It’s been over a year since we last talked to Thamarius (You can read his last story here.)
Since then, he’s graduated and received an MBA degree from Western Governors University, a university sponsored by the State of Tennessee, and gotten started as an entrepreneur.
“It was a great initiative by Governor Haslam to bring something like that to Tennessee,” he said. “It’s given a lot of people in my own family a chance at school. It gave me an opportunity to an alternative to the traditional route.”
With a young daughter and a long-time girlfriend, he said WGU gave him an opportunity and the balance to not only go to school to better himself, but to also focus on family and a full-time job.
Now this young entrepreneur wants to make a name for himself in fashion and design, and in his community.
“I feel like I would be unjust to myself if I did not use the skills that were taught to me or went out to acquire from education to real life. I told myself I’m going to push out every idea that I can.”
Earlier this year, Thamarius started his lifestyle brand and clothing line called Loose Ends.
“It’s not just clothing. It’s design. It’s print. It’s art.”
Thamarius said he was an artist before he ever thought of being a businessman.
“I was a bad little kid at that age as a lot of us were,” he said. “I was told to get me something that I can express myself with and be cool with so I picked up a pencil, and then paint and then began using my hands to build things I called art. I fell in love with it.”
As he got older, he began messing around with digital prints and digital designs on computers.
“I always had images in my head of different things that I wanted to see on a product and what I do every day and my style. I wanted to give that back out to the world,” he said.
Thamarius said his designs are simple, laid back and something you can wear in places from work to tailgates to parties. He said depending on the situation and the environment, you can dress it up or dress it down.
More than just T-shirts, the line-up includes a varsity line that features crewnecks, beanies, backpacks, and button ups.
“I thought I’d finally push out what I’ve been planning to do. I’ve done the back end work and learned about business, and what I wanted to learn so I’m going to put that all into work now.”
HEAD of the CLASS
Along with his entrepreneur endeavors, Thamarius wants to bring empowerment, education, and enlightenment to his community through an outreach initiative he’s calling Head of the Class Enrichment Program.
“There’s a huge gap between technology and different skills acquired outside of the classroom that isn’t being taught to parts of our community well. I want to bridge that gap,” he said.
Partnering with the City of Franklin and the Franklin Housing Authority, the program will focus on children seventh grade through high school. It will not only promote college but also help high school students fill out their FAFSA, apply for financial aid, set up an email account among other things.
“My family went to school, so those kinds of things came more easily for me. But then I realized I was connecting with people who maybe didn’t know how to do FAFSA or set up an email account,” he said. “I had no clue that was an issue for others, but maybe that’s been hindering them up until this point.”
Thamarius said there’s always been something in him that makes him want to give back, teach, and help people to learn. He said it’s important for people to share what they’ve learned, especially to those who need it the most.
The Head of the Class Enrichment Programs hopes to launch before the end of the year.
COMMUNITY: DEFINED and EVOLVED
For Thamarius, a community is built around people who look out for one another.
“It’s anyone who can touch you on a day to day basis and give you a smile, some advice or help you out. That’s what community is about to me.”
Thamarius currently resides in Franklin, and for the most part, that’s where he grew up. He said seeing his community evolve over the years has been exciting and something that benefits everyone.
“People can walk around downtown and do things like grab Starkbucks or see movie,” he said. “There’s a black barbershop downtown where I go to get my haircut, and that just shows the growth of businesses which is adding diversity to our community.”
“A great community has a great diversity.”
Thamarius said he’s looking forward to seeing his business, his family and his community all continue to evolve and prosper.
Thanks for reading Nashville!