New Gerrit Cole shirt design crashes local creator's website

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Astros' playoff push isn't only good for the team, but for T-shirt designers who are struggling to keep up with demand.

Inside the Clarkhill Strasburger law firm, employees lined up to get what could be the next big Astros hit.

"I dropped it yesterday, and we haven't slept because my website literally crashed yesterday," said Ellyse Espinoza, who created a shirt with the words "Cole Vs. The World," based on starting pitcher Gerrit Cole.

The Astros starting pitcher is on fire, which is helping Espinoza's sales.

"No sleep at all, but it's a blessing," Espinoza explained. "As small businesses, this is how we live."

Six years ago, Espinoza started Stateline Designs.

"My company is sports inspired," Espinoza said. "I do a lot of Texas items."

It didn't start that way. Espinoza was in education when she created her first shirt.

"It was a tragic accident where one of my students passed away, and I was inspired to create a design for him," Espinoza recalled.

She continues to honor him by carrying on the design. Since then, she's created many more.

Espinoza's shirts don't only feature the Astros, but the Rockets and RodeoHouston as well. With the Astros one game away from the World Series, Espinoza is always thinking about what design will come next.

"Oh, I have no idea," Espinoza said. "I get asked that a lot. People always ask me, 'how do you get inspired?' And it's literally the culture."

You can find the shirts at pop-up locations across the city or at the Stateline Designs website. They start at $28.

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