About the Shop
The Face Behind the Shirts
That's me! My name is Jeff Garris. Amplified Apparel has been a dream of mine for a long time. It wasn't always called that, but the idea was the same: to make the world's greatest guitar t-shirts for guitarists and guitar lovers.
How It All Started
It all started while working at a video store in Livonia, MI somewhere around 2002. I was only working part time so I had no money and plenty of free time. Those circumstances where perfect for someone who has always dabbled in this creative activity or another. I had been playing guitar for 5 years by that point, had started taking graphic design classes, and decided that I wanted to design and print my own guitar t-shirt. I had absolutely zero intention of ever attempting to sell it, it was just something that I found enjoyable. After designing the shirt and printing it out on an iron-on I started wearing it every now and again, with somewhat surprising results; people liked it. Most of the time people didn't even know that I had created it myself, they just commented on how much they enjoyed it. That was very encouraging and led me start thinking, "Why don't I try making more and try to sell them?" That's where Cafepress.com came in.
The First Guitar Store
November 12, 2002, the day that I signed up on Cafepress and started Rockin Guitar Shirt Shop. I still can't decide if I like that name or not, but at the time I thought that it was descriptive and good for SEO. I started cranking out designs left and right and really had a blast learning about HTML and CSS so that I could design my own site and not have to rely on a template. The website wasn't beautiful and I wasn't really selling much, but I did manage to make a couple hundred bucks during the next Christmas season, which really saved me as I had no idea where I was going to get the money for presents.
My wife and I met in 2004, but didn't start dating until late 2007, she lived in California and I was still living in Michigan. After six months of back and forth via Spirit Airlines I made the leap and moved out to Cali. It was the best thing that I ever did, not just for our relationship, but for my life in general. In the midst of creating a new life for myself, however, I took a few steps back from my online business. After a little over five years my wife and I moved back to Southeast Michigan to pursue our dream of buying a house and starting a family. Things didn't go exactly as we planned so my wife starting painting wine glasses and it got me thinking about how I could help out. Then it hit me, I should start up my guitar t-shirt site again!
Amplified Apparel: The Future of the Business
Rockin Guitar Shirt Shop had been an off and on project for more than ten years and it had been a joy every step of the way. However, I had been thinking about changing the name, overhauling the site, and moving over to a different platform for some time. After much thought and research, I decided to use Shopify as my ecommerce platform and Printful for product fulfillment. With my eyes set on the prize of entrepreneurship and selling the world's greatest guitar shirts from the Earth's best guitar t-shirt shop, Amplified Apparel was born in late 2014 and is here for all of your guitar t-shirt needs until the end of time.
Thanks for listening! If you have any questions or would just like to chat, go ahead and contact me.