Summer Guide: Mother Road Merchandise connects good business with community spirit 

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Many businesses like to say portions of their proceeds go to charity. In many cases, customers don’t know how much of their money goes toward a cause or even where it actually goes. Ten percent of everything Mother Road Merchandise & Art Company owner Scott Twitchell earns is donated to a statewide charity of the customer’s choice.

“As a screen-printing company doing custom work, we know what the margins are and what we can donate,” he said.

He primarily gives to veterans’ causes, a large part of this interest being that his father Gary is an Army veteran. While much of Mother Road Merchandise’s business is through appointment and direct contact, Twitchell also operates an Etsy shop where he sells many of his T-shirts.

Fifty percent of the Etsy shop’s sales go toward AMVETS. His goal is to grow his business so he can employ veterans fighting homelessness.

“I don’t feel that as a society, we’re truly doing enough to honor these people who have put their lives on the line in service to our community,” Twitchell said. “The only thing that veterans should be dealing with when they get home are healing and getting back into the fold of normal, non-warfare type of society, not financial issues, employment and not any type of medical or psychological support. … If I can do something about it as I try to scale my business, I’m going to do it.”

Twitchell worked for an area screen-printing business for over 12 years and launched his company on the side in 2013. Since July, Mother Road has been Twitchell’s full-time job.

Currently, it’s comprised of a partnership with his father and designer Kevin Bright. The majority of the business focuses on screen-printing T-shirts, but design and branding concepts are also part of what Mother Road Merchandise offers.

“Screen-printing is an interesting, specialized field,” Twitchell said. “Once I left the shop I really cut my teeth on, every place I’d gone, I learned more of what I was wanting from my life and my career. I think the entrepreneurial spirit’s always been in my family’s blood.”

When Twitchell isn’t printing and designing T-shirts, he can be found behind a drum set.

He has worked in many bands over the years and has been a member of regional touring group Helen Kelter Skelter for over seven months.

“My entire network of friends and business contacts all have some sort of musical connection,” he said. “We play more shows and meet more people that need screen-printing. It’s custom printing for what people need, and the band business is essential. I speak their language, and they speak mine. We all have a general understanding that a lot of people wouldn’t be able to step into.”

His future plans are to expand the business and partner with schools for their screen-printing needs so they can share a greater part of the sales proceeds. Overall, Twitchell wants Mother Road Merchandise to be a positive force for charitable contribution in the business sector.

“I have this long-term goal, and that’s to have a big impact on specifically Norman and Oklahoma in terms of helping fix things,” Twitchell said.

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Brian Daffron

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