By: Marisa Herman Contributing Writer
A new T-shirt company is trying to get people to converse with one another by posing a question on the shirt design: WHAT’S YOUR THING?
ME+ID T-shirts are custom designs with the trademarked tagline “WHAT’S YOUR THING?”
Your “thing” can be whatever you are passionate about be it your career, hobby or activity.
In the age of burying our heads in our phones to avoid interactions with people around us, the two co-founders Pam Plotkin and Patrice Rogers say they have created a type of social experiment to help facilitate more real life interactions.
It all started when Plotkin was sitting in a Delta airport lounge in the Vancouver airport with her family when they found out their flight was five hours delayed.
After scrolling through Facebook became repetitive and her phone battery quickly dying with every refresh, she said she began to get curious about the other passengers.
A man wearing a Cheeca Lodge T-shirt piqued her interest. She wondered if he had stayed at the hotel before and if he was from Florida. So, she struck up a conversation with him, which helped pass an hour and a half of time.
He was easy to approach, she said, because the hotel was something in common they could discuss.
Now, Plotkin and her business partner Rogers are hoping to recreate conversations like that between others through their own T-shirt line.
The goal is to get people talking through what is written on the shirt. It is all about making connections in the every day life.
“We need to connect people,” Rogers said. “It’s doing a public service.”
Plotkin said she reached out to Rogers after a second social situation occurred similar to the airport experience.
Plotkin said she was staying at a Ritz Carlton in Washington, D.C. She accompanying her husband who was attending a conference at the hotel. While she waited for him to finish his day, she waited at one end of a shared table.
She was curious if the people at the other end of the table were attending the conference too, but she was hesitant to ask. When her husband showed up, he did ask and the group ended up having dinner together.
She said she remembered thinking of the man in the airport and the T-shirt that helped break the ice for her to start up a conversation.
So, she reached out to Rogers, who was looking to spend the next chapter of her life in a new career.
The duo met years ago. Rogers was the principal of North Broward Preparatory School and Plotkin was a parent of four children who attended the school. Plotkin was assigned as vice president of the middle school, so Rogers and Plotkin worked on all types of projects together.
Now, they are working together in business. Plotkin is the CEO and Rogers the COO of ME+ID.
They began working on the company about two and a half years ago. Their e-commerce site launched in December.
T-shirts come in various colors and styles. They retail for $34 on the website.
They are working on creating a corporate group sales program.
Rogers said she can see the shirts being used at school orientations, networking events and at company events to help people get to know each other.
“If you have an event and have each person with a different shirt on at the event, it is so much easier for people to connect,” she said. “I wear my shirts all the time and I have the most interesting conversations.”