Mount Clemens native adds signature style to business community

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published February 8, 2019

 Mount Clemens resident Donita Johnson designs custom T-shirts that promote the city at her new downtown store, Thirty4.

Mount Clemens resident Donita Johnson designs custom T-shirts that promote the city at her new downtown store, Thirty4.

Photo by Julie Snyder

Photo by Julie Snyder

MOUNT CLEMENS — Mount Clemens resident Donita Johnson’s name is often associated with the number 34.

It was her number when she played on the Mount Clemens High School girls basketball team, and it was again her number on the Michigan State University women’s basketball team.

So when Johnson decided to combine her love for her hometown with her passion for sports and sportswear, she opened up shop — a shop in the heart of downtown Mount Clemens called Thirty4.

At Thirty4, located on Pine Street in the former Max & Ollie’s Vintage Boutique space, Johnson creates custom clothing, much of which promotes the city.

T-shirts that read “Just a kid from the Clem” “Exit 237 the Clem” and “I’m Rooting for Everybody in the Clem,” are some of Johnson’s signature wear — each bearing her trademark signature.

“I’ve always been interested in designing T-shirts,” said Johnson, who graduated from Mount Clemens High School in 1997, and who also designs a Class of 97 clothing line. “Everything is inspired by Mount Clemens and the youth of Mount Clemens.”

Thirty4 opened in November 2018.

Johnson also designs clothing for various athletic programs for school districts in and around Macomb County, including Mount Clemens Community Schools and L’Anse Creuse Public Schools, and she recently released her own Black History Month T-shirt designs.

In addition to the custom clothing and accessories, Thirty4 carries urban apparel with the same goal in mind: “to inspire, inform and motivate,” said Johnson, who also works as a basketball coach.

Michelle Weiss, director of the Mount Clemens Downtown Development Authority, said she’s pleased that a fellow Mount Clemens graduate is making a positive impact on her hometown.

“I’m a graduate of Mount Clemens High School; the mayor (Barb Dempsey) is a graduate; many of us in the city are,” she said. “There’s a pride in seeing another generation stepping up and becoming a part of our community. It speaks volumes. I think it shows the students here that you can come from a small town and a small high school and aspire to be successful. Just look in your own backyard.”

Johnson hopes Thirty4 continues to be a place where local youths can come to find their voice on a T-shirt, and where local athletes can come to feel confident during a game.

“I just really have a thing for teams looking good and being different,” she said. “I’ve always had this thing with how my teams looked coming out on the floor. If you look good, then it’s a good chance you’ll play good.”