There comes a time each summer when you’d be hard-pressed to find a store that isn’t decked out in red, white, and blue, but Ian Wendt of Official Patriot Gear® has a dream to make every day feel like the 4th of July. He works daily to highlight the unity that can be found across the United States; the kind of unity he was fortunate enough to experience at a time when so many were more divided than ever before.
In late 2020, Ian knew he wanted to play a role in supporting small businesses across the country that were in danger of closing. Having amassed a sizable social media following, he turned to the people of the virtual community he had built for help in doing so. He hoped to be able to help a business or two, but those goals were quickly surpassed as his followers rallied together to raise tens of thousands of dollars – often over the span of just a few hours.
As the donations kept pouring in to support fellow Americans, not one person asked about the political affiliations, religious beliefs, or backgrounds of a single beneficiary. Ian was quickly inspired to create a way for the members of this community to show their support, and the patriot tee was born. A patriot, by definition, is someone who loves their country and the people in it, wants those people to be free and thrive, and is willing to defend those people and those freedoms. It was clear that these acts of kindness exemplified the definition of what it means to be a patriot.
But that first simple tee was just the beginning. Before he knew it, a brand had begun, and the movement behind it began to spread like wildfire. Now, just under two years since the first tees were printed, the brand has reached under 50 countries, has hundreds of products, and has an ever-growing ambassador program with several hundred people representing the brand’s message of unity.
Based out of Idaho, Official Patriot Gear® continues to grow and prides itself on its partnerships with other small American businesses. Later this year, their flagship store will open to the public, symbolizing that the American dream is alive and well.