When I was about 12, this store called Expressions was all the rage in Cleveland. People had birthday parties there. Girls begged their moms to take them there on a Saturday afternoon. But why, you may ask. Why was this one T-shirt store so popular?
It's because YOU COULD CREATE YOUR OWN T-SHIRT. And not just create one, but paint a design on the shirt in puffy paint before it was put on a spinning wheel and turned into a graphic masterpiece. I'm talking spun out hearts, stars, stripes, you name it -- the world was your oyster.
My mom was nice enough to take me TWICE during my childhood -- because, of course, one shirt just wasn't enough for me! I wish I could find a photo of my first shirt for you, because it was my masterpiece -- an oversized purple tee with a blown-out glittery heart. Alas, I think the photos of this are somewhere in my mom's house right now.
But I have to admit I loved this peachy pink tee just as much. I painstakingly crafted those shimmering metallic stripes out of dots of puffy paint. This shirt took around two hours to complete. And then, to watch it be spun around the wheel and turn into these cool wide stripes? SO AWESOME.
And, of course, since it was the 90's, I paired it with my shorts overalls and a NO EXCUSES pin (which, yes, I made sure matched the tee exactly). I can't really say anything good about my huge triangular-shaped bob here, but loyal readers will already know I didn't discover the flat iron until much later in life.
Expressions was one of those stores and experiences that stuck with me throughout my life. I loved how creative and expressive the store made me feel! They did a wonderful job of encouraging people to create anything their hearts desired -- and that experience was invaluable.