[HAS HEART] is a Michigan-based, registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded originally as “Fashion Has Heart” by 8-year U.S. Veteran, Michael Hyacinthe, and artist/designer, Tyler Way. They were first introduced over a cup of coffee in 2010 and from there, they quickly discovered the disconnect between their two worlds.

They realized the power of collaboration once Michael met a local quadriplegic Marine who loved t-shirts and asked Tyler to co-create a design that shared his message. Since then, the HERO[series] has continued to pair Veterans with designers for the shared mission to tell their story through the mediums of art, design, and fashion.

MICHAEL HYACINTHE
Co-Founder | Chairman | U.S. Navy Veteran

“BEING ABLE TO HELP OTHER VETERANS IN THEIR RECOVERY PROCESS TRANSITION BACK INTO A CIVILIAN LIFESTYLE THROUGH THIS POWERFUL CREATIVE OUTLET IS THE MOST INSPIRING PART OF [HAS HEART] THAT KEEPS INSPIRING ME TO CONTINUE DOING WHAT WE DO.”

-Michael Hyacinthe

Michael Hyacinthe is an 8-year United States Navy Veteran who served as a U.S. Navy Seabee combat warfare specialist. His military service took him around the world to Iceland, Guam, Europe and the Middle East. In addition to his duties with [HAS HEART], Michael also works with the Veteran population through the Habitat For Humanity Veteran Build Program that works to provide affordable housing and resources for Veterans and their families.    

Michael is also a driven entrepreneur focusing on social enterprises. His most recent project is an iPhone ed-tech app called Wimage, or “words to images,” which helps children learn through visualization and creativity. Michael truly believes that creativity is a very powerful tool that can help Veterans heal and children learn. 

Originally from the Bronx, NY, he currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his wife and their four kids. He is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and is still a New York Knicks fan. 

TYLER D. WAY
Co-Founder/Creative Director

“WORKING THROUGH THE HERO[SERIES] DESIGN PROCESS WITH EACH VETERAN AND DESIGNER IS REMARKABLE. WITNESSING STRANGERS FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS COME TOGETHER TO CREATE SOMETHING WITH SO MUCH MEANING AND THOUGHT BEHIND IT IS THE PINNACLE OF COLLABORATION.”

-Tyler Way

Tyler Way is living and working on the road conducting the “50 States: Veterans + Artists United” working tour. His responsibilities include all-things creative for [HAS HEART], including brand development/management, website design, product design, social media marketing, photography, and more. Throughout the tour, Tyler will be coordinating project planning efforts with partners and participants, working with each Veteran and artist through the HERO[series] design process, and building collaborative products with the various [HAS HEART] partners.

Tyler is an artist, having created original artwork for individuals including Phil Knight, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Rip Hamilton, and others. He is also a footwear designer, having designed and developed men’s footwear for an international lifestyle brand from 2012-2017. Above all, Tyler was the first artist that worked with the first Veteran on a t-shirt design. He has co-coordinated and co-managed every facet of each HERO[series] project since its conception in 2011.

His other passions include seeking inspiration through other forms of creativity, traveling, experiencing different cultures, documenting and capturing special moments through photography, and has discovered a growing love for nature and life’s quieter moments.

KENDRA CLAPP OLGUÍN
Communications Director

“MEETING AND WORKING WITH SO MANY DIVERSE INDIVIDUALS IS MY FAVORITE ASPECT OF [HAS HEART]. WE NOT ONLY BRING THE MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WORLDS TOGETHER, BUT WE BUILD LIFE-LONG FRIENDSHIPS AND BONDS WITH EACH OF OUR PARTICIPANTS ALONG THE WAY.”

