Tally’s First T-shirt Company

In 1972, Mike Rupp started Tallahassee’s first T-shirt printing company, Ruppshirts, in a plywood storage shed. At that time, he was hanging the shirts to dry on the awning. Within a year, his production and sales grew and he moved into a small warehouse by the airport. A year after that he got his first darkroom when he moved into shared space with Pressmasters, an offset printing company. Over the next six years he would continue moving and improving his space but still using homemade equipment.

In 1982 he bought his first automated press followed by his first professional dryer in 1983. The timing for the new equipment worked out great because the following year he started collegiate licensing and making shirts for one of his most popular and faithful clients, Salty Dog Surf Shop in Daytona Beach, Florida.

In 1987, the company moved into their current location, a building designed and built for screen printing. In the 1980’s he began his collegiate product line, followed by dual licensing with the Three Stooges and producing for Disney, ESPN and The Gap. The vibrant company continued to grow and produce innovative product lines until he sold it to a Jacksonville based firm in March 2009.

In May of 2011 the parent company moved the operation to Jacksonville. However, Mike and his team stayed behind, acquired new equipment and began RaGZ. Thus continuing the fine tradition of Tallahassee’s oldest owned and operated quality shirt and promotional product company.