With a great idea and slick online tools, a Dallas business is born

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on July 29, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 30 at 6:21 PM

DALLAS — Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones. And that's turning out to be true for one young Dallas entrepreneur who — in a few quick minutes — created a T-shirt design featuring the Dallas skyline that's getting buzz and sales.

To spark his budding T-shirt business, all 26-year-old Palmer Dean needed was an tablet computer.

"This iPad has been instrumental,” Dean said, clutching the device.

In fact, he doesn't even own his own computer. But that hasn't stopped his simple outline of the Dallas skyline from catching on.

After selling about 400 shirts online and at a few local stores, he says the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau has placed a huge order.

He and his partner have been at it for just five months.

"I'm from here, and I want to make people from Dallas — or who are visiting Dallas — want to wear the shirt,” Dean said.

After coming up with the design, he used a suite of online tools to quickly make things happen for his business.

First, there’s the app called Penultimate. It lets you draw on the screen. Dean used it to create the art for his T-shirt.

Then, he needed a logo for his company, which he named Outline the Sky. On a site called 99designs, Dean hosted a competition for graphic artists to design his logo. He got 125 entries, and picked the winner for $299.

Finally, Dean turned to Shopify.com to quickly get a website up and running for about $50 a month.

Within seven days, he was selling T-shirts, which he hopes are just the beginning of his product offerings.

"I'm thinking cases for your cell phones; shower curtains; anything we can put our name on,” he said.

And if it sounds like he's busy, think about this: he also has a day job.

Too bad there's no app for that.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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