I had this idea,
My name is Matt Rogers, an artist born and raised in Rochester NY, one of the most cultural and artistic cities in the east; but most people outside our city pass us off as 'Upstate.' I can't stand that phrase, it's not even accurate. There is so much more to Rochester and I want to show everyone who we are. I'm looking to combine my passion for art, culture, travel, and history into a showpiece for all Rochesterians.
From 1927 until June 30, 1956, Rochester was home to it's very own rapid transit subway line. Subway cars ran from General Motors Parts Division in Maplewood to the Rowlands, at the corner of Monroe Ave and present-day Interstate 590, and a further connection to the Rochester Syracuse and Eastern Rapid Transit. Cutting through the heart of the city directly underneath Broad St., it was an icon of our newly developed industrial strength. Unfortunately dreams are not meant to last. The subway proved too expensive to operate and the last car ran the line on June 30th, 1956.
Enter Transit ApparelTransit Apparel is an art driven initiative to use t-shirts, prints, and other media to promote and garner pride in Rochester's historic subway system and our many diverse and proud neighborhoods. The subway stopped in almost every neighborhood, and the first initiative of the TA brand is to showcase that connection in t-shirts.
There will be twenty shirts in the first series to showcase the vibrant communities our subway once served. Materials for the release will be 50/50 Poly-Cotton and 100% Cotton Fine-Jersey tees out of Los Angeles CA, Screen printing press and equipment out of Phoenix AZ, and screen print ink out of Louisville KY. Transit Apparel will use materials and resources as completely manufactured 'Made In USA' as possible. I want to convey value and integrity to our customer base with what we make and sell.
Shirts will be available in Mens and Womens sizes from S to 2XL from American Apparel and tend to run a little small: if in doubt, buy the next size up and it will shrink with washing/drying to a near perfect fit. To give you a better idea, I'm 6'4" and built like an NFL tight end. I order XL and with a couple washings it fits fine.
As of right now I have the website up and running: www.transitapparel.com where you can see all the shirts that I will release for the first series. I will continue to update the site with more content, but I wanted to make sure you could at least see all the shirts in the first series. I plan on adding more designs as I get up and running (19th Ward you are NOT forgotten), as well as new products like prints and accessories all inspired by transportation and Rochester.
What We Need & What You GetFunding this project has been the biggest obstacle, trying to figure out how to start and go about getting Transit Apparel off the ground and spread the pride and roots of Rochester as far as we can go. I considered using other printers for the shirts and prints, but really wanted to make this as local, handmade, and 'grassroots' as possible by doing it myself.
- Equipment (this is the expensive part): Screen Printing Press, Conveyor Belt Dryer, Flash Dryer, Screens, Exposure Unit, and Wash-out station.
- Materials: Screen Printing Inks, Transperancy Paper, Squeegees, Office type (Studio) supplies, Tees, etc.
- Maintainance: Business Fees (Registration, Website, DBA, Tax ID, LLC, Fest Entry, etc.), and Replacement parts for equipment (hardware, bulbs, etc.)
Morning Fare: $1I can't thank you enough for even considering my idea in your travels among the other campaigns. And your decisions to contribute is an even more heart-felt gesture and you have my profound appreciation. You also have my promise that I will put all my raised funds to furthering Transit Apparel into reality.
Early Morning Rush: $15This will be a very special 'early-bird' discounted rate for our t-shirt line. This perk will provide you with a discount code to purchase any of our t-shirts from the website at www.transitapparel.com. That means you're able to buy a shirt at over half off! This is a limited discount that will only be available to the first 25 contributors. Discount codes will be distributed when the campaign is successful.
Subway Stop T-Shirt: $25
Your opportunity to get in on the first stop and receive one of the first series of tees off the press! This perk will provide you with a discount code to purchase any of our t-shirts from the website at www.transitapparel.com. That means you save a little money off retail and you contribute to bringing Transit Apparel into reality.
The Flour City: $25
Once the largest flour producing city in America, Rochester came to be known by that nickname and flourished as one of America's first 'boomtowns.' This perk commemorates that achievement in a VERY special edition limited run t-shirt. There will be 101 shirts made, that's it. 100 of them are available for you to get as a perk and one will be saved for the vault. When you purchase this perk, and my campaign is successful, I will contact you for sizing and if you'd like mens or womens.
The Flower City: $25
After Rochester's grain empire subsided another seed took root and dominated the landscape: Flowers. Greenhouses large and small grew in the city, even contributing to one of Rochester's neighborhoods: Ellwanger-Barry. This perk commemorates another of our achievements with a limited run VERY special edition t-shirt. There will be 101 shirts made, that's it. 100 of them are available for you to get as a perk and one will be saved for the vault. When you purchase this perk, and my campaign is successful, I will contact you for sizing and if you'd like mens or womens.
The Young Lion Of The West: $50
Rochester's first nickname and a celebration of our growth and accomplishments, 'The Young Lion Of The West' signaled our coming of age in the development of New York State and the migration of immigrants and workers down the Erie Canel and westward. This perk commemorates that achievement with a SUPER limited run special edition t-shirt. For this perk there will only be 51 made, that's it. 50 are available for you to get as a perk and one will be saved for the vault. When you purchase this perk, and my campaign is successful, I will contact you for sizing and if you'd like mens or womens.
Round Trip: $450
A very special and limited opportunity to own the whole line! All twenty shirts, featuring subway stops from the now extinct Rochester Subway line to the very real and thriving neighborhoods of Rochester. With this perk you are saving over $100! When you purchase this perk, and my campaign is successful, I will contact you for sizing and if you'd like mens or womens.. Also, if you live within 150 miles of the center of Rochester I will personally deliver your order, it's the least I can do for such a generous contribution:-)
The subway is long gone, its fate locked in the countless arguments and battles as to what to do with the bones of that once grand idea. It was a source of integrity and industry, a specticle of pride and an enduring notion of 'We've made it' as a city. I wish to draw on that old-fashioned pride and show Rochesterians and the world what we accomplished and that we have the resources and abilities to surpass our predescessers.
I want to instill pride in Rochesterians: we are a great city, and I'd like to give you the opportunity to see why. Will a Transit Apparel shirt be the start of your conversation? Do people really know where Swillburg is? or that Cab Calloway was born there? Do you know that some of the most reliable automotive carburators ever made by GM were manufactured here in the Lyell-Otis neighborhood? Do people know there was once a subway system that connected west to east and serviced the majority of our fine city's neighborhoods? Perhaps my shirts will provide that intellectual spark. Perhaps my brand will give you a reason to be proud and hopeful of where you come from or what you have found. I hope it does, because it makes me proud to be a Rochesterian.
Other Ways You Can Help
This is my idea, but you can own it. Check out my perks, spread the word in as many avenues as you can. Let me know what you think. Comment the hell out of this, even if you don't like it. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Digg, anything you'd like to do to help would be amazing. I'm extremely passionate about getting this project and brand going and want it to be successful in promoting Rochester and in giving Rochesterarians a source of history and integrity.