDY bracelets will serve as a visible reminder of their endeavor and help raise additional money. Mat Rhoades, a member of the board of directors at partner char- ity Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute, says that the bracelets have a noticeable ability to draw attention to the cause. "I get asked three or four times a week what they mean to me," he says. "It's a conversation starter." For Ettenborough and Pe- luso, that conversation is all about embracing—and enhancing—the relationships that tie us all together. "Everyone's unique, everyone has a unique message," says Peluso, "but collectively we're all connected." Peter Ettenborough (left) and Tony Peluso; bracelets with a cause photographs by Brad Mintz CONTACT

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