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  • Writer's pictureRyan Marshall

The Traveling Shirts

People choose a profession for many reasons. Whether it is a passion for a specific activity, money or just flat out needed a job. All professions come with something that makes it worth while to stay. I myself over the years have held down many different jobs. All of them had something to keep me a part of the company. When I started screen printing it was not for the idea of being my own boss, or the hope of making a lot of money someday. Those are just some perks. I started printing custom apparel for the idea of what I was providing to many different people nationwide. I was providing a reminder, something that would be worn a lot longer then it would be needed and serve as a reminder of a time when someone was at their best, worst or just a good time in life.

One of those custom t-shirts we printed was for the Blue Stars front ensemble. The Blue stars front ensemble is one of the sections in the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps. We were contacted by the front ensemble coordinator who is a friend of one of our customers in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Journey of a T-shirt

The start. Salt Lake City, Utah

We were contacted and asked to design a member shirt with a front image of the Blue Stars logo and the same logo on the back of the shirt a long with the members name. Our contact was Michael Bingham of Salt Lake City Utah. He was a part of the Wasatch Independent Color Guard staff and enjoyed the t-shirts and member apparel we provided for them and decided to reach out to us for his own needs.

Location 1. Macomb County, Michigan

We received the email from Michael and were very excited to get this project rolling. Back in our office in Macomb County we got to work on the new design for the #BlueStarsfrontensemble. Keeping in mind we needed a performance style shirt and a 2-color image with a name printed on the back. We got the approval from Michael on the shirts and image and went into production.

Location 2. Macomb County and Cincinnati Ohio, the journey begins.

We order the shirts from our supplier in Cincinnati, had them shipped to Macomb County to be decorated. Once the shirts were printed, we head out to our local shipping establishment to get the shirts shipped to Salt Lake City. I wish I knew the journey they took during the shipping process but, I don’t.

Location 3. Salt Lake City, Utah and back

The shirts have arrived in Michael's

possession and ohhhhh no! One of the names on the back of the shirt has been misspelled. So now we must repeat the locations 1 through 3. Admitting that a mess up happens on shirts is not exactly the smartest thing when it comes to business. But, let’s be real we are only human, and these things happen. So, when it happens, we must make sure to make it right. Back to our supplier to order a shirt, back to the print room to print the shirt and double check the spelling of the name that belongs on the back. Take it to our local shipping company and ship it out.

Location 4. Salt Lake City Utah

All the shirts are in Michael’s possession and ready to be given out to the members of the front ensemble.

Location 5. Lacrosse, Wisconsin

Michael would take the shirts with him to Lacrosse to hand out to the members of the front ensemble. The custom shirts would provide unity and a sense of pride in the members of the “pit”. Using these shirts for any type of informal uniform performance. Shooting videos. Community performances or just hanging out together. These shirts will be worn together.

Location 6. Forest city, Iowa

Once the Blue stars have finished up their winter camps, they move in for the summer to get ready for a nationwide tour. The shirts went along with the front ensemble to begin their journey across the country. Starting in forest city Iowa.

Location 7. Detroit, Michigan

The blue stars have finished the 4-week camp in Forest city and have hit the road. The custom screen-printed shirts are again, along for the ride. The blue stars are performing for the first time in the 2019 season in Detroit, Michigan. 20 minutes away from the place they were #screenprinted.

The Blue Stars still have a long journey ahead of them and will end their season in Indianapolis, Indiana at the 2019 DCI world championships. Since we have printed the #tshirts, we have watched them move across the country to return to the place they were screen printed. We have been watching the blue stars and the members of the front ensemble as they go from state to state on their tour. Before the shirts had even reached their new owners, they have traveled hundreds of miles, across the country and are about to do it again.

As we watch the journey of the members, we know the shirts are with them. Creating memories to be relived for the rest of their life and 1 thing that will serve as a reminder of the fun, hard moments, exciting times and those moments that are just hard to let go when it is all over. Those shirts will be there to remind them for as long as the shirts hangs in the closet.

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