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Home Tee Shirt

home tee shirtRyan Shell is a tee shirt tycoon. Tee shirts are making a lot of people rich quick these days, whether they sell their own or use one of the tee shirt crowdfunding sites to sell their wares. Shell prints and sells his own products under the brand name Home T; he’s latched onto the concept of “home-state pride” to make sales. His shirts have an outline of a state with the word “home” in the middle; it’s a simple concept that’s working for him.

With the US population becoming more and more mobile, it’s highly likely to find people living in a state they are not from. Shell was in the same situation back in 2010 when he went to New York City to find his fortune. Little did he know his fortune would come from the ubiquitous tee shirt. He printed up a shirt with his native North Carolina on it and sold a boatload of shirts. Now, he wants a Shark to help him sell more stuff and he’ll try to get an investment for Home T in episode 628 on Friday, March 20.

ABC made a big deal out of the fact that Home T has over $1 million in sales – that’s a LOT of tee shirts! What Shell needs to do is show the Sharks his business can sustain the level of sales he’s enjoyed thus far.

My Take on the Home T tee shirt

I am a tee shirt guy. I usually wear a tee shirt and shorts around the house while I’m working and I have well over one hundred tee shirts. Most of the tee shirts I own were either free or given to me as gifts. I can always count on getting multiple Red Sox or Patriots tee shirts from my kids for my birthday or Christmas. Couple that with stuff I get at trade shows, promotional items, and other shirts people give to me and I have enough shirts to insulate my house!

People in general like tee shirts – they’re an inexpensive way of expressing yourself and they’re comfy. That’s why tee shirts are a multi-billion dollar business. I like Shell’s design – I may even get a Massachusetts shirt when I move out of state later this year. The real question is will a Shark like his design?

Do Sharks Tee up an investment?

Mr. Shell is obviously a good marketer, but will a Shark think that’s good enough to invest in the business? I can hear Mr. Wonderful talking about how there is nothing proprietary about the design and what’s to stop him from opening “Mr. Wonderful’s Home Tee Shirt Company.” That’s the killer here. If Shell doesn’t have a trademark (you can’t trademark a state outline), there really is nothing too proprietary about it at all. The phrase “Home. T” is trademarked, but who’s to stop someone from trademarking “my home tee” or a similar phrase?

What he may have going for him is the actual tee shirt itself. There are dozens of testimonials from customers saying the shirts are soft and comfortable. If he has a proprietary tee shirt, that could be where the money is. That said, even with big sales, I don’t think a Shark gets involved. What will happen it Ryan Shell and The Home T will sell a lot of tee shirts on show night!

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob and more.


  1. Chryste Ferrara says

    Hey, the ORIGINAL creators of the Home T-Shirt are Home State Apparel… they started making these shirts before Ryan did, and they’re also based out of Greensboro, NC. Maybe that’s where this guy got the idea?

  2. Larry Nelson says

    Home State Apparel is the creator of the Home tee shirt. If Shark Tank does their homework, they will see this and Ryan Shell will be laughed off the set…

  3. Andy Vantreese says

    I find it somewhat ironic that Mr. Wonderful told this scumbag that he didn’t have anything someone else couldn’t copy when that is exactly what this snake did. is the original home t shirt that was started and is still based in Greensboro North Carolina. If you like the brand support the original.

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