By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Jul 03, 2012 at 9:04 AM

There are several cool Milwaukee T-shirts on the market, but this summer I'm really liking the Milwaukee Home design from Melissa Thornton and Scott Mizzen.

I have the blue and gold version and really like the black and white version too. See them all here, and find them at area festivals as well as Urban Milwaukee's retail location too.  

I asked the designers a few questions about the Milwaukee Home line. Melissa's answers are below.  Where were you living before Milwaukee? And, are you from here originally?

Melissa Thorton: I was living in Orlando, for 5 years and moved back a year and a half ago. I moved back the weekend the Packers won the Super Bowl. I am originally from Wisconsin, grew up in Mukwonago, but went to college at MIAD.

Scott (Mizzen) was born at West Allis Memorial Hospital and grew up in the Sherman Park Neighborhood until moving to East Troy when he was 13 years old.

OMC:  What made you move back?

MT:  I moved back because it was time for me to come back home. There were a few deaths, and my sister was having a baby. Plus, I would have eventually found my way back here because I missed where I was from and this is home for me. You can't find Midwest people anywhere, we are like our own breed. Also when I returned, I finally felt settled. Now that I am back home in Milwaukee, I just want to stay here and discover something new right here in this city. I love it here.

OMC:  What's your professional background?

MT:  I graduated from MIAD with a BFA in fine art and majoring in Communication Design. I worked 5 years at Nonbox as an art director. Then moved to Florida and worked at a company called Cult Branding, as a creative consultant, which I still work for currently, but now from home in Milwaukee. We started Milwaukee Home this February.

OMC:  Where'd the idea for shirt come from?

MT:  The idea of the shirt came from just wanting to show pride of where we are from and where we live. Wanting to finally say, Milwaukee is home for us. Also, I wanted to create a simple, clean, yet cool hoodie for Scott for Christmas. So I created one online and got it shipped to my house. As he wore it, people would stop and approach us asking where we got the hoodie because they wanted one. So we decided 'why not share what we have created with the rest of Milwaukee?' I choose a very simple, but classic type face ... which I fell in love with after watching the documentary, "Helvetica." It's ageless and it's so simple that it allows the words to do the talking.

OMC:  What do you hope the shirts accomplish?

MT:  At first we thought how cool it would be to see people wearing our shirts...but now we think how cool it would be to actually create something bigger for ourselves and for the community we call home and love.

We want the shirts to become almost like a badge of pride and also maybe put us on the map that we are not just this smaller city, but we are a city that is just as cool as any other big city. And, we are constantly growing and becoming something cooler everyday.

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.