Recently, our Co-Founder and Creative Director, Tyler Way had the opportunity to share [HAS HEART] and the 50 States: Veterans + Artists United at the annual National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) Veterans Conference in Washington D.C. in front of over 500 Veterans representing 49 states and the U.S. territories.
With only ELEVEN states (Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan) left to complete our nationwide mission, we need your help to secure a vehicle that will get us and our Airstream to where we need to go in order to partner the next Veteran with a graphic designer to help us share their meaningful story.
Tyler Way and Kendra Clapp Olguin who have been taking [HAS HEART] across the country on the “50 States: Veterans + Artists United” tour were recently invited on “a little more human” podcast series hosted by Caton Vance and Eric Johnson from Gorilla. Hear insight from Tyler and Kendra share about quitting their careers in fashion, living and working on the road full-time, and some of their favorite moments traveling the country on behalf of [HAS HEART].
With the support of many hands, we’ve been on the road for 545 days, driven 39,095 miles, visited 36 states, completed 38 projects, have worked with 46 Veterans and 117 creatives, and launched 14 projects with 24 more currently preparing to launch. Now, 18 months later, our initial funds have been fully utilized and deployed, causing us to pause the upcoming tour projects in order to raise the finances needed to complete the rest of our nationwide mission.
From Charleston, SC, we continued our way south through Georgia into St. Augustine, FL. We pulled into Anastasia State Park right along the Atlantic coast and set-up camp for two nights within a sandy jungle — easily our favorite campsite thus far on the tour. Noel also became a big fan of this set-up because from every vantage point she could spy on birds up-close and even spotted those infamous little Florida lizards for the first time in her cat life.
Downtown Charleston was covered in our first taste of Southern-styled charm that included ivy-covered walls, cobblestone streets, weathered paint finishes, decorative rod-iron railings, oh, and a Pineapple Fountain. This fountain wasn’t the only pineapple we saw. We began noticing on homes, gates, mailboxes, and more. But why?
To break up the long drive from Delaware, we spent a night in Cabela’s parking lot in Garner, NC. The next morning while we were getting ready to drive the last three hours to Charlotte, we got a knock on our door. As much as you can prepare for nights spent in parking lots by calling ahead and speaking to management to ensure that they allow overnight parking, you still kind of brace yourself for a knock on the door by some sort of official.
To be honest, we arrived into Delaware the day before the project and then left the day after the project. It’s been our shortest stay in any state, but that’s meant to be a diss on Delaware. I’m sure there’s things to do and see, we just didn’t have the time. The little time we did have was spent on some much-needed Fall cleaning, including a drawer that Noel quickly filled, as any cat does.
Visiting Arlington on Veterans Day was particularly special because it is the final resting place of all kinds of people with all sorts of service experiences. You go in knowing this but nothing can possibly prepare you for its size and scale. You hear and read statistics but you aren’t often faced with a visual of it all.
After finishing the DMV and Delaware state projects, we ended up back in Maryland but this time, along the Atlantic ocean. It was mid-November and surprisingly, a beautiful time to visit Assateague Island and National Seashore.
“Without their sacrifice, there is no freedom of…”