T-shirt designer's business dominated by the letters R.I.P. - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Detroit T-shirt designer's business dominated by the letters R.I.P.

Posted: Updated:

By Alexis Wiley
Fox 2 News


DETROIT (WJBK) -- The store really functions a lot like a funeral home.  Grieving Detroiters go there.  The staff comforts them and offers them a way to remember their loved ones, and the owner told me that more than 90 percent are victims of violence.

"How many R.I.P. shirts would you say you think you've bought?" I asked Taliyah Brown.

"Like five now," she answered.

"How old are you?"

"13."

But this time Brown and her sisters were making a shirt for their brother, 18-year-old True Whitsey, a college student home for break senselessly murdered on Detroit's west side Thursday night.

"What does this shirt mean to you?" I asked her.

"A lot because my big brother [is] not here [any] more with me," she said.

Her story and ones like it are exactly why Marvin Lovejoy's business has more than doubled.  He opened Lovejoy International more than 30 years ago.  He wanted to make T-shirts for happy occasions.

"I said I want to start it for family reunions and schools and businesses," he said.

But today his business is dominated by three letters -- R.I.P.

He documents each victim's name and the date the order was received.  He keeps their pictures and can tell you how most of them died.  Every order is a stark reminder of what's happening in this city.

"They're killing each other over nothing," said Lovejoy.  "They need to take some of these guns off the streets."

"This is just the seventh day... we already have... three and two more coming in today after five."

But Lovejoy would love to sell more of one particular shirt.  On the front is written the words "stop the violence" and on the back "promote the peace".

Last year, Lovejoy International made 200 sets of R.I.P. T-shirts, and unless something changes, they could make even more this year.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Evan Reed arraigned on sexual assault charges

    Evan Reed arraigned on sexual assault charges

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:42 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:42:51 GMT
    Minor league pitcher Evan Reed has been arraigned on charges of sexually assaulting a woman at a downtown Detroit hotel.
    Minor league pitcher Evan Reed has been arraigned on charges of sexually assaulting a woman at a downtown Detroit hotel.
  • Two in custody on drug charges after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Two in custody on drug charges after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:17 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:17:30 GMT
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
  • 24-year-old women is $66 million jackpot winner

    24-year-old women is $66 million jackpot winner

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:26:09 GMT
    The Michigan Lottery says a Port Huron woman is the winner of a $66 million Mega Millions jackpot that was drawn in mid-June.Kelsey Zachow says in a statement that she "could barely breathe" when she learned she was the winner.
    The Michigan Lottery says a Port Huron woman is the winner of a $66 million Mega Millions jackpot that was drawn in mid-June.Kelsey Zachow says in a statement that she "could barely breathe" when she learned she was the winner.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices