There may not be a Major League Baseball team in Portland - or even a minor league baseball team - but the Rose City is home to a one-of-a-kind baseball brand that is becoming a hit across the country.
Baseballism, which opened its first shop in Portland this month, is a lifestyle apparel brand hoping to invoke images of youth and connect with America's pastime.
For Baseballism co-founders Jonathan Jwayad and Travis Chock, Baseballism began as the name of their baseball camp in Eugene, but it took on a new meaning in January 2012 when they started making shirts.
Chock and Jwayad quickly built a big online following for Baseballism, and 95,000 people now like their page on Facebook, where they share inspirational baseball quotes and their newest shirt designs.
"We were getting a few orders a month, really. Then we grew, and now we're up to 20 to 40 orders a day," Chock said.
It soon became clear to Chock and Jwayad that Baseballism needed space to grow.
"As soon as we started getting pallets delivered to the garage, we said, 'It's a little tight in here,' Jwayad said.
Earlier this month, they opened up their first retail shop on North Interstate Avenue in Portland. Four hundred people attended the store's grand opening, and now the owners wonder if Baseballism shops can catch on elsewhere.
"If we can survive in Portland where there's not a big baseball following and no professional team, we can survive anywhere," Chock said.
A little bit of celebrity endorsement for the product has helped Baseballism along the way. Boston Red Sox legend Wade Boggs tweeted his support for Baseballism earlier this year.
"A first ballot hall of famer who we think is a classy guy, and he wears our product. That is very validating," Jwayad said.
Baseballism's store is open five days per week.
Portions of their sales go back to help local Little League teams.
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