By Alyssa Weston
Youngstown Clothing Co. creates merchandise geared toward Mahoning Valley residents and uses blog posts to keep customers updated on its latest designs and partnerships.
Owner Matt McClure founded the Youngstown Clothing Co. in March 2015. The Youngstown Clothing Co. sells apparel such as T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats.
Matt McClure said the Youngstown Clothing Co. doesn’t have a brick and mortar store, but the brothers started doing pop-up events soon after their website launch. They recently added the blog to their website and said they hope to open a retail store soon.
“When city based T-shirt shops started popping up we were drawn to the feel of the clothing they produced but missed out on the hometown connection,” McClure said. “We wanted to provide the city we love with a way to represent where they are from with the highest quality clothing.”
Youngstown Clothing Co. has apparel for sale at Stone Fruit Coffee Company, Nova Coffee Co, The Tyler History Center gift shop and is actively seeking other businesses to partner with.
McClure said the response the Youngstown Clothing Co. received is unbelievable and he said he is excited to continue growing the brand.
“You can take a person out of Youngstown, but you can’t ever take the Youngstown out of a person,” he said. “We know this to be true because we have shipped our clothing all over the country to people who feel the same way we do about where they were born and raised.”
Stone Fruit owner Joshua Langenheim said the relationship between Stone Fruit and Youngstown Clothing Co. came to be because they both desire to be deeply rooted in the city of Youngstown.
“We are proud to be re-investing in our home and jump at the opportunity to help others do the same,” he said. “They are a company paying homage to Youngstown same as we are. It is our privileged to give them a platform to grow.”
Youngstown Clothing Co. also makes Stone Fruit specific merchandise, however, Langenheim said they do carry most of Youngstown Clothing Co.’s other merchandise as well.
“Local businesses working together will put Y-Town back on the map. No one person or company can do everything, but everyone can do something,” he said. “When everyone attempts to do something is when we will begin to see drastic positive changes in our city.”
Emma Linnen, sophomore anthropology major and a barista at Stone Fruit, said she owns some Youngstown Clothing Co. apparel.
Linnen said the T-shirt she owns is very soft, and when she sees Youngstown Clothing Co. co-owner Matt restocking merchandise, he is always friendly and open to talking about his designs.
“I’ve washed my shirt multiple times and the logo hasn’t worn off at all,” she said.
Maia Totterdale, junior communications major, said she enjoys the local collaboration between Youngstown Clothing Co. and Stone Fruit, as well as how easily accessible the clothes are to YSU students.
“I think it’s cool because it’s cheaper and easier to get than the stuff at the bookstore and it’s a good alternative,” she said.
Totterdale said the clothes are “incredibly” comfortable.
“When I’m tired and I don’t want to do life, I just put it on and it’s wonderful. It’s like a hug,” she said.
McClure said the Youngstown Clothing Co. is proud of its roots and the pride the brothers share with consumers is what keeps them inspired.
“Growing up in the Valley offered such a nostalgically rich experience that only those from here can truly understand,” he said. “Not only do they want to wear our products for their quality and comfort, but because they feel a personal connection with each design they wear.”