BUSINESS

Designer T-shirt company relocates operations, production to Maine

Posted March 11, 2011, at 12:16 p.m.
Last modified March 11, 2011, at 5:11 p.m.
Matthew J. Stern, left, and Kyle Poissonnier appear at a product unveiling event in 2010 in Portland.
Courtesy of Peter Jensen Bissell
Matthew J. Stern, left, and Kyle Poissonnier appear at a product unveiling event in 2010 in Portland.

PORTLAND, Maine — A designer T-shirt company named Elykssor Clothing, enchanted with the Maine way of life, has moved its operations and most of its production activities from New York City to the Pine Tree State.

Kyle Poissonnier, a 2003 graduate of Skowhegan High School and one of the company’s founders, said he and his two business partners made the decision last summer when a product unveiling event in Portland surpassed their highest expectations.

“Sometimes your expectations don’t get met; they get exceeded,” said Poissonnier. “When my two partners came to the party in Portland last August, they saw how people here support local things. It’s kind of the Maine way.”

Poissonnier said that in addition to his own relocation to Portland, the three-year-old company has moved its production to almost exclusively Maine vendors, ranging from Portland-based Peter Jensen Bissell Photographic to silk-screen printer Gabriel Schmand of Glenburn.

“We want people to associate Maine with Elykssor,” said Poissonnier. “In the future when we branch out, we’ll always say we’re a Maine-based brand.”

Elykssor, a name derived from the mythical “elixir of life,” touts the concepts of the renewal of youth and prolonging life in its T-shirt designs. The company started as a Husson University business school project for Poissonnier that took off when two of his friends — brothers Matthew and Steven Stern — jumped into the venture. In the past three years the upstart has seen steady growth in sales of its products, which are sold predominantly at the web site www.elykssor.com. T-shirts have sold all over the U.S. and Canada.

“There will be periods when we don’t sell too much,” said Poissonnier. “Then we get a little publicity or we get in with the right blog or marketing group, and we’ll sell a couple hundred shirts in a couple of months.”

Poissonnier said he is negotiating with boutiques in Portland and Boston to carry the Elykssor line. He hopes that effort will be jump-started with a product unveiling party at the Pearl Lounge in Portland’s Old Port on March 18. The party, which will double as a fundraiser for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s disease, is open to the public at a cost of $10 per ticket. Two new designs — one for men and another for women — will be unveiled.

“The best thing about the show is that people can touch and see the shirts,” said Poissonnier. “It’s something that usually people don’t get to do for pricier shirts.”

For more information about Elykssor Clothing or to buy tickets for the March 18 party, contact Poissonnier by calling 299-3539 or visit the website www.elykssor.com.

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