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    The Porch — t-shirt

    RALEIGH HUSTLES HARD - WYATT CANTRELL ARTWORK

    RALEIGH HUSTLES HARD - WYATT CANTRELL ARTWORK

    The first time I met Wyatt Cantrell, I immediately knew there was something special about him. He was so self-confident and sure of his surroundings while being completely curious and enthusiastic about life. We met Wyatt in early spring of 2016 at Sola Pop-Up Market. He was set up a few booths down from us selling artwork accompanied by his mother Meredith and father Ian, so we figured it was their show and he was just along for the ride. We would soon come to find that these interesting multi layered paintings were all made by a six year old. We could hardly see him behind the booth but he came around smiling, full of energy and introduced us to his work. Over the next few months we got to know him and his family, and we decided to sit down with this young hustler and entrepreneur for our latest installment of Raleigh Hustles Hard.

    Wyatt, who turns seven on Friday, has been a hustler since birth. He grew up watching his mother run a small business, and has always idolized Raleigh artists and entrepreneurs, like Adam Peele. When he was four, he had his eyes set on a $300+ Ewok Village Lego Set, so his first thought was to start a business. He began with an idea to make refurbished toys and masks from salvaged items, which proved too labor-intensive. After spotting a Star Wars decal on the back of a car one day, he and his mom decided stenciling and painting might be the best way to bring his ideas to life. At 4 years old, Wyatt taught himself how to paint. After his mother Meredith creates and cuts stencils, Wyatt goes to work painting and layering the piece with an array of colors, textures, and patterns. When I asked how he learned his skills, his answer was refreshingly simple. "Well, this was the job I chose so I just started painting." An answer only a six year old with no concept of failure or doubt could provide. Wyatt started gaining traction at local markets and events, and 100 paintings later, the Ewok Village belonged to him.

    Wyatt estimates that he’s sold close to 1,000 paintings. At first glance, that number seems high for such a young kid, but if you catch him in action, you’ll become a believer. Wyatt is full of positivity, interest, and passion. His infectious attitude and energy radiate across the booth and is visible in each customer. It’s rare to see them leave empty handed. He operates with a blind confidence. He's clear in his goals, and for now that's hustling art to buy toys. His business is fully functional and self funded. He purchases all of his own equipment and supplies exclusively from Jerry's Artarama.  He loves that store.

    Wyatt’s process is intense. He batches a few paintings at a time, working on the porch because of the mess. He uses acrylic and then draws using a paint marker or oil pastel.  Then he repeatedly layers spray and splatter paints, then stencil.  He and his mom have spent the last two years experimenting with this system of layering, the basis being the stencil ideas Wyatt comes up with like “Storm Trooper Eating a Popsicle” or “Hedgehog Riding A Skate Board”. Wyatt hustles hard and you can find him working almost every weekend around the triangle. He’s commissioned pieces for countless individuals and locals businesses like Citizen Pops and Gringo A Go Go.

    It’s easy to forget that he’s currently an elementary school student. I jokingly asked if he was in the 4th grade, and he answered, "If I was in 4th grade I probably wouldn't be doing this because I'd have all the money.” He quickly checks himself and adds, "Well, no I probably still will do it when I'm in 4th grade." True wisdom and hustle. Wyatt loves to toy hunt at the Flea Market and especially at the Lego store. "I have 102 Lego sets at home." Meredith nods behind him with a smiling sigh. What’s even better than the Lego’s is that much like myself and most 80’s babies, he absolutely loves He-Man. I’m talking favorite movie, TV show, and toy. "I like He-Man so much I have a He-Man Skeletor,” he said leaning forward, eyes bulging. We talked about the Skeletor toy for the next four minutes straight. Much like Porch Fly's own Jay Blevins, you'll rarely find Wyatt anywhere without at least one toy. When I ask Wyatt what other essentials he keeps on him at all times, he said “I like to make sure I bring at least 4 quarters with me just in case I run into a quarter machine.” God, I miss being 6...

