Thursday, September 27, 2012
North Chattanooga resident Blake Porter is the sort of person who takes action, speaks his mind and makes his ideas come to life. So when he came up with the idea of starting his own clothing line dedicated to people doing something progressive and positive for themselves, called Tag You’re It, he followed his dream.
“I always liked the idea of doing something against the grain,” said Porter. “Just by starting this company I’m fulfilling my mission statement.”
After living in Fort Collins, Col., for three years, Porter returned to Chattanooga last fall and enrolled in UTC as an English major before deciding to take a different route. One night when he couldn’t sleep, the idea to start Tag You’re it came to him.
“I became obsessed with the idea of it,” said Porter, “It was time to take the jump and make it happen.”
Through the Co.Lab’s eight-week SpringBoard class, he learned ways to make his business venture a success, such as how to set it up and what to do about advertising.
“It was so beneficial,” he said. “Chattanooga thrives on the mentality of helping your neighbors and brothers.”
Porter bought Adobe Photoshop and Creative Suite, which he used to create his own graphics for the fall line. He said his designs are inspired by and dedicated to people who are doing something to better themselves, from musicians and artists to bartenders and baristas.
“I think a lot of people will appreciate the idea as well as the graphics themselves,” he said in reference to his designs, which contain subtle local references such as the longitude and latitude of Frazier Avenue.
Local screenprinter Mike Lester of Garuda Screenprinting is putting Porter’s graphics onto American Apparel garments, and Porter is now beginning to see the results of the long hours he has put into the project.
He plans to hold a release party for his fall line in early to mid-October. This season’s line features hats, T-shirts and a zip-up hoodie in a high-quality triple fabric blend.
“I’m extremely excited about the fall line,” said Porter. “The garments are not very convoluted and [are] really unique.”
This winter he wants to add track jackets and a heavier coat as well as more hoodies and hats, and he is excited about the tank tops he will add this spring and summer, he said.
Porter will sell his clothing predominantly online, though he has been talking to local boutiques such as Leo Handmade Gallery on Frazier Avenue about carrying a few items.
Within the next four to five years, he said he would like to start making his own garments, perhaps eventually moving the operation to a larger city.
“For now, there couldn’t be a better city [than Chattanooga] to do this,” he said.