Merced County Times Newspaper
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Downtown shops, artists unite to sell limited-edition T-shirts


Two businesses in downtown Merced — known for supporting the work of local artists — are selling limited-edition T-shirts online to make money while their doors are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Eli Torres of the store Strangers, and Travis Strang of Tigers and Daggers Records have reached out to local artists who they had worked with in the past for collective art shows and music performances.

They came up with a run of hand-printed shirts to sell to the public, with an even split of the money going to every person involved.

Each new shirt design would be part of a limited-edition run, with shirts priced at $30 to both cover the cost of materials, and help make ends meet while obeying the COVID-19 closure of their “non-essential” businesses and studios.

“I started staying home before California ordered the stay-at-home order because with my wife, Shiomi, is pregnant, and I couldn’t risk her getting sick from anything,” Torres explained.

When the stores released the first shirt design to the public, they received a welcome response with more than dozen preorders came in in the first day.

As of late last week, the group had sold a total of two dozen shirts and it looked like sales were taking off.

When asked about how he felt seeing the local community continue to help support local businesses, Torres noted that he was happy “anyone would be willing to support businesses in a time where things are so uncertain.”

For those who would like to purchase one of the shop’s inaugural handmade shirts, reach out to either Tigers and Daggers Records on Facebook or Strangers on Instagram, respectively.

In order to follow current guidelines set forth by the state and local health officials, payment for the $30 shirt is being accepted electronically through Venmo and CashApp, with the shirt being shipped to the payment’s address upon completion.

For more information, email: [email protected]

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