    Obviously, at such a young age no amount of talent and drive equals success without support. Wyatt’s parents, Meredith and Ian not only make it possible, but work hard to encourage and provide an environment for the entrepreneurial spirit to grow. While they are fully supportive of his endeavors, Meredith stresses that his path remains his own. “It's better to learn tough business lessons now when he's a little guy and has the largest safety net of all than to learn them when he's grown and the net is much smaller. It could be great, a disaster, or simply fade away, but he'll be the one that determines all of that.” I have a feeling Wyatt is just getting started.

    Learn more about Wyatt and where to find his art as well as a few of his favorite places to visit in the area:

    Wyatt is done with events for 2016, but you can keep up with his future shows and view his currently available pieces at his Facebook Page HERE

    To order artwork, email: wyattcantrellart@gmail.com

    Thanks for stopping by the porch!

    - Joshua

    Old North State Adventure Club

    Old North State Adventure Club

    The Old North State Adventure Club, now accepting applications! 

    Anyone who has spent some time outdoors in North Carolina knows that there are so many amazing places in this state for a good adventure. Anywhere from the mountains to the sea, grab some friends, get out and explore. The Old North State Adventure Club design was something we wanted to create to bring together those who never shy away from a little exploration! 

    Being outdoors has proven beneficial time and time again. This is extremely true for children more so than others. Many articles like this one highlight the benefits of getting outside both for kids and adults. That's one reason why we decided to partner with The Scott-Free Scholarship Foundation for this design. A portion of the sale of each Old North State tee goes to this incredible organization that partners at-risk children with a summer camp to encourage kids to try new things, get outside, and have an adventure.

    These tees are made from a lightweight polycotton blend and made to stay comfortable through all your adventures! Get yours now in Men's and Women's Tees!

    "One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure." - William Feather

    Easy Rider Squirrel

    Easy Rider Squirrel

    This bike, this squirrel, and that helmet are all about Freedom.

    A while back, we heard a new store was opening in downtown Raleigh. Devolve Moto. A store with some of the most badass stuff to be found. The idea behind this store gave us a lot of inspiration to make a design for all the bikers out there. The real heroes tearing up the open road. After long hours and much bourbon, we knew what we had to do.

    And this is where another one of our favorite movies comes in...

    Easy Rider is a classic movie. Hands down. So we thought, "why not create a design loosely based around this movie." In reality, we just loved the idea of a squirrel on a motorcycle. This way we could pay homage to a great movie as well as Raleigh's unofficial mascot, the squirrel. And that’s how the idea for The Easy Rider Squirrel was born.

    Made from the pure feeling of freedom felt on the open road (or maybe an ultra soft polycotton blend), this design is available in Men’s Tees, Women’s Tanks, Kid's Tees, and Onesies!

    Get yours today!

    Mountains to Sea Collection

    Mountains to Sea Collection

    North Carolina. Our home state. A state that consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. A place that houses some of the most scenic destinations in the nation. From the mountains to the sea, there is always something to be explored in North Carolina. 

     

    We enjoy living, working, and exploring North Carolina so much so that we set up shop here with the intention of creating a clothing and lifestyle brand that would highlight all the best parts of our state. From The Blue Ridge Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean and everything in between, you can always find something amazing!

     

    Made from the softest polycotton blend around, you can get your Mountains to Sea tees in sizes XS-XXL in both Men's and Women's tees!

    Hustle Hard As Oak

    Hustle Hard As Oak

     

    "No matter what you want to do in life you have to have the determination to start and the intensity to hustle hard" - JoJo Polk, Core Fitness Studio

    Living in Raleigh allows to us live and work every day with some of the hardest working people we have ever had to honor to meet and it is this group of hustlers that inspired the Hustle Hard As Oak design. We wanted to make a tee especially for our community of local business owners who put in the work, hours, sweat, and tears to make their dreams a reality. Those that know and respect what it means to hustle hard. 

    Shortly after we released this design we started doing our Raleigh Hustles Hard blog series, where we would sit down with some of these influential hustlers around Raleigh and hear their stories. We wanted to showcase all the hard work and often goes unseen by some of our neighbors and friends. 

    Dress the hustle in the softest polycotton blend tees and tanks you'll ever find! We offer the Hustle Hard As Oak tee in options for the whole family: Men's Tees, Women's Tee, Women's Tanks, Onesies, Kids Tees 

    Read about our various Raleigh Hustles hard blog here: