The Chandler Public Library is happy to announce a partnership with State Forty Eight - and you can get your own State Forty Eight merchandise! Sales benefit the Friends of the Chandler Public Library, which provides support to the library in many areas, including some of the special events for our recent Summer Reading Challenge. Didn’t get your State Forty Eight sticker for Summer Reading? You can buy your own, or get a special Chandler Library T-shirt! Come in to any Chandler Library to see what’s on sale, and read on to learn more about State Forty Eight in this interview with co-founder Michael Spangenberg.
How did State Forty Eight get started?
Stephen and Nicholas Polando and I founded State Forty Eight in 2013 as a way to showcase our love of Arizona. We wanted to create an iconic brand that represented our community in way that would be both fun and fashionable.
Tell us about your time growing up in Chandler.
I’m a Chandler native. I went to Goodman Elementary, Anderson Junior High and Chandler High. I played sports and raced bikes at the Chandler BMX track. One of the houses I lived in as a kid was near Willis Junior High.
How did spending your childhood in Chandler help inspire State Forty Eight’s brand?
As kids growing up in Arizona many people were transplants and Chandler was small without much of downtown social scene. We knew that as a brand we wanted to invest in Chandler and contribute to a sense of local pride. All three of us grew up in Chandler so it was important that our business be a part of the entrepreneurial growth taking place in Chandler.
How do you think Chandler Public Library benefits the community?
All Library resources are incredibly beneficial to the community. The access to technology the Library provides is amazing. Many people, especially when I was a kid, didn’t have computers or the Internet and the Library was a place for people to explore and gain experience with technology. The Library offers so many different services, such as the business program where I served on a panel discussing how to brand your business. People might think of libraries in the traditional sense as only a place to check out books, but it’s really so much more. The path to starting a business used to more traditional, but now entrepreneurs can begin businesses in their garage or on YouTube. The Library offers the space, services and programs, so if you have an idea for a business there is really no reason why you couldn’t get it off the ground at the Library.
Tell us how all the collaborations, such as the one with Chandler Public Library, came about.
We took part in Phoenix Fashion Week in 2014 and made a connection that helped introduce us to the former Arizona Cardinals’ Coach Bruce Arians. We pitched him a design and he was on board. The Cardinals had a great season and before we knew it our collaboration was seen on ESPN! From there other sports teams came on board, and then community organizations such as schools, non-profits and local companies started asking to collaborate. These types of connections and local pride are exactly what State Forty Eight is all about, so we couldn’t be happier. When we work with non-profits we are excited for their branding opportunity and also the way the merchandise can be used for fundraising – just like the profits from every sale of the Library collaboration will benefit the Friends of the Library. We love that showing local pride via our brand is also making such a positive impact in our community.