Black-owned business sees T-shirt orders surge after pandemic nearly shut it down

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (WLS) -- A Black clothing designer who almost gave up his business during the pandemic now has a reason to celebrate.

RELATED: ABC7 Eyewitness News spotlights Black-owned businesses with live, week-long series

Rockablock Design is owned and operated by Rockland Page, a graphic designer in Merrillville, Indiana. As custom T-shirt orders for events dried up, Page decided to innovate rather than shut down his shop.

"For many years I've designed for other people," Page said. "But this is a chance to design something for myself and express things I think are important."

As consumers seek out Black-owned businesses, Page said that his designs have gotten support from all races and he's received orders from both coasts and everywhere in between.

"I hope it's not something that's just trendy, but something that will be long lasting and that people will see that we are an important part of society, an important part of the economy, and an important part of the community," Page said.

With his business growing so quickly, Page said he hopes he'll be able to move operations outside of his home. He runs Rockablock Design out of his basement while holding down a 9-to-5 job.

"And so after I come home from work, I go downstairs in the basement and I make shirts," he said.

You can learn more about Rockablock Designs and shop online at Rockablock.com.

ABC7 Chicago continues to put a spotlight on "Black Owned," local businesses that were started and maintained by men and women of color.

Tune in to ABC at 11 a.m. the week of July 13-17 as Terrell Brown leads daily discussions with Black business owners in our community.
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