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Our Story - 2011

The sudden and unfortunate passing of Paul C. Kitsos opened the door for his family to leave a legacy in his name. Named after his one and only child, the Nicholas Center for Autism was born, along with its employment initiative, Spectrum Designs Foundation.

Co-founders Stella Spanakos, Nicole Sugrue and Patrick Bardsley form a pilot program with a skeleton crew, 2 teens with autism and 1 piece of equipment in a converted barn in the back of Stella’s Long Island home.

Orders came flying in. Demand for the service and the apparel with a clear, important message is higher than we could have ever imagined! The Spectrum movement gathers momentum, employing production and educational directors.

The Night in White – Spectrum’s July fundraiser is born.

Spectrum grows to offer more than 20 teens with autism gainful employment by producing customized apparel and gains the support of families, community members and local schools. We move to a location on Main Street in Port Washington.

Our second fundraiser, a St Patrick’s Day celebration, is born.

We run a social media campaign called ‘United States of Spectrum, and get people from all over the USA involved, snapping pictures in all 50 states in just 30 days!


Our Story - 2012


Our Story - 2013

Doubling our service capacity and tripling our sales, we move to a new 1500 square foot location in the Community Chest building in Port Washington. Spectrum’s annual sales reach the $250,000 mark.

Spectrum Designs invests in state-of-the-art embroidery, digital and screen printing technology that our highly trained workers operate.

From hooping to thread breaks, new skills are taught to participants and another string is operated from Spectrum’s bow.

Our second social media campaign: ‘United Spectrum of the World’, gets people from all over the WORLD involved. With snaps from Afghanistan to Zurich we had a different country represented every day for a whole month!

Spectrum Designs first annual Golf Outing raises $50,000 in September 2014. Spectrum doubles its sales AGAIN! With gross sales of almost $500,000, In 2014 Spectrum becomes the go-to T-shirt printing and apparel customization business for most of the school districts and big businesses in the area. Plans for further expansion have already begun.


Our Story - 2014


Our Story - 2015

2015 is our biggest year yet. We received funding for a new automatic machine which quadrupled our hourly production speed. We now serve 41 families affected by Autism, offering 11 with gainful employment opportunities and 30 others authentic work training. In 2015 our workforce was engaged in over 20,000 hours of productivity.

This reflects over 400 hours a week of opportunities for young adults to be part of an integrated work environment. As a social enterprise, we are thriving. Spectrum Designs is making our mark as being a very sustainable solution to a long term problem.

The future’s bright…. The future’s Spectrum! Get involved and
be part of our amazing story. We need you!