Knoxville teen’s class project turns into business supporting veterans

Patriot Threads are sold at 10 retailers in East Tennessee

If you walk into stores like Alumni Hall in Knoxville, you'll see a display of patriotic T-shirts with a sign that says your purchase will benefit veterans and wounded warriors.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A rising senior at Christian Academy of Knoxville is passionate about supporting our troops and he’s started a business to do just that.

If you walk into stores like Alumni Hall in Knoxville, you’ll see a display of patriotic T-shirts with a sign that says your purchase will benefit veterans and wounded warriors. This started as a class project given to high schooler Brady Fernandes.

Brady Fernandes
Brady Fernandes

“We have a thing called ‘capstone project’ at CAK where you have to choose something you want to pursue in life, do a project on it and finish it out your senior year. Kind of kick starts you into the next chapter. Life after high school,” he said.

That’s how the company Patriot Threads was born in November 2015. In that time, they’ve already sold over a thousand T-shirts printed locally. They sell a wide variety of patriotic designs mostly targeted at Vol Nation.

“Most of the designs are in my room. They are drawn up in my room when I’m just thinking,” said Fernandes.

Their signature logo is America with a bow tie wrapped around it.

“Kind of represents two things with the Southern gentleman look with the bow ties and also wrapping a yellow ribbon supporting our troops around the other thing,” he explained.

Patriot Threads are sold at 10 retailers now and the next step is to expand to more stores.
Patriot Threads are sold at 10 retailers now and the next step is to expand to more stores.

Fernandes isn’t just doing this for himself. He’s giving back with part of the profits going to various organizations that benefit veterans.

More online: Patriot Threads

“We wanted to focus on having a meaning and purpose behind it, so something I was passionate about was veterans because I have a lot of family members who served. A lot of friends going to serve,” he said.

Since he is still a teenager, Fernandes is getting a lot of help from his dad who has the role of president of the company.

“Obviously, it makes me very proud to know my son cares about others. People that are less fortunate because they gave sacrifices. I think all people his age should learn and hopefully he’ll be able to spread that message,” said Craig Fernandes.

Patriot Threads are sold at 10 retailers now and the next step is to expand to more stores.

“I would love to spread across the Southeast. Just getting our brand out there, message out there. Hopefully I’d love to spread across the U.S. and have more and more people to jump on,” said Brady.

Brady Fernandes has designed T-shirts geared towards football season. He says he’d love to see a lot of people wearing his T-shirts to the Battle at Bristol in September.

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