Lawyers don't grow old, they just lose their appeal.

I may not be perfect, but parts of me are excellent.

It is with sayings such as these that Gene and Suzy Sullivan hope to build an empire - in the T-shirt business, that is.

The Sullivans are the owners of Fancy Tee's a new design T-shirt store in Springfield Mall, and they are already planning for a major expansion in the coming year.

As consumers become increasingly more interested in putting some kind of statement on their shirts - a form of communication previously reserved for the bumpers of automobiles - the Sullivans become increasingly rich.

Fancy Tee's has hundreds of different designs that they will put on any one of several styles of T'shirts, sweatshirts or even hats.

And, if a ready-made design isn't your cup of tea - maybe you are not interested in KISS or the Greatful Dead - Fancy Tee's will imprint any saying you want with one of a variety of letter styles.

Particularly popular sayings include the two at the beginning of this story and others like "College," a take-off on the shirt worn by John Belushi in the move "Animal House."

"We have two types of shoppers," said Gene Sullivan in an interview. "We have browsers, and we have people who come in with a specific request. We just had Fairfax High School ask us to make up shirts with the name of every graduating senior on them."

Sullivan said he does shirts for many sports teams and clubs, but his best business, like the rest of retailing is in December.

"The T-shirt has become an ideal gift," he said. "It's cheap and people can wear them all year round."

Sullivan said he will be adding a new feature soon - computer photograph shirts. A computer will take a picture of a customer and reproduce the picture simultaneously on a T-shirt.

Business has been brisk for Fancy Tee's since it was opened in August. "I expect to do about $250,000 of business in our first year," Sullivan said. "The most I originally hoped for was $200,000."

A sales representative for companies like Adidas - the sporting goods makers - and a few mills, Sullivan hit upon the idea of a T-shirt store when he began to sell more and more of them as customer for his goods.

"Two years ago, there may have been 10,000 T-shirt stores around the country," he says, "but now it's at least twice that."

Sullivan said he decided to go into Springfield Mall because "it's the second most productive mall in the state of Virginia, behind Tysons." He said he is planning two more stores for next year at undisclosed locations.

Expansion appears to be a good idea. Using Sullivan's estimates, his revenue is coming in at a rate of more than $300 per year per square foot in his 800-square-foot store.

That's about the same rate Bloomingdales gets for its downtown New York store, considered one of the most profitable and best run in the business.