PEORIA — Ray Williams has discovered a approach to offer a jersey or a costume for sports activities followers who put on their hearts on their sleeves for a specific workforce or participant.
The Peoria native launched Golden Garments amid the pandemic in June of 2020 and in his first 12 months in enterprise has offered greater than 100 specifically designed jerseys.
It is a budding enterprise that began from word-of-mouth after he made a jersey for Jamaal Edwards, his first-ever buyer.
“Everybody calls him ‘Mister’ and it began with him,” Williams mentioned. “He requested me to make a (former Richwoods basketball star) Mike Robinson jersey for him. So I made a Robinson Richwoods jersey. He bought every part rolling for me. He is purchased 5 or 6 from me since then.”
These are high-quality jerseys, with all kinds of fabric starting from polyester to mesh and all factors in between. They’re hand-sewn by a vendor Williams retains personal for proprietary causes.
They normally value round $150.
“So the design is as much as you, no matter concept you might have we are able to do,” Williams mentioned. “No matter is in your thoughts, we are able to re-create it.”
And never simply in a standard jersey. He additionally presents jersey clothes, that are just about what they sound like: a one-piece jersey reduce like a body-hugging costume that ends round mid-thigh.
There are observe jackets, broadly themed jerseys (there’s one for Taft Properties) and Williams is the man who designed the jersey gained by the MVP of the Handbook-Central alumni sport in the course of the Juneteenth Fest celebration final month.
“We are able to do something on these designs,” Williams mentioned, “baseball, soccer, basketball.”
Williams performed basketball at Handbook, and was significantly influenced by legendary Rams gamers Howard Nathan, who died in 2019.
“I do know what he meant to me,” Williams mentioned. “We lived a road aside. I grew up underneath his wing, and he’d come over and play basketball in my yard.
“I wished to do one thing to honor him, so he was the primary jersey I made for myself, the favourite one in my assortment. I designed it, and it was being made when he died. I had supposed to carry onto it and put on it for an important day.
“I wore it to a Handbook soccer sport and other people went loopy over it, the love I bought for it was simply great. I put on it on a regular basis now.”
Williams is a part of the operations workforce for Superior Blasting and Portray at SC2, a enterprise that was born in Tremont in 1983 and has expanded to places in East Peoria, Mossville, Bloomington-Regular and elsewhere out of state.
However he is added jersey design and entrepreneurship to his resume.
“I used to be into trend, I used to be a proud dresser,” Williams mentioned. “I placed on one in every of these jerseys and other people went loopy over it, so now I put on these on a regular basis, in every single place I’m going.
“So many individuals requested me about them, I bought to considering, ‘May I present these to them?’ And similar to that, Golden Clothes was born.”
Many of the jersey requests he receives are for Handbook or Central (Peoria Excessive College) replicas. The 2 hottest gamers requested are Nathan and three-time NBA champion Shaun Livingston.
To work with Williams on a design and order a jersey, land on his Golden Garments Facebook page or contact him at email@example.com.
“I actually wish to take this to a different degree — the one referred to as sky is the restrict,” Williams mentioned. “I am on the lookout for a star to get one in every of these and put on it. That may get our identify on the market.”
Dave Eminian is the Journal Star sports activities columnist, and covers Bradley males’s basketball, the Rivermen and Chiefs. He writes the Cleve In The Eve sports activities column for pjstar.com. Attain him at 686-3206 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comply with him on Twitter @icetimecleve.