Now you too can wear a T-shirt that reads ‘Balls!’ We know that’s your dream piece of clothing. But before you put it on, thank Andy Lyon and Michael Young, who started the company Shamplade, which produces the ‘Balls’ and other vintage-style shirts you see in places like Urban Outfitters.
Shamplade is now located in Los Angeles, but it started in a much different area ‘ the Midwest. The partners entered the fashion business sort of accidentally. In 2003, they were seniors at Bowling Green State University (in Bowling Green, OH – a small college town known for hosting the National Tractor Pull Championship. Wahoo!).
During the summer, with some extra time on their hands, they made an ‘I eat vegans’ T-shirt and sold it to their friends. It was so popular they sold it outside of Bowling Green.
They launched shamplade.com during their senior year, selling seven different styles. The guys funded the company themselves – only $500 to start and had the pieces printed locally. Young says he and Lyon pretty much ‘winged it’ because neither had experience in the field.
Though they’re gaining a lot of recognition, both owners see Shamplade as a side job. Lyon is a grad student and Young does freelance web page design. However, the company does gross $70,000 a year. ‘We were just a couple of guys having fun and we still are actually,’ Young says.
Our favorite shirts
I Eat Vegans
Fo’ Sheezy I’m Wheezy
Cuddle the Shuttle
You Ain’t Gettin’ NUN