[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.


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.


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.


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.

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

Michael Hyacinthe served as a U.S. Navy Seabee combat warfare specialist for eight years. His military service took him around the world to Iceland, Guam, Europe and the Middle East. Michael founded [HAS HEART] as a way to connect with wounded veterans and to help them experience restoration through art.

As an entrepreneur, Michael developed an educational iPhone app called Wimage and the popular PBS show “Wimee’s Words” to inspire and empower children with creative innovation. Michael truly believes in the power of art to help veterans heal and children learn.

Originally from the Bronx in New York City, Michael currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and enjoys spending time with his four kids. He still roots for the New York Knicks.

Co-Founder/Creative Director

Tyler Way, co-founder of [HAS HEART], lives and works on the road as a creative nomad with his wife Kendra and two cats for their one y one content agency as they continue to develop and fundraise for the “50 States: Veterans + Artists United” tour. His responsibilities include managing [HAS HEART] creative direction, website design, product design, and marketing. Since the inception of the HERO[series] in 2011, Tyler continues to oversee and manage every facet of the product design with collaborating veterans and artists.

An artist in his own right, Tyler created original artwork for Phil Knight, LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Rip Hamilton. From 2012 to 2017, he also designed and developed men’s footwear for an international lifestyle brand.

His other passions include traveling, experiencing different cultures, documenting and capturing special moments through photos and video, and appreciating nature and life’s quieter moments.


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.


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: 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.