“Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world. She took the midnight train going anywhere” – Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey
Dusti Shivers started making clothing for friends and family from her hometown Liberty, South Carolina. In February 2016, her husband Connor was offered a career opportunity in Knoxville, Tennessee and the Shivers family headed north to Knox county, the birthplace of Mountain Dew, HGTV and small shop Liberty&Knox. “I started an Etsy page so I could continue my hobby,” Shivers recalled. “Living in a brand new state with no friends, it was a great way to fill the extra time. It quickly turned into a second full time job and within five months, I was able to leave my job as a loan underwriter to make shirts!” The shop was named for both locales because “these places have really shaped me as a person as well as the shop.”
Liberty&Knox creates vinyl and printed t-shirt designs for little ones and their mamas. Shivers described the style as “very fun, pop culture inspired, but age appropriate comfortable t-shirts.” The shop has matured from early basic designs to more complex ones. “As I’ve gained experience and knowledge, I’ve been able to create more detailed designs. I’ve also recently stepped outside of my vinyl comfort zone and added printed designs to the shop,” said Shivers. Her personal favorite is a “tie between any of The Office designs,” but I adore all of the custom monograms, the “Y’all” state designs, and the personalized names in script shirts. “My most popular shirt would have to be the ‘You Serious, Clark?’ baseball raglan,” Shivers shared. “Every year for the past three years, I’m making hundreds between August and December. I get the various orders throughout the year, and as a Christmas fanatic, it always makes me happy to be making a Christmas shirt in the middle of summer for a fellow fanatic out there.”
What else makes Shivers happy? “I love being able to exercise creativity on a daily basis. I find so much inspiration from the members of my Facebook group. Liberty&Knox is not just designs I’ve come up with, but also custom orders that have been requested by members of the group. Custom orders give me the chance to brainstorm with so many other amazing moms and constantly get feedback on current trends,” she explained. “The best part about creating kids apparel, though, is getting to interact daily with such an amazing community of women from all over the country, many of whom are in the same chapter of life that I’m currently walking. Throughout the years, my tiny 50-person group has turned into thousands of members that I truly consider friends. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have this job.” Don’t stop believin’ / Hold on to the feeling…
The new Liberty&Knox website has the current listings for Shivers’ designs, including her latest Easter t-shirts. Plus, members of the shop’s VIP Facebook group have exclusive access to certain designs, so request to join here.