"I wanted to help the children out there because I didn’t want to see any of that happen to the children," the youngster explained.
Treandos Thornton wanted to send a strong and important message when he started his own company three years. "I want children to believe in themselves," he told WSBTV. The 8-year-old built T&N Bow Ties and Apparel with his 5-year-old brother Noah after he got the idea to sell bowties from watching his comedian father tie his bowties before doing shows. The 'kid-preneur' and CEO uses the business to raise money for children who need food and toys. "I wanted to help the children out there because I didn’t want to see any of that happen to the children," Treandos explained.
"Helping other people that are less fortunate than me, that's why I started my food and toy drive," the youngster told 11Alive. "I was watching a commercial on people who didn't have food. So I asked, 'why are they crying?'" His mother, Shana Thornton, revealed that her son was determined to do something to help when she explained that everyone is not as fortunate as him. "He said, 'That's not right mommy and daddy. I want to do something about it'," she recounted. With the help of his family, Treandos set up a food and toy drive named United Food Force at the age of four.
Although the young entrepreneur had to pivot during the pandemic, he said that it's been a big learning opportunity for him. "We learned different ways of technology and our business," Treandos said. Shana revealed that her sons' efforts to help other kids have received quite a bit of attention across the nation. "We’ve had organizations out of New York and California, as well, asking him to speak about being a 'kid-preneur' and he's done demonstrations on how to tie a bowtie, virtually," she said.
However, the Thornton brothers' message goes well beyond tying bowties and the business world. "Also looking people in the eye, communication skills. These are things that the boys try to platform even at their tender age of five and eight years old," the proud mother explained. When shipping giant UPS heard about the boys' mission, the Sandy Springs-based company reached out with the offer to assist them through its "Wishes Delivered" initiative—an annual goodwill initiative where UPS grants a few very special wishes to people in communities it serves—to help cover more ground. While the family gave each driver a gold bow tie, UPS surprised the Thorntons with a truck full of donations for their drive.
"I'm really excited and thankful for UPS because they didn't have to do that," Treandos said. On November 20, 2,000 UPS drivers donned gold bow ties for wishes delivered with the aim of inspiring people to give, as they can, to their local food banks. "Treandos started his own bow tie company after he was inspired by seeing his dad wearing them. The business wasn’t just about fashion though, it was about making people feel good and confident. This led Treandos to want to make a positive change in his community and help those suffering from food insecurity. With the help of our drivers, we made his wish come true," the company captioned a video uploaded to YouTube.
"First, Treandos and his younger brother Noah delivered bow ties to UPS drivers at the UPS hub in Atlanta. But what he didn’t know was he was about to get a very special delivery: a UPS truck filled with food and toys to be donated in his name to United Food Force. And, of course, the confidence that comes from knowing you don’t have to be a grownup to make a difference," it concluded. Despite his young age, the youngster has an important message for everyone. "You can be anything you want to be, just believe in yourself," he urged.