Independent Heartland designs tees that celebrate “life, nature, love, food and music in the Midwest.” Shop owner, Shannon, is very passionate about supporting local culture. See what she has to say about her newest venture.
What motivated you to open an Etsy shop?
My husband and I were born and raised in the Midwest but moved to Colorado straight out of college. We loved the region’s people, mountains, music and culture, and we had our beautiful daughter in Fort Collins in 2011. Raising a young child so far from her Midwestern grandparents finally convinced us to move home to be closer to family.
Though we were in love with Colorado, returning to our roots in 2015 inspired a newfound love for the beauty, heart and soul of the Midwest. The locavore mindset that became ingrained in us during our seven years in Colorado translated to a rediscovery of the live music, local food, wonderful communities and beautiful heritage of our native Midwest.
This newfound lust for the independent culture of our homeland inspired our website, which invites readers to explore right along with us through our features on the blog and social media. After publishing our first few articles in the Spring of 2016, some readers suggested that we take it further by starting a line of apparel for likeminded indie hearts who want to represent their roots and show pride for their culture in style.
So we combined my graphic design experience with the desire to celebrate the culture of our homeland, and this summer we launched the Independent Heartland line: lifestyle-centric apparel inspired by both childhood memories and new experiences of life, love, nature, food and music in our beloved Midwest.
What is your most popular design?
The Vintage Distressed Johnny Cash design is our most popular by far. It echoes the soundtrack of a childhood spent playing in cornfields, teenage years learning the guitar at the campground and college years blasting “I’ve Been Everywhere” with our windows down through the vast open spaces of Wisconsin and Illinois.
How often do you add new designs to your shop?
I add 2-3 new designs each week, and I’m designing – either on my Mac or in my head – several times a day. Inspiration is everywhere.
Favorite part of the business?
Practically everything about writing articles and designing shirts that celebrate our rich culture is a blast, but if I have to choose one piece that stands out it would be the people. While Independent Heartland is still very new, we are building a small but passionate following of readers and customers that grows every day. From the local business owners we interview for our features to the amazing customers throughout the country (and Canada!) we meet through our Etsy shop, we encounter amazing people every day who offer so much generous praise and encouragement. This type of support is invaluable for any new business and we are forever grateful for everyone who joins us as we embark on this exciting journey.
Since I’m a country girl stuck in the city, Shannon sent the Country Roads tee for me to review. I really, really wanted to wear this tee under a nice, cozy, chunky cardigan, but the temp is still almost 90 here. I can’t say enough good things about tee. It’s seriously perfect. The graphic is printed on an American Apparel tee which feels like butter, washes well, and lasts a long time. I have several AA tees that are still looking good after many washes and wears. This shirt is unisex, so I ordered a size small instead of my normal medium. The fit is perfect, not too tight, and the length is great, too, for my long torso. If you want it less fitted, you could order a size up. The fabric stretches and moves well, so I don’t think it would look too big. This tee is available in four colors – heather orange, heather black, navy, and pink. Of course I chose the orange to represent my old high school. GO PANTHERS! Keep in mind that any design can be printed on any tee you find in the shop. All you have to do is ask!
You can get 15% off your purchase with code SHOPGAL15. Expires 10/31/16.
What do you love?