We can’t get enough of this local t-shirt shop
Friday, July 23, 2021, is a day that will forever live in Cleveland sports history. After responding to growing calls to rename the Cleveland Indians, a moniker that many decried as insensitive and racially offensive, the team finally unveiled its new name. The Cleveland Guardians. Social media was abuzz. Some wondered why Tom Hanks was the voice of the announcement. Others hailed the choice as quintessentially Cleveland. For others, the change was wholly unnecessary.
And then there was the logo. While you could say the actual name drew overwhelming praise, the response to the new logo was tepid, at best. Clevelanders are an opinionated bunch. And a common sentiment emerged among the hashtags: GV Art and Design, a local apparel shop, should have been involved.
“So, it’s the Cleveland Guardians. And my phone is blowing up about the logo and why they didn’t get us involved,” tweeted the official account from the local apparel shop.
“Don’t worry Cleveland. We already have some fire up our sleeves.”
For the uninitiated, GV Art and Design is a wildly popular Cleveland-based creative boutique, apparel shop and design studio. Founded by brothers Greg (BA ’07) and George Vlosich, both noted artists, the shop’s creations have been seen on ESPN, Jimmy Kimmel, TNT, Yahoo, NBA.com and Sports Illustrated.
“I called the printer a half hour after the announcement and I was like: ‘whatever you’re printing, stop printing,’” Greg recalled.
“I’m like: ‘if we have any navy-blue shirts there, start running some Guardians shirts for the weekend.’”
Years before, Greg, his brother and team rolled out a series of Guardians shirts as an homage to the Guardians of Traffic statues on the Hope Memorial Bridge, connecting downtown Cleveland with the west side. Back then, Greg says people didn’t understand the imagery, but it was a move that proved prescient. And on that Friday in July, they were prepared.
The printer dropped off a huge load of shirts that evening.
“By Saturday, the next day, they were sold out in stores already,” Greg said. Even a certain top-level executive for the Guardians stopped in to buy shirts for him and his family.
Not bad for something that started very modestly in the basement of the brothers’ childhood home in 2008.
Today, the shop’s headquarters are in Lakewood, with locations in Kent, Willoughby and, most recently, Avon, Ohio. And it’s a family affair with both of Greg’s parents working in the shop. In fact, his father – a former ad exec – creates many of the one-liners emblazoned on the shirts.
Greg’s love for his work beams as he thinks on what’s ahead.
“It’s gone beyond what we even expected,” he said.
“But at the same time, I feel like there’s so much more that we can do and want to do.”
Visit gvartwork.com to shop the latest shirts and learn more.
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