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My name is Tommy Wilkinson.  I am 31 years old (5/30/1981) and I live in Greenville, SC. I have been designing t-shirts for nine years for other people, and now I want to start a line of my own.

The Idea: Custom Wikipedia T-Shirts
People love t-shirts.  They use them to express their style and show people what kind of stuff they like, whether that be sports teams, bands, universities, cities, etc.  My idea is to combine the love of t-shirt to the power of Wikipedia.  Wikipedia is the largest online reference work in the world.  There are over 22 million articles written in 285 languages.  The site registers 2.7 billion hits per month from the United States alone.  It has evolved into the go-to place for information in this age of technology.  

I want to make custom shirts that use Wikipedia articles for their content.  My plan is to use the quick info bar located on the right of Wikipedia pages as art for the shirts.  The sheer amount of information on Wikipedia would allow you to have a shirt that no one else on the planet has.  You want a shirt about Jack Daniel's? It's there.  Real Madrid? There. Roland MC-202? There.

To do this, I will need a direct to garment printer.  This idea is not possible with a traditional screen printer because screens would have to be made for each individual shirt and this would make pricing go through the roof.  With a direct to garment printer, I would be able to printer individual shirts for the consumer.  One-offs of everything.  We love to customize everything in our lives and this would be an easy way to show your personality.  The design is still being developed, but it will stay close to the minimalistic, clean design sensibilities that Wikipedia adheres to.

Prize Money:
With the prize money I would be able to purchase the following:
1. AnaJet Sprint or similar DTG printer- $15-20,000
2. Heat Press (to cure the ink on the shirts) 2,000
3. Consumables (ink and maintenance supplies)
4. Media (shirts to print on)

With the prize money from this contest, I would be able to gather all the pieces needed to make this project a reality.  Once grounded, I would like to expand to a line that is fully customizable with personal information.  Same Wikipedia concept, but with more customization options.  

Thanks for the opportunity and I look forward to possibly working with you in the future. 

For more samples of my work, please visit http://shinemediahouse.com.

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