Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Tuesday February 28, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Put on a Happy Face

 

continued

Zahra has known Messmore since he was a high school kid waiting tables at a Dexter restaurant. And Messmore, in turn, knows Boston brothers Bert and John Jacobs, who created the Life Is Good line of feel-good message T-shirts. He says the Jacobs brothers wanted him to come to Boston and work for corporate, but "I told them I was living the dream, teaching Spanish at Saline High School," which has been his day job since he graduated from U-M five years ago. Buying the store (which isn't a franchise per se, just an agreement to sell LIG products) was his solution.

Messmore is a man of almost preternatural energy and goodwill: with his wiry frame, closely shorn hair, and wide grin, he looks like that smiley stick figure that appears on a lot of LIG clothing. And his sunny optimism is just the icing on a keen business acumen. While still in college, he bought his Main Street condo above Starbucks. He can't quite remember if it was bought solely on the proceeds of working "about a hundred hours a week" waiting tables at the Red Hawk, or if by then he had also gotten into day trading, where he also made a small pile. Along the way, he started a computer service business that he runs out of another Main Street address.

The LIG store is just a sideline, largely staffed by his past and present students. Messmore proudly pays the $10.10 an hour that he hopes will become the national minimum wage, and some percentage of store profits are kicked back to a Life Is Good foundation.

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Collage Concert - A stunning crazy quilt Collage Concert - A stunning crazy quilt
Exit Interview - As she departs for California,... Exit Interview - As she departs for California,...
Nick Easton Finds a Buyer - A venerable downtow... Nick Easton Finds a Buyer - A venerable downtow...
Calendar This Week - Films Calendar This Week - Films
Map of Township and Village Governments Map of Township and Village Governments
Terrance Hayes - The  figures of beauty Terrance Hayes - The figures of beauty
Ann Arbor Utilities Ann Arbor Utilities
Washtenaw Reads - Washtenaw Reads - "The ultimate book group" is ...
Looping Detroit - Nick Tobier explores the para... Looping Detroit - Nick Tobier explores the para...
Ann Arbor Boards and Commissions Ann Arbor Boards and Commissions
spark
custom blinds and window treatments, flooring, and furniture
top of the lamp. All your in home lighting needs.
Become of Fan of the Ann Arbor Observer on Facebook
Delux Drapery March Sale
A visitor's guide to Ann Arbor