A few weeks back, a fellow Tigers site, Walkoff Woodward, made some news when it introduced a local T-shirt maker and a very popular Miguel Cabrera quote into the mainstream. I don't have anything like "Si o no?" to offer to you. But I do want to point out to you another creator of T-shirts -- one who is located here in the central Upper Peninsula like me.
Jeremy "Sym" Symons has been making news up here for the past year or two with his rather awesome "Yooper Shirts" featuring the northern half of the state. Last month, he expanded his operation to include Michigan sports teams -- from the Detroit Tigers, of course, right through to a couple of the colleges. Symons designs the shirts himself, and screen prints them himself, as well, on T-shirts manufactured in the United States. They're nice products, worthy of your examination. So check out MI Apparel and see what you think! By the way, I wore one of their shirts in the video podcasts over the weekend. They're pretty nice.
I asked Symons a few questions recently, and I hope after you read them you take a look at what he has to offer.
You started with Yooper Shirts before MI Apparel. What made you decide to get into the T-shirt design business?
I've always loved clothing and design. As a kid I loved to show off my team pride through apparel. I always had the current shirts/etc. for my favorite sports teams. Being an artist, I was constantly drawing sports figures and logos and then I just figured I should start making my own.
Why expand into MI Apparel?
I've been a huge NMU Hockey, Detroit Tigers, Pistons, and Red Wings fan since I was a kid. Growing up playing these sports, I was always drawing & creating my own characters and designing uniforms and shirts. After starting Yooper Shirts in 2009 and seeing the success I was having with that, it only made me want to create more inspiring designs in tribute to Michigan and our great sports teams.
What makes your shirts unique?
I realize that there's other companies who show their love for Michigan through clothing. I'm confident that once the word spreads about some of my designs that people will recognize the thought I have put into everything that I do. From coming up with the idea of a design to executing it in a creative, likable fashion, to designing eye catching marketing graphics ... and also the fact that I screen print all of the shirts myself locally and use American made products that are extremely soft and comfortable.
Tell us about the decision to use American-made products.
I felt it was extremely important to use American made products with this specific collection because it complements our mission statement: to produce quality apparel that is locally designed and printed on American made products. We LOVE Michigan ... we love being Americans...it's a no brainer.
Do you plan to continue designing more sports-themed shirts?
Most definitely. The essence of the company is based on creating designs that are inspired by the State of Michigan along with high school, collegiate & professional sports teams.
Finally: anything else you'd like to add that you feel is important.
We urge people to follow us on Facebook to keep up with the latest that's happening with MI apparel. That address is www.facebook.com/MIapparel and you can also visit our official website at www.MIapparel.com All of the shirts are designed & printed in Michigan. We personally screen print each shirt in our print shop in the Upper Peninsula in hopes to build a company that can employ others. Also, if you live in Marquette County, you can purchase the shirts directly at Yooper Shirts in Ishpeming.
Thanks for all of your help!