Many people ask us what our Have A Happy apparel and accessories signify. It is simple...be positive, get out there and live it up. Smile, laugh, spread kindness and make memories. I can't take credit for this saying though... it has run through my family's roots well before my time.
When brainstorming new designs for our line, we wanted to bring a vintage baseball vibe which prompted me to look back through my family history. I wanted to incorporate aspects from my Papa Finney's locally legendary tavern and ballpark. As we did some digging, we found the inspiration we needed.
Serafino Sam "Finney" Perry, my grandpa, opened Finney's West in the late 70's. He, along with other investors, developed a state of the art softball complex and opened the adjacent tavern, Finney's West, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Finney's became the "it" place. Always packed, it brought such a rich culture and sense of community to the area. Although the original Finney's West no longer exists, the memories of the tavern, and particularly the ballpark, remain strong in Kenosha's history. Stories are shared and I still see people wearing vintage Finney's apparel around town. Papa Finney was inducted to the Kenosha Softball Hall of Fame in 2013 as an exemplary sponsor and contributor to the sport. The crowd was amazing and I was taken back by how many people had such fantastic stories about my grandpa and how he touched their lives.
I came across my dad's old Finney's duffel bag and saw the photograph of an old Finney's billboard, both of which said, "Have A Happy." I asked my dad about it and he said that Papa Finney branded any jerseys, uniforms, and other apparel with this line. He greeted people as they walked into the bar or ballpark with these words. Just as I remember him, he was constantly spreading positivity and love. His words, "have a happy," can take on so many meanings while relaying the same positive message to get out there and live it up! Papa Finney always made everyone around him smile and have a good time. We miss you so much Papa Finney, but we know you are looking down on us and smiling. Have a happy, Papa! <3
photo credits: our family album, Auntie Nancee & From The Booth; Vagnoni, Paul