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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A relatively new Knoxville business is making quite a riot in the T-shirt world. The three owners make custom Ts, and one has a personal line as well.
After just a few minutes, Made in Tennessee felt right at home at Riot Printing Company in the Old City. That's because one of the owners has a line of T-shirts and baby onesies named "Made in Tennessee."
Travis Stevens showed off a few of his designs as he explained how he and three friends started their screen printing business. "We just wanted to do some hands-on stuff so we got screen printing stuff and made a little money."
For Stevens and his two partners, the money now comes mostly from custom T-shirts. Using their graphic design backgrounds, computers, classic screen printing machines and creativity, they help bring other people's ideas into reality.
"We will comp it up on the computer, add some color, basically just show them a comp exactly like what the finished product will be," Travis said.
Riot works out of a relatively new space in the Old City. During special events like First Friday, they invite people to watch the screen printing process. They even make special First Friday shirts. Each event has a new logo promoting downtown.
While the crew at Riot has a lot of progressive ideas to help clients come up with just the right image, the actual screen printing process is relatively unchanged.
"It has been the same for more than 200 years," Travis explained. "It is an archaic technology, but it works so no one changes it."
At first, Riot printed a lot of local band shirts, but today you can see their work on employees at local businesses, church functions and sporting events.
But no matter what the project, Riot prides itself on working closely with the community. "We love helping out our local neighbors, too, so this is the perfect place for us. Knoxville is so intertwined," Travis said. "We just want to be a part of that."