Designer DJ loves his hometown
May 25, 2011 - A Disc Jockey since 1987, Jesse Moyet said it's not unusual at bigger shows to throw T-shirts out to the crowd with his name and logo on it, but little did he know one shirt design with the words "Detroit Love" would become such a hit and evolve into something more.
"I did a big show last year at Pine Knob in the parking lot for a concert. It was a huge show in the VIP area and I had a booth and everything was all set up and my idea was to have some regular t-shirts for guys to throw out," he said. "I figured it's hot, it's August, I want some girl's shirts, so I came up with a "Detroit Love" tank top with a heart.
Moyet said he got the idea from a song he was writing, "Detroit Love" After putting it down on paper and designing it, he decided to have 30 shirts made and sell them for $20 each with a Margarita to go with it.
"I'm DJing, making margaritas and selling shirts, having a good time at the party and all those shirts sold within an hour and had none left. A few weeks later somebody else asked me if I had any more of those shirts and I said 'no I didn't even think about it,'" he said. "So it finally clicked I got the wheels going and made another set of shirts. Those all went in like two days."
Since then Moyet has come up with a variety designs and themes some of which includes, the heart, shamrock for St. Patty's Day, Pumpkin for Halloween, and snow flake and Santa hat for Christmas. He said early on in the design process he realized his wife would not wear the same "square bulky t-shirt" that he would wear.
"I have a whole line for women. Women's cuts, women's fit, and a little more fashion," he said. "It's just been great."
The biggest design recently that's been a big seller is the pink ribbon for breast cancer, which Moyet said has gotten a lot of attention from various walk groups like Relay for Life.
"We've been partnering up with a lot of different people because we're able to wholesale it to all these different groups. When we wholesale it they can mark it up and take all the money they make from it to go directly into their funds," he said. "Whether directly or indirectly we're still getting the shirt out there and helping a good cause."
Giving back to others and helping out is one of the biggest things to Moyet.
"I got ultimate goals I want to get to. Once we get to a certain point we will be able to help out even on a bigger level. Everybody needs some of that," he said. "It's all love."
Moyet, who said he wasn't really into Facebook before, now says it's one of his greatest tools.
"I throw one of these designs up on Facebook, if it's not good I know it right away and we don't make it," he said. "If it's good, it happens right away and it's in the stores."
There are about eight stores currently carrying the product between Detroit and Clarkston. Moyet also said they are constantly researching all the time, so they can use American made products.
"It's just so hard because everything you find is from China and that drive me nuts," he said. "It may take awhile but I think we're going to have stuff come back and have things made here again, that's what we want."
Along with "Detroit Love," Moyet has also expanded into some hometown pride with "Orion Love," and the most recent "Clarkston Love."
"My wife grew up here in Clarkston and I'm an Orion dude," he said. "Clarkston Love started at our daughter's elementary school, Bailey Lake. Faculty and staff saw "Detroit Love" stuff and approached us and asked if we had any ideas for "Clarkston Love," I said 'yeah,' Now, a lot of faculty, staff, and parents are wearing that at our Bailey Lake Elementary and that's going really well.
Detroit Love and Clarkston Love are available at Frank & Me in downtown Clarkston.
"We're excited about it, Terry the owner is always looking for something new and fun and unique most of all. I think this will be a nice fit for us," said Cindy McDonald of Frank & Me. "I think we'll do real well with all of it, especially the Clarkston Love, that's what I think will be the hit."
In addition to being a DJ, Moyet also owns his own landscape company, but is hopeful that the clothing line will continue to go forward and he could step away from the "hard everyday labor" and concentrate on what he really likes to do.
"I never planned it to be like this, I just planned on giving shirts out and handing margaritas out and having a good party It turned into more and this more turned into more with the giving back," he said. "Now I'm starting to see my shirt on people and the artist side of me thinks it's really cool to see people digging my stuff."
Checkout Detroit Love at www.detroitloveapparel.com or find them on Facebook.
Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.