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Innovation & Job News

Grand Rapids T-shirt design company makes wearable art for a good cause

Raising awareness about the sex trade of children in Southeast Asia and supporting the Zeeland-based Walk for Water project are just a couple of the causes the people at Citizenshirt support.

Citizenshirt, 837 Godfrey SW, designs and screen prints T-shirts for companies and events, and creates signature designs for sale on its own web site.

But the thing that really gets the company excited is using its equipment and expertise to support causes that help disenfranchised people, says President and founder Matt Fulk.

"We approach the 501(c)3 and say it's a down economy and donations are down, we support what you're trying to accomplish, let us help you," Fulk says. "We apply all the printing trades to the project and use our marketing streams to help the campaign produce a new cash flow for the organization."

Employees elect to work on these projects for a reduced rate, and many often go off the clock to keep costs down. Citizenshirt provides materials at cost, slightly above cost, and even sometimes below cost.

"We've made money on some, broke even on some and lost money on some," Fulk says. "We sit down with the organization and say we want to help, but the reality is we're running a business. You probably have some money available, where's the happy meeting point?"

Citizenshirt's focus is producing artistically rendered designs that reflect more beauty and skill than just a logo on a garment, Fulk says.

The company recently moved to the Godfrey location to have enough space for growth. Fulk and a former partner were the sole employees when the company launched three years ago; Fulk bought out the partner in September, left a business brokerage job to become full-time at Citizenshirt, and now employs four full-time and four part-time workers.

Source: Matt Fulk, Citizenshirt

Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at deborah@rapidgrowthmedia.com.

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