Roots Underground Outfitters

Off the Rack or You Design It—Roots does Both

By Mike Varney

Do you need 50 tee-shirts for a special function or have a favorite picture you’d like to see on a bit of clothing? Roots Underground Outfitters will custom design and print either for you. The best part? They offer customers free mock-ups with no set-up fees and require no minimum order number.

Liam Duax, the owner, moved his five-year-old clothing operation to 2622 N. Downer Avenue just over one year ago. “We started out as a men’s fashion boutique, which we still are, but we’re trying to get more women’s stuff,” he said. “When you do custom shirts—that’s for everybody. Now that we’re coming up on the holiday season, that’s always one of the more popular things—it’s always a great gift idea.”

Roots Underground Outfitters will take your picture, logo, words or design and create a shirt for you. “One of our main customers are people with up-and-coming clothing lines. That is what’s behind the name Roots, from the ground up. We’re always looking to promote up-and-coming artists of all forms,” Duax said. Their marketing material further emphasizes this special affinity for artistic branding and clothing line production.

“We do a lot of small batches of clothes that we put out. When you shop here, you’re not going to be walking down the street and see somebody wearing the same shirt you’re wearing,” he said. “As far as the Roots brand stuff we put out, we always try to keep that very affordable, $30 or less.”

The words street wear, skateboard style, and sneaker boutique describe what’s on offer in the store. Design-wise, Roots specializes in high quality screen printing. Schools, sports teams, businesses, family reunions and individuals have all taken advantage of their services. They can produce decals.

Roots Underground Outfitters joins four other newly-opened businesses on Downer Avenue (The Nail Bar, Salon Nova & Lash Boutique, Robert Laurence, and Downer Cleaners) in helping re-energize the two-block-long retail gem.

“We were looking at a lot of different locations,” Duax said. His own market research indicated over 100 people an hour would pass the front door, at all hours of the day. “I was blown away by the numbers. If we do it right, people will come in,” he figured