Our Story

CLE Clothing Co. was founded in 2008 by two lifelong friends. One, a graphic designer, had always dreamed of starting a t-shirt company. The other, an entrepreneur, was looking for a fun new opportunity. One fateful night over some beers, chili, and burgers at one of their favorite spots, Whitey's in Richfield, Ohio, the guys decided to put their money where their mouth was and came up with a plan.  They purchased a screen printing press, some blank t-shirts, and got to work on a couple of designs. CLE Clothing was born. They started a website, used social media to get the word out and spent $50 on business cards, which they left around local businesses. Word began to spread, and the company was literally "Spreading Cleveland Pride, One T-Shirt at a Time" as the guys screened and shipped the shirts themselves. They wanted to reach more people and to escape the "digital world" and went to local festivals like Bizarre Bazaar, Waterloo Arts Fest and Taste of Tremont. Things started to gain momentum....

In 2009, CLE Clothing Co., opened its first kiosk at South Park Mall in Strongsville for the holiday season which led to opening its first brick and mortar location. Native-Cleveland, located in the up and coming Waterloo Arts District became not only its online "wear-house" but also gave the boys a physical store front for walk-in customers. Native quickly became a destination to shop CLE Clothing Co. in person and also gave the opportunity for the guys to partner and show off the other "Local-Makers" in the Cleveland area. They invited other artisans and designers to compliment their popular t-shirt designs. The store soon filled up with locally made jewelry, art and furniture. It was voted "Best Boutique - East Side" in 2010 by Cleveland Magazine. With a thriving online store that ships all over the world and a popular store front, in 2012 they opened up a Flagship store in the heart of downtown Cleveland on the corner of E. 4th Street and Euclid. Located on the hottest street in Cleveland with the city's best restaurants, the CLE Clothing Co. brand has become an icon in the city for locals and tourists alike. The shop not only houses the CLE Clothing Co. brand products, but also carries over 40 other local artisans, designers and makers. CLE Clothing Co. is proud to say that over 98% of their products are Made in the USA and printed right here in Cleveland. The small percentage that is not produced domestically is sourced by companies located in Ohio. Late in 2015, CLE Clothing  opened its second location in the new Uptown District in University Circle.

CLE Clothing Co. has come a long way - from the 2 founders in the early days to now employing 50 Clevelanders between the 3 stores and online "wear-house".

Awards & Recognition
2009
Best Cleveland T-Shirt - Cleveland Magazine
Best Men's Shop - Fox 8 Hotlist

2010
Best Boutique East Side - Cleveland Magazine
Cose Young Artists Entrepreneur Award
Best Men's Shop - Fox 8 Hotlist

2012
Best Local T-Shirt Company - Cleveland Magazine
Best Clothing Maker - Scene Magazine
Best Men's Shop - Fox 8 Hotlist
Speaker - Weapons of Mass Creation Fest

2013
Best Local T-Shirt Shop - Cleveland Magazine
Best Local Clothing Brand - Scene Magazine
Best Men's Shop - Fox 8 Hotlist
Downtown Small Business of the Year - Downtown Cleveland Residents Association

2014
Best Local T-Shirt Company - Cleveland Magazine
Best of the Best: Local T-Shirt - Cleveland Magazine
Best Shop for Sports Gear - Scene Magazine
Best Locally Owned Store - Scene Magazine
Best Clothing Company - Scene Magazine
Best Men's Shop - Fox 8 Hotlist

2015
Best Brand - Go Media Best of Cleveland Design Awards
Best Men's Shop - Fox 8 Hotlist
Best Place to buy a piece of Cleveland - Scene Magazine
Best Local T-Shirt Shop - Cleveland Magazine
All-Time Favorite - Cleveland Magazine