A high school speech pathologist is spending his summer vacation developing a t-shirt business. They’re made in the U.S.A. and have a local design flavor.
Ben Longstreet is busy making sales calls at surf shops all over South Florida, showing off his t-shirt line, Fifty States of Mind.
He developed his own line of outerwear after growing tired of seeing low quality t-shirts with high price tags. He knew he could do better.
”All of our clothes, all the cotton is from the U.S., made in the U.S., printed in the U.S.,” Longstreet said.
Longstreet says each shirt will have its own sort of state of mind, from the beach bum, surfing, sailing, and a lot more to come.
The 25-year-old speech pathologist spends his weekends and free time taking pictures for the shirts, trying to capture the perfect image.
”Photography is a passion of mine, no matter if we are on vacation or out enjoying nature, I definitely like to take a lot of good pictures," he said.
He’s using shots targeting specific interests, with a South Florida flavor.
”This is the beach bum state of mind. It's just a photo of a beautiful sunrise in Deerfield Beach,” Longstreet said.
There's also a shirt with a Key West theme.
"I like the whole idea of the sailboat sailing off into the sunset," he said.
So far, Longstreet has invested over $5,000 and 350 hours getting started. He's having some success marketing over the internet, selling more than 100 shirts. Customers are telling him, Fifty States of Mind shirts are a good idea.
”A lot people look at this part at the top and say 'Wow, made in America, really?' And I say yes 100 percent. And they really like the quality of the shirts and the art on the back,” he said.
Longstreet is starting small and doesn't know how far the business will go. Just taking it a little at a time, he says.