What started in 2017 as a fun craft project for adults with disabilities at Quality Life Concepts has now grown into a full custom apparel business. Montana Up is overseen by staff from Quality Life Concepts and production is handled by Montana Up employees, who are members of the Great Falls Community who just happen to live with various developmental disabilities. This was a creative employment opportunity to introduce these folks into the workforce, teach them real-life job skills and allow them the opportunity to earn their own paycheck.
Originally, Montana Up began by designing shirts and sweats for DSPs (Direct Support Professionals), which are the very people who care for adults and children with special needs. Everyone has seen cute tees for nurses and teachers, but there wasn’t anything out there for DSPs. And thus, Montana Up was born. We were recognized by the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals based out of NY and invited as a guest vendor at their annual conference in 2017. We started receiving orders from across the country and even Canada. Once everyone saw the possibilities, people began creating their own designs and we realized it was much bigger than gear for DSPs.
In 2018, we had our first of three years to work with Special Olympics Montana as the sole producer and retailer for the Montana State Summer Games. We had so much fun making over 3,000 hoodies, tees and tote bags, and sales were well beyond our expectations. Our creativity has exploded and we are coming up with new designs on a weekly basis. Whether it’s a shirt with your company logo or a tote bag honoring your favorite four-legged friend, we can make that happen. If you can dream it, we can probably print it. If you have an idea or just a question, shoot us an email at MontanaUp@qlc-gtf.org