T-shirt designer's business dominated by the letters R.I.P. - New York News

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>>

  • NJ girl accidentally kills gun instructor

    NJ girl accidentally kills gun instructor

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 7:12 PM EDT2014-08-26 23:12:52 GMT
    A 9-year-old girl from New Jersey accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use a fully automatic Uzi, authorities said Tuesday. Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, died Monday shortly after being airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Mohave County sheriff's officials said.
    A 9-year-old girl from New Jersey accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use a fully automatic Uzi, authorities said Tuesday. Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, died Monday shortly after being airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Mohave County sheriff's officials said.
  • Fighting street harassment

    Fighting street harassment

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-08-26 22:37:24 GMT
    New York City women are tired of hearing vile things yelled at them as they walk down the street. Many women are going public about street harassment and catcalling. Some even post picture of their offenders on social media. Founded in 2005, Hollaback! is an anti-harassment organization giving women a platform to do just that.
    New York City women are tired of hearing vile things yelled at them as they walk down the street. Many women are going public about street harassment and catcalling. Some even post picture of their offenders on social media. Founded in 2005, Hollaback! is an anti-harassment organization giving women a platform to do just that.
  • Street Stories

    NYC homelessness and panhandling

    NYC homelessness and panhandling

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:08 PM EDT2014-08-26 21:08:08 GMT
    Homeless people still sleep under the Manhattan Bridge, but others who used to camp out near its base have been displaced by police and are now calling Park Avenue South home. Park Avenue South sits in one of the trendiest parts of Manhattan, with businesses, restaurants, hotels, and swank lofts. It's also the street corner home base of Tommy Lanfranchi and his domestic partner Nicole Kilroy, who've been in a methadone program for 10 years.
    Homeless people still sleep under the Manhattan Bridge, but others who used to camp out near its base have been displaced by police and are now calling Park Avenue South home. Park Avenue South sits in one of the trendiest parts of Manhattan, with businesses, restaurants, hotels, and swank lofts. It's also the street corner home base of Tommy Lanfranchi and his domestic partner Nicole Kilroy, who've been in a methadone program for 10 years.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices