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Home. It could mean Toad Suck, Fayetteville, Searcy, Petit Jean, Bald Knob, or any town in our wonderful state. No matter what you consider “home”, people take a lot of pride in where they come from, where family members live or even places they visit.
My uniform of choice is Chaco’s, a pair of shorts or jeans and an Arkansas t-shirt. And unless I happened to choose a Def Leppard shirt, it would be unusual for you to spot me wearing anything else. I may be a transplant to the state, but I am proud to show off my love for Arkansas. I may not always wear my heart on my sleeve, but I do proudly wear Arkansas on my shirt!
How a person dresses often says a lot about who they are and what they find important. T-shirts are one of the most common clothing items that can transcend age, gender, race and even socioeconomic status. T-shirts can remind us of a place we traveled, a concert we attended and can even make political or moral statements. These five Arkansas-based companies are creating a wide range of Arkansas t-shirts and accessories to help you show your Natural State pride.
Chris Bouldin started Rock City Outfitters in 2008 to produce a variety of Arkansas-themed items–some funny, some serious, and a few that might make your jaw drop. In 2013, Ryan Ritchie and his best friend (since age four!), Matt Jones, purchased the company from Bouldin. They ran it out of Ritchie’s home for a while and eventually grew through four locations before landing in Downtown Conway.
Ritchie and Jones’ humorous style ca be seen in Rock City’s designs and in Ritchie’s weekly newsletter which happens to be one of the few newsletters I regularly read. You can shop for their shirts online or head to their shop in Downtown Conway, where you can interact with Rock City’s fun and energetic staff. They also do custom designs and printing in runs as low as 12.
After tossing around hilarious shirt ideas for years, Justin bit the bullet in 2016 and started learning everything he could about designing and printing shirts. Setting up their home base in Little Rock, AR-T’s makes many Arkansas themed designs.
The goal of AR-T’s is to create a fun product and connect with the people who relate to the messages seen on their Arkansas t-shirts. They enjoy being part of the locally made movement and hope to be around for a long time.
Born in 2008, Nativ grew on the heels of individuals who loved Arkansas but often found themselves wandering elsewhere. The more they traveled the more they appreciated their roots. They embraced what those roots meant and how the spirit of home stayed with them no matter how far they roamed.
Nativ’s designs are meant to inspire the adventurer, the explorer, and the wanderer while keeping them connected back home. In light of that, Nativ commits 5% of sales to the Mayfly Project which helps to mentor children through fly fishing.
Natural Threads is an offshoot of their parent company B-Unlimited. B-Unlimited began in Fayetteville in 1994. When the economic crisis hit in 2009 they doubled down and grew their business to now serve over 200 college campuses. Natural Threads is a nod to their roots with a focus on Razorback and local-flavor apparel.
The mission at Natural Threads is to encourage you to chase the things you are passionate about with the people you love while waving your flag. Be yourself and own it! In addition to collegiate apparel, you can also find designs including state attractions like Dickson street, the Ozark Mountains and more!
Rock Squatch Designs started with a discussion around a campfire. After the embers cooled they turned that dream into a reality and expanded their signature ArkanSquatch sticker design into a whole line of products with more to come this fall. They just celebrated their first anniversary.
The Rock Squatch team enjoys spending time on the water with friends and family and, as a company, wanted to give back to the state and public lands in a meaningful way. They have worked on river and trail cleanups with The Dome Life and Friends of the Ouachita Trail. And they are proud to offer their reusable garage bag that boasts the phrase “Leave No Trace, He Doesn’t.” These bags make it easy and fun for kayakers and canoers to pick up trash while on the water.
We love to support small businesses, so please leave a link in the comments below of an Arkansas t-shirt company you love.
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