I’ve lived in five states and, with the choice to move anywhere in the world, in 2009 I chose to return to Cincinnati. People always ask me, “Why do you love this city so much?” and my response is this:
This region has a unique, provincial culture that I’ve never experienced anywhere else I’ve lived or visited. While there have been many changes throughout the decades, I feel as though Cincinnati is one of the few cities that’s retained its unique identity. The strong sense of community here makes for a great place to raise a family, have or start a local business and meet like-minded people.
With great pride, I’m honored to say I’m from Cincinnati and I know there are a lot of others who share that same feeling. So why not show your pride while giving local businesses some love?
Here are 9 companies that will let you do just that:
Located in Cincinnati, The Rivertown Inkery products tend to reflect the company’s love for our city. Founded in 2013, screen printing began humbly and turned into a dream when the company went from a hobby to a full time gig.
They take pride in the process of creating items from conception to design to production. You’ll see limited small-batch screen prints made using their manual printing press. While passionate about printing the old fashioned way, some of the company's items are also available as digital prints.
And I can attest to the quality. My ‘Cincy is for Dreamers’ shirt is one of my favorites, worn on many occasions. The fit and material is also the reason why you’ll see me sporting this shirt more often than I probably should.
If you’re looking for something unique, trendy (think Red Bike tees) or want to take a stroll down memory lane with tee’s designed around nostalgia, there is literally something for everyone here in the Queen City.
In November of 2014, CincyShirts went from just selling online to adding a brick and mortar store. Located at 1435 Main Street in the heart of Over-The-Rhine, their storefront is stocked with classic Cincinnati t-shirts that you’ve grown to love over the years.
Be Ohio Proud owner Danny feels a strong calling to "Grow Love." By creating simple, beautiful designs that uplift where you're from, Be Ohio Proud gives you a way to show love for our great state. The brand represents the confidence, purity, strength and love for others that is written into the DNA of this community.
As they put it, “The more we love our state, the more we are showing love for each other. We may just make apparel and gifts, but we truly believe we are doing much more than that."
Cincy Threads is a passion project by Mike Hasselbeck, a creative professional here in Cincinnati with more than 10 years of experience in visual and interactive design.
"I love my city and I love designing Cincinnati-themed shirts," he said. "My goal is to create something classic and long lasting by honoring Cincinnati’s culture and history. Hopefully this something all Cincinnatians would be proud to wear. Designed in this city for people who love this city!"
Wire & Twine is a design studio that was founded in 2005 by Wendy Duvall, Chris Glass, and Tom Duvall.
Having a studio on a farm sparked the name Wire & Twine, two of the materials used to bail hay. But the name also serves as a representation of the company’s digital/analogue output.
They consider themselves more of a design studio over a t-shirt company, but happen to have their own in-house screen printing equipment.
The duo behind Where I’m From says every shirt is made with respect, originality and a little flair. They enjoy celebrating the places that have shaped you into who you are today and honor that pride and heritage with the highest quality materials and attention to detail.
Started by college roommates and longtime friends, Andrew VanderLind and Ryan Napier, these native Ohioans are graduates of Ohio University and share a deep sense of pride and affection for the state they call home.
Founded in 2014 by Phil Bloemker, Bo Scarlato and Joe Streicher, Evolve Unlimited was founded in 2014.
"I was born and raised in Cincinnati and am proud of it", Bloemker stated, which is what inspired the creation of Evolve Unlimited. Aiming to create not only affordable apparel, they also focus on quality by opting to use vinyl instead of screen printing.
Right now they focus on Cincinnati-made apparel only, but you can expect to see more Ohio apparel coming to the store this year -- which will include fun prints and cut-and-sew techniques.
The company formed by owner Nick Elbisser and his skateboarding crew has grown into much more over the past 14 years. While Elibisser handles all of the design and printing aspects of the business, his business partner Jordan White handles the 'business' aspect of ZipZoo.
You can find a little bit of 'everything Cincinnati' from shirts adorned with Bengal's graphics to apparel just simply stating, we ARE the Queen City.
Offering shirts from an array of area codes, we like to think the '513' tees and hoodies are the best. You can shop Queen City Sportswear at 700 W. Pete Rose Way (in Longworth Hall) on Friday's from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or by appointment.
BONUS: Once Blind Studios
Once Blind Studios is Randy and Leisa Wilcox, and technically, they're a “boutique graphic design studio." But they say that’s just part of it — they also consider themselves stylists, storytellers, and makers.
Once Blind Studios started in 2001 in Los Angeles as Wilcox’s freelancing design work,and to highlight his photography. Leisa got involved after their marriage in 2004 and by 2006, they both left their other jobs and were full-time with OBS. Since the work can really be done anywhere there is an internet connection, and because they enjoy exploring and trying new things, they’ve had offices in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Cincinnati…and currently, Nashville.
One of my favorite collections from the duo is the ‘Heritage Collection’, which is Inspired by architectural elements from historical buildings, old type and signage, as well as some assorted photography — producing things that are uniquely “them."