Meet the Merchant: Rob Arnold

Posted on 10/11/2017

Looking for something casual and comfy to wear that looks cool at the same time? Rob Arnold has you covered. As owner of We Got Your Back Apparel, he designs, prints and sells products like T-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, hoodies and hats. His company has sold merchandise at various events around town, but the stall at the Lenexa Public Market is its first semi-permanent store.

Arnold hails from Shawnee and Lenexa and wanted to grow his business here. Combining his artistic ideas with an appreciation for apparel was the genesis for the company. All of the clothing is printed in Kansas City, Kansas.

We Got Your Back Apparel’s tag line is “locally made apparel for the local fan.” First and foremost, the company caters to people who take pride in the Kansas City area. But Arnold also appeals to fans of local sports and pop culture — especially movies, which he loves. 

His goal is to sell the best-quality and softest shirts he can find with unique designs that customers can’t get anywhere else. Arnold likens the shirts to “pieces of art you can wear.” He makes a point of personally testing his merchandise before selling it.

Arnold is the creative vision behind the designs featured on the apparel. One of his earliest concepts was a Kansas tee that gives a nod to the hip-hop group Run-D.M.C.’s classic logo. These days, We Got Your Back Apparel’s best-selling items include a KC pullover hoodie dotted with stars and a Kansas City Chiefs themed tee/pullover adorned with a skull in an elaborate headdress.

When customers reach out to touch his super-soft apparel, Arnold jokingly warns them, “Don’t touch it because you’ll buy it!” Seriously, it’s that soft.

We Got Your Back Apparel initially committed to a one-month pop-up shop in September, but Arnold has extended its stay for six more months. He says one of the biggest challenges in operating a storefront — no matter the size — is figuring out the right operating hours. Arnold enjoys the mix of different vendors he rubs elbows with in the Lenexa Public Market and looks forward to increased foot traffic as more people discover the place.

In addition to selling its own designs, We Got Your Back Apparel can create or print custom designs for a client. If you don’t have a chance to stop by his market stall in person, you can browse and purchase products online

When Arnold isn’t busy running his apparel business, you’ll find him spinning tunes as a DJ for weddings and other special events. Figuring out what kind of music motivates people to get on the dance floor is a challenge he relishes. It’s not so different from staying on the pulse of what people want to buy and wear.