Two years ago, three Philadelphia natives and I bought a sports clothing store on 13th and Walnut called Pro League Authentics. We had no clue what we were doing, but we had a lot of fun doing it. Now, two years later, we’re getting a lot better at it (while still having fun). While a lot of articles lately have talked about local sports stores getting crushed by the wretchedness of the local teams, we’ve managed to largely avoid that by getting ahead of the curve and doing a lot of unique, one of a kind pieces, and we have in fact expanded in some ways outside of sports (for example, the Divine Lorraine shirt above.) Necessity is the mother of invention. The awfulness of the local teams has forced us to get creative, and the results have been tremendous, thanks in large part to the incredible local artists we have working for us.
Also cool is that the quizzo world has had a lot to do with our success. Our primary screenprinter is Alex Ciambriello, who used to be a member of the storied Sidecardigan crew. He mentioned to me soon after we opened that after working in printing for years, and he was starting his own business. We started throwing some shirts his way. The result has been awesome for both of us, as we each helped the other get their business off the ground. His work is terrific, and we’re proud to carry so many Philly-made shirts in the store.
Quizzo expats from the North Star of course remember the bartender Steph. Well, a few weeks before they closed, I discovered that she did a lot of artwork with soaps. We thought it might be fun to expand our offerings at the store, and just this past week we brought in some brand new soaps that you have to see to believe. My personal favorite is the “Dallas Sucks” Fight Club soap.
The list of local artists doesn’t stop there. Jon Billet did a poster for quizzo at the Sidecar a few years ago. I liked it so much that I hunted him down and encouraged to do some artwork for us. The results have been excellent. Our best selling shirts at the store are his stadium series shirts. He also did the Divine Lorraine shirt you see above. Jon subsequently recommended another Philly artist, Keni Thomas. Keni has done incredible work for us, including the Sir Charles, Rocky vs Apollo, and McGillin’s shirts.
Not all of our artwork is on shirts, however. We also carry prints by Philly word artist Dan Duffy. On the walls hang unique collages from a guy named Jason Whitcraft. We met Jason at a local craft fair and loved his one-of-a-kind stuff, so we asked if we could put it on the walls.
Shibe isn’t a collection of generic sports shirts that you can find at Modell’s. It’s a celebration of Philly art, unique talent, and local business. If those are the kinds of things you want to support this holiday season, then I encourage you to check out the store. Whether you’re a sports fan or not, you’re gonna like the stuff we have. And today only, we’re offering 30% off everything online. Just go to the website, use the code “Save30″ at checkout and you can save a fortune. It’s the best deal we will offer all season, so take advantage. Check out the website today, be sure to like us on Facebook, and swing by the store this coming month. My three fellow owners and I have put a hell of a lot of work into it in the past 2 years, we’re proud of the direction it’s heading, and we think you’ll dig it too.