MY OUTLOOK: Justin Lawrence, Pokemon Go Enthusiast

How long have you been a Pokemon fan?

I played as a kid, loved it. Played the card games, video games, and watched the show

What’s your favorite Pokemon and why?

Bulbasaur, he is one of the original starter Pokemon, and he has a special place in my heart.

The team at Oklahoma Shirt Company with their Pokemon Go team shirtsWhat made you decide to incorporate the current Pokemon craze into your business?

Here at Oklahoma Shirt Company, we were all playing it, and when you reach level 5 you have to pick a team. Naturally we all picked the same team. Then we thought, “Hey, we are screen-printers, we should make shirts!” “Let’s design the team colors for each squad, and then offer it to all of our friends to bring their shirts and we can print them!”

What kind of Pokemon themed offers are you doing?

We opened our doors to the public to come by and have their team logo for free on any garments that they provide!

Have you seen any of the team shirts being worn out and about?

On the day we started printing shirts I walked to S&B’s for lunch with my friend Ramones. He had just downloaded the game and I was walking him through all the tips and tricks. On our way back, we encountered a player near the The Womb Gym. Turns out, he was on team Mystic, same as me, so I said “Let’s go take this gym.” After we took the gym I invited him out to come get a team shirt printed. He then returned during our big print day just to thank us. He had been out playing in his team shirt the previous evening and encountered a large number of other team Mystic players that had also had team shirts printed by us. They teamed up and ended up with a group of around 20 to take over and hold all the gyms in the area and make some new friends. The shirts have brought the Pokemon community together in ways I don’t think we really expected.

Why do you think it’s important for local businesses to have a role in cultural phenomenons like this?

Adapt or die. At the heart of every business should be a spirit of hospitality. If you are not sensitive to this, then you will time after time miss your customers where they are or what is significant in their life at the moment. This concept, of taking the customer and converting them to a friend, is the driving force behind the success of our business. 

Why do you think Pokemon are suddenly so popular again?

We all never really do grow up, and any chance we have to rekindle or revisit our childhood loves, we are at a loss to not take advantage of it.

What do you think the draw is of Pokemon Go?

The accessibility of the product. Its free, it’s on everyone’s smartphone, and all the cool kids are doing it!

What’s the coolest Pokemon you have caught on Pokemon Go?

A pretty coveted creature known as Gyrados showed up in my living room the other night. That was pretty wild. All my buddies were pretty upset, as they have spent countless hours trying to find him.

What do you think the impact of Pokemon Go is within our community?

It is getting people outside, which is always good. People are being more active, engaging in social events, and having the chance to connect with their kids with walks, visits to local hotspots, and new adventures!

Learn more about Oklahoma Shirt Company at www.oklahomashirtcompany.com.

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