To a ‘T’
Local boys do good with Upper Park Clothing
I’ve been thinking a lot about trees lately, what with covering the happenings outside the Oroville Cemetery, where PG&E is cutting down a good number of 127-year-old sycamores. Walking among the people there—those who were out protesting the chainsaws—I was taken by how much passion they have for nature and for their community.
Some of them sported T-shirts with the name of their organization, Save Oroville Trees. It seemed to create a unity that simply gathering together in the same place doesn’t quite evoke. And it made me think of another shirt I’d seen around town, one with the words “Love Trees” on it. So I decided to track down the makers of that shirt, Upper Park Clothing, and check out what their story is.
When I entered the Upper Park shop, I was immediately greeted by co-owner David Selkirk, who happily gave me a tour. The shop is modest in size, but these guys get a lot done there—from designing the shirts, hoodies and beanies, to actually printing them, to displaying them for sale. And one of the coolest things Selkirk mentioned was that damn near everything is local.
Let’s start with the owners—Selkirk (art director) and Jaime Wilhite (CEO) met while they were students, albeit four years apart, at Chico High School. They’re definitely inspired by Chico and its environs. I mean, the company name is Upper Park Clothing, and most of their designs have something to do with the park, Chico State, local landmarks and events (like the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim) and, of course, our love of trees.
The newest design, Selkirk told me, is based in Chico history. It’s a caricature of Fun World USA, the now-defunct water park, being taken over by monsters. Others in the works include some related to mountain biking and Bidwell Park trails—their very first shirt, Selkirk said, highlights local swimming holes and has been very successful.
Aside from printing on-site, they get leather beanie accessories cut right here in Chico and their popular tie-dye shirts are colored up in Red Bluff. It’s cool to find young people so dedicated to keeping their art and their business local. What’s more, they give back a small portion of each sale to the community.
Upper Park Clothing has been in its 113 W. Eighth Ave. space for about a year now, but their shirts can be found in other shops around town, too. Check out their website (www.upperparkclothing.com) for more info.