When I first heard that a t-shirt company was opening on Elmwood I wasn’t sure if the everyday concept would fly. After all, the competition for t-shirts is tough because it’s a fairly low barrier to enter the market. Also, a business would have to sell a ton of t-shirts to hang in there… the place was going to need a good hook.
Fortunately Michael Bowen, the owner of Pasteurized Tees, does have a hook, and it’s a good one at that. Actually, the premise behind the business is fascinating. This is how it works:
1. Send almost any design to Michael (sans shadowing, gradients, etc.)
2. Pick a size and a color for a t-shirt
3. Wait as little as half an hour
4. Stop back to pick up your custom shirt
5. Pay for the shirt (average 20 bucks) and wear it out later that night
If you think that this is too good to be true, then you’ll just have to take my word for it – I saw the process from start to finish and it’s fairly brilliant. Last Saturday I was speaking with Michael (even though the store wasn’t officially open yet) and a customer walked in. The guy looked at a design on the wall, asked if he could get it in a different color, and he wanted one color accent changed from green to white.
Michael told the customer to stop back in half an hour, before pulling a shirt off the rack, jumping behind the computer, making the color adjustment, printing out the custom ink gel sheet, applying it to the shirt and then sticking it in the heat press. When he pulled it out it was ready to wear and looked completely professional.
I asked Michael how the t-shirt would wear over time, and he told me that the print would outlast the shirt – that’s how permanent the process is. As I discussed the business with Michael, myriad designs went through my head that I envisioned wearing on a t-shirt. Even though the ‘Cheer up emo kid’ (seen in photo) was a super simple design, there were a bunch of others that were more complex including custom QR Codes that are scannable and readable with Smart Phone technology.
Besides the creative endeavor, Michael has turned Pasteurized Tees into a modern, open, welcoming space – a space that sat vacant for half a decade (space is now divided in half). That’s great news for the 400 block of Elmwood. Michael is already working on pulling the weeds out front and will be maintaining the tree bed (insert sound of angels trumpeting in the clouds). The store is still undergoing some final touches, and has limited hours. I would image that after the long weekend the regular hours will kick in.
478 Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14222