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Passion, Fashion, and Love for Arizona

Michael Spangenberg - State Forty Eight Founder on Creating for Clients and Community

Article by Gretchen Pahia

Photography by Jennica Maes, aMaes Photgraphy & State 48

Originally published in Gilbert City Lifestyle

Combining Passion, Fashion, and Love for Arizona

State Forty Eight Founder on Creating for Clients and Community

By Gretchen Pahia

Passion and persistence are just a few of the qualities you’ll find behind the Co-Founder and CEO of State Forty Eight, Michael Spangenberg. As Chairman of the Board for the State Forty Eight Foundation, he is responsible for creating a one-stop-shop for apparel and design needs in the Grand Canyon State.

The Arizona-inspired apparel company not only does state themed articles, but also does collaborative designs with other companies, provide screen printing and embroidery services, art and branding services, and much more. For Spangenberg, this is a personal mission of love. “I am passionate about business, my community and love Arizona sports. In my free time I love to shop, I have always loved fashion and always dreamed of starting my own clothing company. In a way, State Forty Eight has allowed me to combine all the things I love and call it a career.”

As the creator of the original State Forty Eight in Arizona, Spangenberg is a staunch supporter of all things Arizona, especially all of our local sports teams. “When I am not working, you can also find me at a local game or event, I love being out in the community.” And while he does support and love all things Arizona, he also has a big travel bug and loves to hit the road when opportunity strikes because for him, it brings much love, peace, and inspiration. “I’m always looking to learn and grow, and overall, I just strive for big things in life,” adds Spangenberg.

Prior to creating State Forty Eight, Spangenberg spent 15 years in the hotel industry, working his way up to a general manager role, which taught him a lot about what it would take once he made the move to run his own business. “We were always a top hotel in customer service, and I always took a lot of pride in that because you can control that. I think you can see that quality customer service has carried over to State Forty Eight, it’s a big point of focus for us. I wouldn’t be here today without the hotel industry and all the experience I got as a younger manager.” One other great thing he learned on the job is what kind of leader he wanted to be and what kind he didn’t want to be. “I still have a long way to go and always want improve but I do take pride in treating people right and providing memorable service.”

Born and raised in nearby Chandler, Spangenberg spends quite a bit of time in Gilbert. Whether for grabbing a bite or a drink with friends, his heart has had a special place for the town. So much so that he decided to bring his business to the area. “Last year, we opened our third Valley location in Gilbert, which was momentous for us after 10 years in business. Before that, I’d also built some great relationships with area business leaders, including Joe from Joe’s Farm Grill, who has been instrumental in the development of Downtown Gilbert. As a company, we’ve collaborations with other Gilbert businesses and even Your Town Gilbert have been great partners and supporters of State Forty Eight,” shares Spangenberg.

Even though his main priority and focus is growing and building State Forty Eight, Spangenberg also loves to get out and enjoy all the local dining options we have to offer. “I love trying new restaurants and concepts just because in Arizona you can go out every single night to a different restaurant and still never catch up. An ideal day in Gilbert would be having a great day at State Forty Eight Headquarters, then to cutting loose and enjoying good conversation over a nice dinner at Clever Koi, followed by a drink at one of the many awesome bars in the Downtown Heritage District.”

When it comes to family, Spangenberg says there is nothing more important. At 38 years old, he is currently single with no kids of his own, but he does have two younger brothers, one of whom lives in Gilbert and the other in Florida. “I have a great relationship with my family and I’m super grateful for how I was brought up, I love them all to death.”

Now and in the future Spangenberg is dedicated to ensuring the community truly understands his passion for what State Forty Eight stands for. He stresses that they want to be known for more than selling t-shirts and hats, which is why he and his team created the State Forty Eight Foundation. This was created during the pandemic to help support local entrepreneurs. “We genuinely care for our community; we are nothing without them. We started with $1,500 and no experience in this business and we know first-hand how challenging the battles are for entrepreneurs,” says Spangenberg. He adds that it isn’t just about the for-profit side of things, they are passionate about helping others and giving back. “The whole reason we started the State Forty Eight Foundation was to make an impact. It's not just fluff, we dedicate a lot of time, energy, and resources into the foundation. But it comes with the biggest reward.”

For more information on the company or the foundation, check them out online at or

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