Daughter, mom start prospering t-shirt business

Talent and creativity can show up in unexpected ways at the right time.

This is what happened when Jennifer Arnold, Spring Hill resident, purchased a tie dye kit off of Amazon in August 2021 for fun.

“I didn’t have craftiness in me until this,” she said.

Arnold joined talents with her mom Sue Martin, Osawatomie resident, to collaborate and make shirts that quickly took over her kitchen table.

“It turned into 300 shirts, so we decided ok I guess we are in business,” she said. Arnold said her husband kicked them out of the kitchen into the basement.

From there they remodeled the basement and added a sink and microwave and turned it into the business’ office.

“It’s my Zen area,” Arnold said. “I like to play. It’s been entertaining.”

They took their huge stock of shirts to festivals and farmers’ markets. Arnold said it started with the Spring Hill Farmer’s Market and blossomed from there. She said their biggest was the Ottawa International Harvest Festival where they sold $800 worth of shirts for $15 each.

They sold 21 shirts to a church group last Summer with sizes ranging from 6XL to 4T in kids for a parade.

Arnold said she prefers the artistry side of creating the shirts, her mom is the more social one and her husband is better at the business financial side.

“I am the artist,” she said. “They are the busiand ness. I like to do artist stuff. I like to see people’s faces.” Their new business “Mom and I Dye Together” has now branched out from tie dye to permanent decals and themes. She recently received a Cricut machine for Christmas to make the decals.

“It is amazing,” she said.

Arnold said her favorite patterns are the hearts and then the arrows, and she prefers bright dyes. She said her Mom’s favorite are the reverse dyes.

Arnold said the powder dyes bond to the fibers better, but because they are expensive, they might have to consider raising the prices of their shirts, especially for sweatshirts and hoodies that absorb more dye.

“Color changes the price,” she said.

Arnold said she loves hanging with her Mom, and it is her “play time.” “We are so much alike,” she said. Arnold said she loves making people happy and will continue to make shirts as long as she is able. She works 50 hours a week at the 66 Phillips Gas Station on Gardner Road at the I-35 exit with the shirt business as her second passion project.

“I want to do artist stuff,” she said. “I didn’t have the craft in me until this.”

Mom and I Dye Together will be having a sale this Spring and orders can be made through their Facebook for handmade tie dyed, ice dyed and decaled shirts.