John Koveleski, one of the entrepreneur students, makes a customer’s shirt Thursday, July 20, at The Dome in Springfield. Bill Lackey/Staff

Springfield teens start T-shirt business to promote city pride

Three Springfield high school students and a recent graduate have opened up a T-shirt business with hopes of promoting pride for the city.

Beth Lenz, Jaymirr Johnson, John Koveleski and Mustafa Haleem learned entrepreneur skills through a workshop by the Springfield City School District and are now selling their own tee-shirt brand.

“We are a T-shirt company focused on promoting Springfield and bringing up Springfield pride among teenagers,” Lenz said. “A lot of teens don’t really have that pride.”

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The shirt design is based on the area’s zip code and has the numbers “4550” imprinted on the chest and then the last number is written out. Customers can buy a shirt with their last number on it. There is also a t-shirt that has the 4550 numbers and then “you” spelled out, to represent that all the areas of the city are united.

Anyone interested in a shirt can visit the group’s Facebook page.

The teens make their shirts using equipment at the CareerConnectEd center at the Dome and are selling them to make up costs and perhaps even pay themselves.

“You see a cool T-shirt and you are like ‘I have to have that.’,” Lenz, who will be attending Wright State this fall, said. “Everyone wears T-shirts so it’s not like just some people will enjoy it and you can personalize them however you want.”

Haleem, an incoming senior at Springfield High School, said the business was a great opportunity he could not pass up.

“We really wanted to get that Springfield spirit out there,” he said.

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And while the business is rewarding, Johnson, an incoming freshman, and Koveleski, an incoming junior, said they are getting life lessons out of the experience.

“The experience itself is amazing,” Johnson said. “You get to work with different people from different backgrounds.”

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“I learned the most about team building,” Koveleski said. “Learning how to trust others and doing your work on time. Mostly it’s about learning how to work as a team.”

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