The Shop to open in Clay Terrace Sept. 1
By Christine Fernando
The Shop, a vintage-style T-shirt store, will be the newest addition to the 72 businesses that line the walkways of Clay Terrace. The store’s team will add five or six new employees to its staff of 12 to run the Carmel storefront, which will open Sept. 1.
The store focuses on sports apparel and offers Indiana-themed T-shirts, fleece sweaters, hoodies, glassware and keychains. It also has licenses with many Indiana universities as well as Miami University, Negro Leagues Museum, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis Racers and Indy Eleven.
As of now, The Shop co-owner Brian Kelly is helping prepare for opening day by painting and changing flooring.
“We’ll be ready to go,” he said. “We hope people will be ready to come in and take a look.”
Although he said many retailers sell Indiana apparel, what sets The Shop apart is its comfortable and durable fabrics and originality.
“Our designs really are stuff that hasn’t been done before,” he said.
For Kelly, the design process begins with brainstorming sessions that are often based on the sports and other events going on each season. He designs everything himself.
In addition to pre-designed products, The Shop also offers custom designs for businesses such as breweries and restaurants. Although clients often have an idea in mind, Kelly said the custom design process begins with mock-ups and meetings.
“We sit down with them to get their vision and make something they really like,” he said.
The Shop began in 2011 as an online store called Hayes & Taylor. Since then, it merged with Janeczek’s Brick Shirt House to create the store it is today.
“It was just a side job,” Kelly said. “We never thought it would be a full-time gig, but it grew and grew.”
In 2015, The Shop opened its first storefront. Two months later, Kelly quit his job at Salesforce to focus on the business full-time.
“That was definitely nerve-racking,” he said.
Through the years, The Shop has built a steady following of more than 5,000 followers on Facebook and almost 8,000 on Instagram. Kelly said social media branding was vital, especially in the beginning.
“You’ve got to stick with it and have patience,” he said. “You can’t expect instant gratification. You need to take the time to build a brand.”
Within the next five years, Kelly wants to open another storefront, possibly in downtown Indianapolis. He also wants to expand to college campuses and maybe out of state.
But no matter how much it grows, Kelly said the most rewarding part of the job will be seeing people in stadiums and bars wearing The Shop’s products.
“It started out that you’d see people from time to time, but the business has grown so much that you can expect to go out and see someone wearing something we’ve designed,” he said. “It’s really pretty cool.”