Seilbel’s Shirts Bring Swagger
In April 2015, Gina Seibel was riding high on the Royal’s 2014 season and in search of just the right T-shirt to express her love for the boys in blue and their swagger. But she encountered a snag. At 5’10, she found that most of the Royals women’s-fit T-shirts she tried on weren’t comfortable for her body type.So Seibel, a self-professed T-shirt and jeans kind of girl, decided to create her own custom tee. The Original Swagger Shirt was all about comfort, and a longer more relaxed fit, on a soft T-shirt to flatter all body types. She polled her Facebook friends to inquire if anyone else would be interested in a shirt since she needed to have a minimum of 12 orders to get the design screen printed. Seibel was astounded when she received 60 orders. Seibel licensed her business as KC Swagger in July 2015, and continued to see her business swell, so much that it competed for time with her family and her job as creative director at the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce. While it was difficult for her to step away from her Chamber job in May 2016, she embraced the opportunity to grow her own business and also dedicate time to her family. Seibel’s online shop continues to feature Kansas City baseball and football apparel at the forefront, but she has also branched out to include designs that she hopes appeal to real women. She enjoys designing shirts for girl’s weekends at the lake, softball moms cheering on their kids’ teams and wedding parties. She stands by a ‘no tiny tee’s’ policy, trying out multiple styles and sizes from wholesalers to select the shirts that become her canvas.“I don’t want to have to order a shirt two sizes larger than normal in order for the shirt to fit me how I want it to,” Seibel says. “I design shirts for the normal everyday moms who want to look cute too.” Often, a spark for a design idea begins as Seibel sits coloring with her kids. She takes her sketches and transforms them into digital designs for her commercial vinyl cutter. She then pulls away the vinyl that won’t be a part of the final design and heat presses the final design on the shirts. For larger orders, she works with an area screen printer.