Jūpmode's 4th Anniversary on Adams Street in Toledo

by John Amato

Today we celebrated our 4th anniversary in our building on Adams Street. It's an occasion we like to make a big deal about because that's exactly what it is to us - a big deal.

In a normal year, we would host an Anniversary Party where we would invite everyone to our store and production floor, bring in local food, do giveaways, let guests print their own shirt, and have an all around fun time. Unfortunately, with Covid this isn't a normal year and we could not host this gathering. 

Our move into Toledo and this building was a seminal moment for us. We moved from a small 1,500 square foot studio space in Perrysburg. That original studio had no lights or heat when I moved in. It's where I first taught myself to screen print and where we started to grow our team. It's where we learned grit and hustle. 

We have a lot of fond memories from Perrysburg. The memories are a badge of honor to those who experienced them. On an average day, we had 13 people in this space. From production to shipping to design to our office employees, we were all together getting our jobs done while having some fun along the way. 

After four years, we quickly outgrew this space and began to look for a space in Toledo. While we were searching and renovating, we loved when the weather was nice out for the sole reason of being able to expand our working space to a tent outside of our building. On days where we had to stay inside, we had orders taking over our office space and had to create paths for people to move around and get to their work spaces. 

Our move to Toledo was important because it meant we were part of the positive change occurring here. After all, we were the company that made a shirt that said, 'You Will Do Better in Toledo'. We needed to live that motto.

We were excited to find a space on Adams Street as its location is unique to Toledo. From all of the local restaurants like Carlos Poco Loco, Ottawa Tavern, The Attic, Manos Greek Restaurant, Manhattan's Pub 'n Cheer to shops like Handmade Toledo and House of Dow, Adams Street has a lot of character and Toledo Pride that we are excited to be a part of. 

We found our building from the Lucas County Land Bank. To say it needed some work is an understatement. However, it was the right opportunity for us and gave us the space we needed to grow. 

The build-out to the space was a lot more challenging than I anticipated. Our new building had good bones - a solid foundation, good walls, and a relatively new roof. Outside of that, everything needed to be redone. 

When 13,000 square feet needs all of the mechanical and electrical to be updated, it takes a long time and a significant financial investment. In order to get into the new space, we only renovated about half of the building to start. In 2020 we finished phase 2 of renovations and now only have the second floor remaining.

Like any building that has been around for over 100 years, it has quite the history that we are now proud to be a part of. It's always fun to look back at what this building used to be and how far it has come since we've moved in. 

Previous to us occupying the space, the building had been functionally vacant for over a decade. You can imagine the cleaning that was required after all that time!

Moving this business to Toledo and into this building has been one of the greatest challenges and successes of our business. It provided us the space and location to grow and has made us a part of the fabric of Toledo.  

Toledo has provided us an opportunity that we wouldn't have received in other cities. We love this city and its people. We work every day to create products that will help foster a sense of pride in Toledo that we feel everyday.

We can truly say we are doing better in Toledo!


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