Like so many good ideas, the inspiration for 517 Shirts came to me in the bathroom. As I was using the restroom in one of Lansing’s seedier drinking
establishments, I saw a crude drawing of the three
smokestacks of the Lansing power plant above one of the urinals (drawn with a Sharpie, presumably with one hand). What struck me was how easily I recognized the outline. Those three smokestacks are an iconic part of the Lansing skyline, and a fixture in the lives of those who live and work in Lansing.
So, I dusted off my photoshop skills and set to create a design which would represent the people of Lansing. That design became three designs, and those designs led to the idea of starting a t-shirt company.
With a little money my wife and I had stashed away and a lot of support from friends and family, I founded 517 Shirts in August of 2011, with the goal of supporting community pride in Lansing and across the great state of Michigan. I hope you enjoy wearing these shirts as much as I enjoy designing and making them.