Town Talk: North Shore Teez — Representing the Northside!
By Anna Yoder | Columnist
I think most of us have seen Northsiders wearing them. They are the unique Northside shirts worn by individuals who are proud to say they are from the Northside (or by those who just think the shirts are really cool.) The famous shirt’s design blends the word “Northside” with the half dome mountain of a popular brand.
I too wanted to be in that group that positively represented the Northside, and mentioned to my husband I wished to have one of those Northside shirts. Yet we had no idea where to get one. Eventually my husband happened upon North Shore Teez where he purchased my official Northside shirt (in purple). I couldn’t be happier. The Northside shirts are designed and created by Ray Trammell, the owner of North Shore Teez and are precisely — what Ray calls — “Thee Northside shirt.”
During a recent chat with Ray, I asked him how he landed in the custom shirt business. While searching for a business opportunity and a “better option,” Ray explored “different stuff on YouTube” and discovered custom shirt design. Ray goodhumoredly told me that after graduating from what he described as “YouTube University,” he truly found his calling from which his business emerged.
Ray also realized there was a demand in the neighborhood for custom shirts that were locally made. Rather than having customers going out of town or on-line to purchase them, Ray could offer custom shirts right here on the Northside and decided this was the right business venture for him.
Self-taught (with a little help from YouTube and an Epson 2100 printer), Ray began his custom shirt business several years ago in his first store called Brighton Market, which was more of a convenience store than custom shirt shop. Once his custom shirt business got off the ground, Ray moved his business to East Ohio Street in 2017 where there was more foot traffic and he could flourish among the other businesses. Wanting yet a bigger and better space, Ray moved his business again in 2019 across the street to its current location, where he continues to work his magic and offer clever takes on famous logos with a Northside spin. Ray offers “direct to garment printing,” “vinyl lettering,” and “screen printing” on primarily cotton based garments. His shirt styles include tee-shirts, sweatshirts, tanks and hoodies. Ray’s quintessential “Thee Northside shirts” are customer favorites and come in various designs for every taste: from the colorful Northside “Pride” (featuring the pride rainbow flag) and “BHM” (Black History Month) designs to the ingenious “license-style” (each letter of the word ‘NORTHSIDE’ is spelled out with a different state’s license plate). Each is unique, playful, and gives options on how you can represent the Northside!
Ray admits he was “no angel” growing up and is now a family man who, through his hard work and business, wants to “set a better example for younger kids including his own” that there are positive options to a successful life. In addition to the famous Northside shirts, Ray creates custom family vacation, reunion, or team shirts and is willing to work with you to create that special shirt. Ray also provides superb customer service which I experienced when ordering a shirt for my husband.
Smitten with the designs of Ray’s shirts, my husband expressed an interest in having one of his own. Rather than a teeshirt, my husband asked for a hoodie in Steeler colors. I popped over to North Shore Teez around closing time and discovered that Ray had none of the hoodies in stock of what my husband wanted. Ray flashed his million-dollar smile and told me he’d “get it done” for me if I could wait 20 minutes. On a tight schedule that day, I told Ray I would return in the morning to pick it up and offered to pay for the shirt so he knew I’d be back. A trustworthy businessman, Ray declined my offer to pay before I received the custom hoodie and said he’d have it ready in the morning. Upon my return to his store early the next morning, I found Ray and the yellow hoodie with the famous Northside design in black (which was perfectly crafted) waiting for me. My husband was delighted!
One thing is for certain; if you want to represent the Northside in a unique way (or in need of any custom shirt), head to North Shore Teez on East Ohio and pick up an iconic, custom Northside tee-shirt, sweatshirt or hoodie! Ray will “get it done” for you and you won’t be able to stop smiling because his smile is truly infectious.
North Shore Teez is located at 606 East Ohio St.