Made in Arizona: State Forty Eight puts Arizona on fashion map

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- There's a chance people will recognize the products in this week's edition of Made in Arizona, and chances are some may even own some of the company's product.

State Forty Eight is a Chandler-based company that makes t-shirts, hats and other items under the famous name. This business started six years ago with just a $1,200 investment and a simple dream: build an Arizona-themed clothing line.

Believe it or not, the company's co-founder, Stephen Polando came up with that company's name, while brushing his teeth. Polando, his brother and a friend all grew up in Arizona, and attended Chandler High. The longtime Cardinals fans wanted to focus on the state's sports teams. Their big break came a few years ago, after they made a t-shirt for then Cardinals coach Bruce Arians' foundation.

"Sometimes, it's better to be lucky than good too, because we had nothing to do with the Cardinals winning nine straight games after we released that shirt, but to say that wasn't a huge impact, certainly it was," said Polando.

Soon after, other teams, including the D-Backs and Coyotes, wanted in on the hot company.

Their key to success: have a vision, work hard and give back

"When people see that you're donating $5 a shirt to different organizations in your community, you're trying to help your community get better, people buy that just as much as they buy the shirt," said Polando.

Polando recalls his shock shortly after launching the company when he was in Dearborn, Michigan, where he saw a man wearing his company's t-shirt.

"I was like no way," siad Polando. "This is where my mom is from, in Michigan. Some guy is wearing State 48. I was like that's incredible."

The company sells in all 50 states, and even to people across the globe. Despite sales recently topping one-million dollars polando says the business owners remain grounded.

"We just continue to grow, continue to work hard. We still have a really small staff. Most of the work is still done by the three of us owners," said Polando.