-Kendra Clapp Olguín

The “50 States: Veterans + Artists United” tour’s co-pilot is Kendra Clapp Olguin, whose background includes fashion, event planning, and journalism. Beyond her years of experience as a high-end fashion buyer for a multi-million dollar lifestyle boutique, Kendra also specializes in communications with a passion for storytelling. A graduate from the University of Michigan in Communications and Spanish, some of Kendra’s main responsibilities include sharing Veterans’ stories, lead PR and communications efforts with media and project partners, and assist in styling and creating content throughout the journey. She will be actively documenting the journey of the process via behind-the-scenes photos, our infamous Instagram stories, and other social media posts from her perspective.

Kendra’s passions include cooking vegetarian food (Princess Leah, the hen in the picture, was not harmed or eaten), learning and reading as much as humanly possible in order to engage in any conversation or topic, and also enjoys listening to music and people-watching.

ADVISORS & VOLUNTEERS

We have worked with a handful of advisors, consultants, partners, and passionate volunteers that have improved, impacted, and enabled all of our meaningful work. Thank you to those who have served alongside us over the years. For those interested in joining our passionate team, please CONTACT US to explore how you can help us share Veterans’ stories.

 WHAT WE DO 

The HERO[series] partners a Veteran with a designer to share their message. The two-day collaborative design process starts over a cup of coffee where the two get to know one another by sharing stories and asking questions, all while brainstorming design concepts together on the first day.

Through years of conducting collaborations, [HAS HEART] has established an open and safe environment. As the Veteran is sharing their story, the artist begins to pick up on keywords, phrases, images, symbols, mottos, etc. While the designer listens and asks questions to dig deeper into some of these key points, themes and storylines will naturally begin to appear and develop. As the two continue to dive deeper into specific overlying messages, they will begin to narrow down their design options, eventually honing in on a single concept that best shares their meaningful message with the world.

 TANGIBLE IMPACT 

The designs created by the Veteran and artists are produced into products such as t-shirts and embroidered patches to be shared, exhibited and sold to the civilian population with the purpose to:

  • Build awareness of Veterans, their meaningful stories, personal opportunities for growth, and to help in overcoming any physical, mental, emotional, and/or moral injuries as they transition back into civilian life.

  • Become a creative outlet for Veterans to use for sharing their inspirations, traumatic experiences, core values, anything that has had a strong influence on their lives, through our powerful creative process.

  • Enable the creative community to utilize their time and talents to honor to the men & women who served on their behalf; who protected their freedoms to pursue their creative dreams.

  • Build a revenue model for the organization to be self-sustaining in order to re-invest back into working with more Veterans while also generating proceeds for Veterans and their families.

 WHY IT MATTERS 

Currently less than 01.0% of the U.S. population is serving their country. Because of this wide gap between the civilian and Veteran populations, their worlds have never been more disconnected from that of their own neighbors.

[HAS HEART] discovered that through uniting Veterans with Creatives to help them share their story, they are able to initiate conversation, build understanding, generate support, and engage younger generations of Americans that otherwise would remain detached from their own community.

The “50 States: Veterans + Artists United” tour and its journey is part of our larger mission to connect each community within itself and with those around it. Our long term mission is for these state projects to grow into [HAS HEART] chapters that can continue sharing Veterans’ stories locally, regionally, and nationally.

 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Q: Is [HAS HEART] a non-profit organization?

A: Yes, our registered name is Fashion Has Heart (DBA: HAS HEART), and we are a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was started in 2011 and approved by the IRS as tax exempt in 2012. Our EIN is: 45-2609530

Q: Where does the money from shirt sales go?

A: After expenses and production costs, 25% of proceeds from a Veteran’s design product sales will benefit the Veteran participant for the life of their design.

Q: How do you select your Veterans and designers?

A: We love when we get referred to Veterans by other Veterans, or artists by other artists. We also reach out to area Veteran service organizations to request their recommendations of Veterans that would be interested in participating. We also partner with AIGA, the professional organization of design and their 74 chapters across the country.

If you’re interested in participating, feel free to CONTACT US to see if we have an upcoming project available in your area.