Ventnor company grabs shore style by the shirt

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Joseph R. Donato and Nicole Cisneros model Shorewear New Jersey designs at their Ventnor home.

VENTNOR – A local entrepreneur is bringing the beach to the streets, using a fresh approach to create beach style with a neighborhood feel.

Joseph R. Donato of Ventnor has been creating some fashion buzz using images of the Ventnor Fishing Pier through his company, Shorewear New Jersey.

“At the end of last summer I was on the Wildwood Boardwalk and everywhere you look you can get a Wildwood shirt,” said Donato Thursday, May 17.

He said that planted the seed for a unique way to show off his hometown.

It began with a mesh tank top featuring three words: “Ventnor Pier Brah!”

Donato, 27, said as a lifelong resident of Ventnor, the pier has served him as a place to surf, fish, meet up with friends or have a quiet Zen moment.

“I thought about what I wanted to represent for the city – the Ventnor Pier,” Donato said. “I put ‘brah’ at the end to give it that surfer sound. I brought it to the beach and it got outstanding notice. It just popped.”

When summer was over, he created a comfortable and fashionable way to stay warm through the winter months.

“Designer Joy Jordan put together a beautiful logo and a picture of the pier to represent the city,” said Donato.

The black hoodie features the pier prominently in white lettering with “SWNJ” on the front and “VC Pier” on the back.

Further imprinting his company name on the community, Donato has been contracted by Ventnor businesses Sack O’ Subs and Isabelle’s Ventnor Café to design their staff shirts. The Amateur Softball Association of America team that Donato plays for now sports shirts he designed for their team: Sack O’s.

“It’s not just centralized to one city. We’re centralized locally – we’re very much a part of the (Downbeach) cities,” said Donato. “We hope to unite everyone together.”

For Donato, keeping it local and with family is as much a business mantra as keeping it fun.

Donato’s fiancé, Nicole Cisneros, a native of Ocean City, is lending her public relations and marketing expertise to help build a consistent buzz for the business. To print the designs created by his cousin and fellow resident Ventnor Joy Jordan, he turned to local company Zipper Star Clothing.

Right now Donato and Cisneros work out of their Ventnor home. Donato is a few credits short of receiving a degree in business accounting at Atlantic Cape Community College and works fulltime Comcast.

As the summer season begins to heat up, so does Donato’s drive.

“I wake up T-shirts. I can’t go in the city without someone asking me, ‘Where can I get that shirt?’” he said.

Donato said with the planned June 17 launch of an online store at, he will expand his love of his town throughout Absecon Island and the wider world.

Donato said he hopes to take the success of his first summer in business to carry over a new clothing line for each season and continually offer fresh ideas. In addition to shirts, Donato plans to expand into hats, bathing suits, sunglasses and other beach accessories.

“Youth speaks and we listen,” he said.

The company does custom orders as well.

Connect with Shorewear New Jersey at ShorewearNJ and online at

Email Donato at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 

Joseph R. Donato uses a Bamboo tablet to manipulate the latest design for Shorewear New Jersey with the help of Nicole Cisneros Thursday, May 17 at their Ventnor home.   Joseph R. Donato uses a Bamboo tablet to manipulate the latest design for Shorewear New Jersey with the help of Nicole Cisneros Thursday, May 17 at their Ventnor home.

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