Chandler firm’s shirts mark Gilbert’s 98th birthday SanTan Sun News

Chandler firm’s shirts mark Gilbert’s 98th birthday

August 6th, 2018 | by SanTan Sun News
Chandler firm’s shirts mark Gilbert’s 98th birthday
Business
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SANTAN SUN NEWS STAFF

Gilbert residents can now wear their love for the town on their sleeves – literally – thanks to a Chandler company.

To celebrate the 98th anniversary of Gilbert’s founding on July 6, the town released limited-edition T-shirts on its online store that depict a silhouette of the state of Arizona with an inlaid illustration of the town’s famous water tower.

Residents can purchase the shirts for $30 to $32 at shop.gilbertaz.gov. The initial release of 100 shirts sold out in three days, and the town has since ordered about 150 more, Gilbert spokesoman Jennifer Alvarez said.

While the shirts are technically a limited-edition offering, Alvarez said the town will respond to resident demand.

“As long as people want the shirts, we will continue to provide them,” she said.

The shirts are a product of Chandler-based State Forty Eight, the clothing company known for producing Arizona-themed products.

The company produces a range of shirts, hats and accessories emblazoned with the company name written inside an illustration of the state of Arizona.

Alvarez first reached out to the company after hearing about its frequent collaborations with local organizations like 100 Club of Arizona, a nonprofit that provides support for public safety officers throughout the state and their families.

“We are always looking for ideas and ways to engage the community and to show community pride,” she said.

State Forty Eight co-founder Mike Spangenberg said those types of collaborations are becoming a larger part of the company’s growing business.

“Collaboration this last couple years has been a big part of our business,” he aid. “It goes back to what our brand is all about. We’re three guys from Arizona who want to show our love for it.”

Spangenberg said the company is now producing about three collaborations a week for organizations like the American Heart Association, Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank and former Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians’ foundation.

The company also made shirts for Gonzo’s Hometown Heroes Fund, the charity backed by former Diamondbacks outfielder Luis Gonzalez that benefits first responders.

In addition to nonprofit and charitable organizations, State Forty Eight also works with local restaurants and businesses like Gilbert’s Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. and Chandler’s SanTan Brewing Company.

Spangenberg said these collaborations are an extension of the company’s original mission, which was to give Arizonans a simple way to show off their local pride. That’s why State Forty Eight has largely stuck to shirts, hats and similar items rather than expanding its offerings.

“T-shirts and hats can be worn every day,” he said. “We thought less is more, and we will stick with that. You can spread your love for your state wherever you are.”

While Gilbert is the first municipality to collaborate with State Forty Eight, it likely will not be the last.

Spangenberg said the company wants to create shirts for communities throughout the state by selling them directly through the company’s online store.

“Our ultimate goal is to create a shirt for every city in Arizona,” he said. “As much as people love Arizona, they love their city even more.”

Jennica Maes/Special to SanTan Sun News

Founders-owners of Chandl;er-based State Forty Eight are, from left, Stephen and Nick Polando and Mike Spangenberg.

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