By Mairin Hoffman, Megan Sladish, and Sloane Walsh ’25
Ms. Petrillo ‘18 recalls her favorite class when she attended FGS, Honors Entrepreneurship. In that class, she and her peers created The Rain Chain. The Rain Chain was a compact raincoat that kept you dry in the worst weather. Her group (Tynka Páková and Sophie McAndrews), sold the rain chains for just $20 and created an Instagram account that is still up to this day, @TheRainChain. The brand’s message was to “Keep dry on campus with our stylish, lightweight, foldable rain jacket; tiny enough to fit in your bag and use when unexpected rain hits campus!” The brand had great marketing use with the help of their Instagram account. But the real question is, what happened to the rain chain? Why did it go away? Is there still physical evidence of The Rain Chain?
Ms. Petrillo gave us the inside scoop on The Rain Chain today. There is physical evidence of the Rain Chain; Ms. Petrillo still has hers, the same with the Mariches and Ms. Goldsmith. “The Rain Chain impacted my family so much that we bought four of them. Each family member received serious protection from the harsh weather that Connecticut could throw at you. They made a great difference in our lives.” Caroline Marich, ‘24, says. Mr. McMann also remembers the Rain Chain, saying the project impacted the Frederick Gunn School immensely. “I purchased a Rain Chain jacket, and it got me through a rainy 2018 summer.” Mr. McMann says passionately. Clearly, The Rain Chain was a vital addition to the FGS campus, as both students and faculty purchased these practical jackets.
Lastly, we asked Ms. Petrillo for insight into her best-selling product that she created at a very young age. “It was a blast to create The Rain Chain. It was just a little idea in class that turned into such a campus-wide idea, we took it and ran with it. We knew that once we had our idea that we wanted people to buy it. At every school meeting, we made marketing videos. We got to meet with marketing and brainstorm ways to make the Rain Chain truly perfect. It is truly one of my favorite memories at Gunn.” Ms. Petrillo’s story teaches students to put their ideas out for others to see. This jacket revolutionized the garment industry of Northwest Connecticut in 2018. Who knows, you could make a campus-wide upset with an invention of yours, just like the Rain Chain did.