we decided to chase our dreams. We were two teenagers who wanted to make our own path. We started printing t-shirts in Mark’s parents’ basement to sell in our hometown of Detroit Lakes, MN on our famous mile-long beach. We had a couple of dogs, a homemade plywood printer, two second hand kitchen ovens and cookie sheets for curing the ink. The product line included a handful of screenprint designs that we sold at our small beach store and custom artwork for local resorts, restaurants and businesses. We didn’t have many rules back then, other than no beer until after 8 pm, no Frank Zappa while customers were around and lastly, no leaving until the orders were out the door.
We have a few more rules now, but we’re still focused on “wowing” our customers. Today, Lakeshirts/Blue 84 has grown to almost 700 team members, several dogs, and more than 10,000 satisfied customers. What started in that basement next to the lake has grown to a 305,000 square foot production and warehouse facility.
The single plywood printer has been replaced by 54 automatic screenprint presses, 32 multi-head embroidery machines, six 60-foot laser applique bridges, three sublimation presses, eight pad print presses and 15 sticker cutters.
Nearly 40 years in business, our focus is still on our fantastic customers. We are a wholesale supplier, but believe in collaborating with our customers to develop great products creating relationships that last a lifetime. We strive to exceed not only our customers’ expectations but bring value to all our stakeholders – customers, employees, vendors, owners and the community we call home. If you happen to be in the lakes area, we invite you to stop in and see for yourself. We always enjoy visits, and we’re proud to show off the community that we’ve called “home” for all of our lives. And if you happen to bring along a Milk Bone® or two with you, we know you’ll make some very quick and deep friendships.