Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


Home · Articles · News · Features · High 5
. . . .

High 5

Erin Crowell - August 22nd, 2011

High Five to the Hand: It’s ‘all Michigan’all the time for 3 entrepreneurs
By Erin Crowell
In Michigan, we know how to use our hands – from hard labor and sipping
local spirits to geographically showing our location; yes, if you’re a
Michigander, at one point you’ve probably thrown up that palm for an
out-of-stater and pointed (whether a wrinkle or pinky) to where you live.
Thanks to its shape, Michigan is the hardest U.S. state to draw but likely
the most identifiable.
It’s this identification that is the idea behind High Five Threads, a
product line celebrating not only Michigan’s unique shape, but its
culture.
“We want to show Michigan is more than just backwoods cottages,” said
Byron Pettigrew, one of three owners of the Traverse City-based store
which sells all-Michigan products. Located in the Village of the Grand
Traverse Commons, High Five Threads will host its grand opening on
Thursday, Aug. 25, from 5-7 p.m.
HIGH FIVE
The company’s most popular product includes its t-shirts printed on Bella
& Canvas Brand cotton, which uses an athletic-style cut.
Such designs include the High Five Threads logo, a hand drawn in place of
the Lower Peninsula; “Vinted in” and “Brewed in” with the outline of the
Lower Peninsula shaped as a wine and beer glass, respectively; the
DueceThirtyOne, our region’s response to Detroit’s 313 and 616 branded
shirts; and the very popular “Keep It Fresh” lake print—a Great Lakes-only
rendering celebrating the natural beauty that surrounds us, as well as
what makes the outline of the state stand out.
“We practically sold out of shirts within our first week and a half of
opening,” said Brad Kula, who deals with the marketing and business end of
the company.
Other products include the High Five Threads logo vinyl decal, glassware,
Fishtown coffee, homemade treats from Traverse City’s D.O.G. bakery and a
Michigan-shaped (Lower and Upper Peninsula represented) ice cube tray,
which was designed and manufactured entirely in Michigan.
Materials and assembly for the tray are represented in Howell,
Chesterfield, Shelby Township, St. Clair Shores, Harrison Township,
Midland and Clarkston.
Lance Hill, the company’s “chief creator” of design (as he puts it,
laughing), has created all the logos and rendering of High Five’s
products, save the “Awesome Mitten” and “Detroit Hustles Harder” designs.

THE COMPANY
Before the trio graduated from Kalkaska High School in 2004, Hill and
Pettigrew were already operating a part-time business; Sound Bytes—an
entertainment and DJ service for private parties and corporate events they
started at age 15—still exists today (check them out at
soundbytesdjs.com).
In 2010, Pettigrew, Hill and Kula launched their marketing and design
company, Lit Image, which helps clients do everything from graphic design
and branding to photography and event planning.
The online company met most of their clients face-to-face at the Grand
Traverse Commons, so when the opportunity presented itself to snag some
retail space in the building, the three believed a move there seemed the
most logical step.
The small space serves as both a store and headquarters for their multiple
businesses –- with plans to expand their product line into sweatshirts,
hats and other clothing, according to Hill.
There’s no argument that these 24-year-olds, each a month apart, have the
business savvy and overall drive to see a vision through to a profitable
endeavor. However, their drive is more than just about doing business –
it’s about helping Michigan, and the people who live here, make a name for
themselves.
“When we were in high school, practically everyone wanted to leave the
state,” said Pettigrew. “We want to show this generation that Michigan is
actually a really cool place to be.”
High five to that, man!

 
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