Home State Apparel .original.handmade.quality
In 2011, inspired by the love of our home state of North Carolina, we created the original 'home' shirt. We quickly grew to celebrate all 50 states and are now even expanding further abroad.
Based in Greensboro, NC, we are a living-wage company guided by a few simple core principles: to provide the highest quality products, deliver exceptional customer service, and to have fun doing it.
We take pride in making things by hand: screen-printing our shirts in-house and using eco-friendly water-based inks, carefully cutting and placing decals, loading and unloading our studio kiln.
We have inspired imitators, but we are the Original. We are happy to work with you. Join Us!
Style And Quality
Our shirts pay homage to the soft, old-school vintage t-shirts of days past. Our screen-printers, Kerry and Ellis, hand screen-print each and every article of clothing with care. We use only the highest quality tri-blend shirts for our apparel. Super soft and totally comfortable, our tees are a perfect way to show off your love of your home State!
Sustainability and respect for our environment are at the core of every product we create. We aim to cultivate a sense of place with our hand screen-printed apparel and handmade home decor.
Whenever possible, we use eco-friendly materials and products made in the USA. Almost all of our products are assembled, from inception to completion, completely in our warehouse.
Behind the scenes
"Wherever your journey takes you there's that one place that evokes a feeling of love so deep, grounded, warm and accepting that we simply call it home. Our unique line of Apparel and Home Goods seek to hold you comfortably in that home state no matter where your adventure takes you."
We’re excited for what 2016 has in store! We continue to grow and diversify our product line. We can’t wait to introduce new high-quality goods and designs that allow our loyal customers to continue to show love for their home state. We hope you’ll join us!
By offering a great product and providing great customer service we were able to continue growing our customer base. We had a wholesale customer in each of the fifty states. We grew to ten employees and 3,000 square feet. Then, fifteen employees and 4,000 square feet. Our product line expanded to include a number of high-quality home goods like glasses, doormats, and more. Most of these we make by hand in our studio. We apply high fire ceramic decals to our mugs and fire them in our two 16 cubic foot kilns. We have 2 laser engravers that we make our Keychains and Christmas Ornaments with. We have a 6 head embroidery machine we make all our hats on. We have a wood shop where we make from scratch our framed wooden prints. We also have a leather station where we make our leather wallets and key fobs. We absolutely LOVE to make things ourselves and this is at the heart of Home State Apparel.
We grew quickly and hired several new staff people; a salesperson, a screen printer, a warehouse person, expanding to a total of 5 employees. We also outgrew our 750 square foot space and expanded to a 2000 square foot studio in the same building. With more space, we started expanding our product line to include different types of apparel, like long sleeve shirts and hoodies. We designed and produced new products as well like the wooden plaques, mugs, and stickers. We also started attending trade shows like AmericasMart in Atlanta where we received an award for the Best Booth Design in our first year attending. By the end of 2014 we had expanded to a 2500 square feet studio.
Up until this point Zeke had the designs produced by other screen printers, but demand was growing and Zeke wanted to be able to make his own shirts and expand designs. So he started to study screen printing and took an intensive workshop in New York to learn the art. He bought his own equipment and opened our first studio space: A small 350 square foot space in the old Blue Bell Factory in Greensboro. The Blue Bell Company is what eventually became Wrangler Jeans and VF Corporation, so the pedigree of the building was perfect. He also opened a new Etsy shop under the name Home State Apparel to sell products from the ever expanding catalog of shirts and decals to people across the country. He hired his first employee to make vinyl decals and expanded to 750 square feet.
With local sales booming, Zeke converted his online Etsy store that formerly sold his recycled glassware into a site selling the North Carolina home shirts. Interest and demand kept growing and he would get lots of calls from retailers requesting other states. So he expanded the concept to include other states. He realized his idea was bigger than just North Carolina and bigger than just the "home." design. It was a deep feeling, a lifestyle, a love of local and one's community. He began to envision a clothing company based on these deep feelings and named the company Home State Apparel. With more states available, he began to pick up more wholesale customers around the country.
While still managing The Green Bean and producing events Zeke noticed that people would always ask if there were shirts or coffee mugs with "Greensboro" on it. At that time little of that existed, so he started to conceptualize and produce locally themed shirts and stickers. In this creative design process he conceived the idea for the North Carolina ‘home.’ design. A simple idea that put the word 'home.' inside the silhouette of North Carolina. It was so simple, yet said so much. He collaborated with his friend and designer, Justin Jackson, to finalize the now widely recognized design. Originally Zeke had 50 shirts printed with local Screen Printer Josh Platt of Death by Ink to sell in a local Greensboro boutique, Design Archives. In two weeks, those first 50 shirts had sold out. So Zeke printed a hundred more shirts. Two weeks later those were sold out as well. Next he printed 400 shirts, and those quickly sold out as well.
It all started when a guy named Zeke, a former glassblower, artist, event producer, entrepreneur and all around doer, founded Mischief Makers Local 816, LLC. Zeke previously had run a business called Rewined Recycled Glassware selling recycled wine bottles that he'd make into drinking glasses but left that business to be the General Manager of the iconic local coffeeshop The Green Bean. While there he became deeply involved in the resurgence of Downtown Greensboro, North Carolina and needed a business structure of his own to be able to produce events to celebrate the love of his hometown. Through Mischief Makers, he helped to produced several events and markets in Greensboro including the First Friday Indie Market, The Shindig Festival, The South Elm Urban Market and The Hand to Hand Market.