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Customer Stories

Valley Fever Awareness Walk 2017” and “Mexican MudSlide” are the winners of this week’s Ink of the Week contest!

Valley Fever Americas Foundation, a non-profit group that raises awareness and funds for Valley Fever, works to save lives through educating people on the disease so that victims can get diagnosed earlier. This photo is a record-breaking number of survivors in one place at one time. The sapphire t-shirts have been provided to survivors of the disease at the Valley Fever Awareness Walk for three years running, and they fit the tiniest toddler to the oldest adult.

Team Mexican Mudslide returned bigger and mightier to this year’s Muckfest Chicago, an event held to support those living with multiple sclerosis. Team spirit and laughs exuded from the group as they took spills in mounds of muds. They loved getting muddy in their custom t-shirts and are looking forward to doing it all over again in 2018.

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DOLC Rock Climbing” and “Walking and Rolling for the Spina Bifida Association of North Texas” are the winners of this week’s Ink of the Week contest!

The Drake Outdoor Leadership Club at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, encourages students to take part in outdoor activities and to branch out of their comfort zones. With Custom Ink’s help, students are able to promote their club with these long sleeve Comfort Colors t-shirts, whether on campus or at one of their organized events, such as rock climbing.

This customer had an idea for t-shirts to raise awareness for Spina Bifida but didn’t quite know how to bring that idea to life. Upon the new opening of the Custom Ink store in a McKinney, Texas Walmart, she walked in and got started with a store team member. Together, they designed Molly’s Magnificent Musketeers t-shirts, in honor of her daughter, Molly, to wear at the North Texas WalkNRoll event. The shirts were such a hit that she’s already planning next year’s design!

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Mawmaw’s Mafia” and “Charlotte Pride 2017. JustAsIAm.Love” are the winners of this week’s Ink of the Week contest!

Mawmaw, the matriarch of five generations, has always joked around with her family about being in the mob in her younger days. While that’s far from the truth, the family just rolls with it. To commemorate her 95th birthday, the group ordered Mawmaw’s Mafia t-shirts and tanks to wear during her celebration. The custom apparel made Mawmaw’s day!

In getting everything ready for the Charlotte Pride Parade, Avenue Church members had forgotten to order their custom t-shirts for the event. On the Monday before the parade weekend, they gave Custom Ink a call to see if they could get t-shirts in a jiffy. Three days later, vibrant, purple t-shirts were in the hands of parade participants!

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Bench Warmers” and “The Bakken Brawl – Roller Derby” are the winners of this week’s Ink of the Week contest!

These boys had planned to play in a national traveling 3-on-3 soccer tournament in Alaska, but two days before it was to be held, the tournament was canceled. Needless to say, the boys will do what ‘Bench Warmers’ do best, wait to play while showing off their bright, custom uniforms.

The Watford City Roller Derby league (WCRD) is an amateur roller derby league operating in and serving the North Dakota region. Members are passionate about their sport and they strive to create a full-contact sport that inspires girls and women everywhere. Recently, people traveled from miles away to participate in Watford City’s first ever roller derby event. The group outfitted themselves in a mixture of pink, purple, and blue custom Bakken Brawl t-shirts, which were worn throughout the event.

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Every t-shirt tells a story. Whether it’s the remaining remnant of a distant memory, a celebratory souvenir, or a fabric badge of courage, t-shirts take on meaning well beyond their original intent.

Six-year-old Madison, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) when he was only two years old, and his mom Mel know the power a t-shirt can possess.

Three years ago, they took part in the annual JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) One Walk that takes place on the National Mall in Washington D.C. This year, they again invited friends and family to walk by their sides, raising money and awareness with every step to help cure a disease that affects 1.25 million people across the country.  

For each walk, Madison’s cheering squad has worn a custom-designed shirt that helps brings the group – and their mission – together.

For Mel and her husband Sam, the annual walk is not only an opportunity to raise funds, but a time to bond with a community that understands the frustrations and challenges of raising a young child with T1D.

“The way I describe what it feels like to parent a young child with diabetes, is it’s a lot like when your kid gets a fever,” Mel explains, “The thing with Type 1 is, it’s like a fever that never actually breaks….I would love to worry about stuff like should he take piano lessons, or is he doing his homework, I don’t know, whatever parents of kids who aren’t challenged this same way seem to worry about.”

The annual walk is also a chance to do something about a situation that mostly feels completely out of their control.

“There are millions of kids affected by this,” Mel says, “There are adults who have been waiting their whole lives for something better. ….But, none of that technology can actually make it to your doorstep unless there have been clinical trials….None of those things happen without funding. That’s why we’re walking.”

For this year’s event, for the first time, Madison was old enough to take a more active part in both the walk and the creation of the custom t-shirt design worn by all the family and friends walking or rooting for him behind the scenes. Like any six-year-old might, he turned to a familiar source of inspiration.

“He’s really obsessed with Star Wars right now,” Mel says, “…. and he loves imperial walkers or AT-ATs so, we decided to be Madison’s Walkers AT-ATs v T1D.”

A family friend who happens to be a graphic designer created the unique design – a sneaker perched astride the legs of the Star Wars AT-AT – and the uniform for Madison’s Walkers began to take shape.

Mel and Sam used Custom Ink to print the shirts for the walk, but they also used Custom Ink’s fundraising platform to create an online campaign for selling t-shirts to their team and others looking to support their cause. Money was raised for JDRF through a portion of every t-shirt sale …..and spirits were raised, too.

“[Buying a shirt online] gave people an opportunity to feel like they were part of the team even if they couldn’t actually physically be there to walk with us. They would have a shirt, you know, team swag,” explains Mel, “It reminds you that beyond the event itself, it’s important to us all the time. Every day. Not just that day. So we’re excited about shirts.”

For this year’s walk on the Mall, Madison’s Walkers raised more than $10,000. For Madison, the event was a chance to feel supported by his loved ones in a crowd of smiling faces and AT-AT shirts. For Mel and Sam, every walk means another step toward funding research that might one day allow them to control this challenging disease, rather than the other way around.

Got an amazing t-shirt story of your own? We’d love to hear it. Use #tshirtstories on Twitter or Instagram to share how a t-shirt helped make a moment even more memorable.



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