A Walker High School graduate who missed Jasper while living in another state has created a t-shirt design that has become popular throughout Walker County and across the country.
Lisa Reed said she has been an artist since her days growing up as a toddler in the Frisco community of Jasper. Reed graduated from Walker High in 2002 and went on to get an art degree at the University of North Alabama.
“I always knew that I wanted to be an artist, but I knew that probably wasn’t going to pay my bills,” she said. “I knew that I needed to find a job where I could and still do my art on the side.”
Reed moved to North Carolina for several years. It was while living there she realized how much she missed home. That homesick feeling is what led her to create a t-shirt dedicated to Frisco.
“I started trying to do a shirt with all the street signs in Frisco, but I couldn’t find a look that I liked,” Reed said. “That’s when I decided to use the street names in different fonts.”
That first shirt was created a couple years ago, but it was during a trip home when she was wearing the shirt that it took off, and others wanted to buy copies of it.
“They all saw my Frisco shirt, and I had friends in Coke Oven asking why I didn’t make one for there,” she said. “I grew up in Frisco, but other members of my family were in Coke Oven. I decided to do that shirt, and then it kept growing to Jasper and then other communities in Walker County.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is what helped Reed’s shirt sales gain a lot of momentum.
“People were at home with nothing better to do than be on Facebook,” she said. “I would post a picture of a shirt, and people kept wanting them and wanting one for their community.”
Once a community was requested, Reed would go to social media to ask people what they think of when they think about that community. Those are the words she used on the design of each shirt.
“It really did take off at that point. I was shocked at the number of people who started ordering shirts,” Reed added.
The shirts have officially been called “Hometown T-shirts,” and Reed uses #HometownTshirts to market them. Reed is currently selling shirts highlighting Walker County, Jasper, Frisco, Coke Oven, Parrish, Sipsey, Oakman, Carbon Hill, Cordova and Dora. They are available in 12 different colors, but most buyers pick the colors each community is typically known for, such as blue and white in Oakman.
“I have had a lot of fun doing this and coming up with the shirts,” she said. “I have met so many people just because they thought the shirts look good and they want to help with names.”
Shirts are available for purchase by finding Lisa M. Reed on Facebook. She sells through her page and accepts Cash App or Paypal. Shirts are $25 each, but the Jasper version is $33 because it is printed front and back.