Last year I created a label called Certified Original T-Shirts(COT). The idea was that this label would be shared by myself and fellow t-shirt companies that strive to bring something new and original to the table, versus knocking off and name dropping(the act of simply switching out "Traverse City" with "Grand Rapids" but keeping the same generic palm trees and anchors in the background, you have seen them before...a lot). I started Tee See Tee to do something different, and there are others who share this same ideal, and I want to do something a little different today; I want to talk about OTHER t-shirt companies.
The Michigan Outfitter
Brian(the owner) is just a good dude. He used to work for some of the biggest t-shirt companies in the country, until he decided he wanted to call his own shots. I have never met such an incredibly talented illustrator, and his style is in a class by itself.
The Michigan Outfitter as all about nature, with designs that emphasize hiking, fishing, and hunting. But he does not limit himself to one style, and can be an incredible chameleon with his t-shirts. Check out his site today, and I can promise you will find something you absolutely love!
Up North Michigan
Jennifer Boehler designed something so beautifully simple, I am still jealous:) Her campfire design can be seen just about everywhere now, and has been knocked off countless times, but nobody has come even close to her level of creativity and quality.
A northern michigan girl, Jennifer created this brand based on one thing; spending time outside in Michigan. Something we can all appreciate, and her design conjures up memories of S'mores, camping, beachside bonfires, and more. She is an absolute sweetheart, and deserves all the success she has had and more!
Chris K. is the kind of guy you want to grab a beer with. I have know some people who know beer, but nothing like this guy. He can give you flavor profiles of just about any Michigan beer made, and recommend the perfect beer based on your personal tastes. Oh yeah, and he also trailblazed the Michigan Roots design that has been replicated and duplicated more times than I can count!
Chris's brand is a perfect example of "If it Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It". MI Rootswear is about one design mainly, but that design is flawless. Slightly rustic, slightly modern, all Michigan. You can find this design on just about every color under the rainbow, and always on the softest materials around. If your roots run deep, you need one of these tees!
Last but not least, M22
Yes, it's a road sign. But it was nothing more than a road sign until Matt and Keegan Myers got their hands on it. Sometimes creating something original is not about pulling a design out of mid-air, but about taking an existing image and changing the way you see it. They took a road sign, something we look at so much, we almost become numb to it, and they turned it into one of the first major lifestyle brands in Michigan, and surely one of the biggest and best.
I have never met the brothers Broneah in person, but I have dealt with them on a professional level, and when I reached out for permission to loosely knock them off for a Halloween event we did years ago, they could have told me to jump off a cliff, but they didnt. In fact, not only did they give me permission, they also donated to the non-profit we were raising money for. That is a classy move, and I have always respected the hell out of them for that. I am sure at this point, all of you reading this already own an M22 product, but they have been bringing out some great new designs, so it's worth checking them out again!
So there you have it, hopefully you will spread the love and support all of us hard working Michigan t-shirt companies. We all share the same mission, to be your State Apparel Representative, and strive to provide you, the people, t-shirts and accessories that you can be proud to wear.
But please shop www.teeseetee.com first and foremost! :)