Michigan: The Mitten State's biggest high five yet

GRAND RAPIDS, April 19, 2013 – Since 2006, The Mitten State is an up and coming Michigan business focused on vintage t-shirt designs and incredibly soft clothing. 

With a strong online presence of over 30,000 Facebook friends, they have a cult-like following in their home state of Michigan.  They have a genius marketing goal of not just being a t-shirt company but a brand unique to Michigan, for Michigan.

“We sell nostalgia; we sell an emotion; we’re telling the story of Michigan and trying to communicate how lucky we are to be from this state” says Will Bransdorfer, one of the co-founders of The Mitten State.

Started in 2009 and skyrocketing to success in just a few short years, Will details their story, “We sold shirts online that we found to be funny.  Commercially, it wasn’t much of a success.  Except for one gem: our Grand Rapids shirt, which depicted hands as maps of Michigan.  That shirt was the genesis for [The Mitten State].  We built the entire company from that single design, now selling online and in over 40 retailers across the state.”

Recently released for National High Five Day, they helped create a video compilation of high five’s across the high five state.  Underwater, across campus, in casinos, riding carousels, the video featured iconic Michigan locations and more than a few funny moments.  And that Michigan culture is something that is embedded in this company’s DNA, with t-shirts like, “It’s called Pop not Soda” and “Say Yes to Michigan!”

Will explains how the process works, “From our design studio in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we strive to release products that represent the Michigan story: where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re headed. Our designs always have a meaning behind them, whether they tie directly to a historical event, or a symbol, or a popular Michigan saying.”

If things continue progressing as they have, keep an eye on The Mitten State to continue growing and telling Michigan’s story- a perfectly good reason for a high five.


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Rob Bliss

Rob Bliss is a 23 year old entrepreneur with a deep knowledge of advertising, viral marketing, and all things creative.  Rob is most known for creating the Grand Rapids LipDub video, seen by tens of millions of people worldwide.  His multiple viral videos have been featured by just about every major media organization you can list.  He’s a co-founder of Status Creative, a brand awareness firm that brings large-scale attention to people/products/places in highly unique, creative ways.  

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