Camp Invention® alum Treandos Thornton’s passion for bow ties began when he was just 5 years old.
Inspiration struck while playing in his room, when he noticed his father, Treandos L. Thornton, trying on a few bow ties for a comedy show. “I went into my parents’ room and told my mom that I like those bow ties on him,” Treandos said in an interview with the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF). “So I asked my mom if I could start a bow tie business, and she said yes,” he said.
Now at the grizzled age of 9, Treandos has grown his business, T&N Bow Ties and Apparel, into a company that has been featured by local and even national news. While his company offers many fashionable designs, what he likes most is how stylish clothes have the power to help people feel more confident.
“I think my bow ties give people magic powers that encourage bravery,” Treandos said. “If life gets tough, you need to push through it.”
Building Entrepreneurship Skills at Camp Invention
For the past three years, Treandos has attended Camp Invention and enjoyed how the hands-on activities have allowed him to get creative and develop his skills as an entrepreneur.
“This past year, the program implemented entrepreneurship and presenting your own idea and selling it to others,” Shana Thornton, Treandos’ mother, said. “I love it because it’s partnering the love and passion that he already has but it’s taking it to the next level,” she said.
Treandos agrees and explained that the program has helped him with his public speaking skills.
“Camp Invention helped me to speak in front of people,” Treandos said. Developing this skill has helped him talk about his business with others.
Because of these positive experiences at Camp Invention, Treandos’ 6-year-old brother Noah (whom he recently promoted to president of the company) plans to join him at camp this summer.
Encouraging Kid Entrepreneurs Everywhere
Beyond growing his business, Treandos is passionate about encouraging other kid entrepreneurs to pursue their business dreams. To that end, he even has his own podcast, Business Tips with Treandos, that highlights other young business owners.
“In my podcast, we like to highlight the youth because there aren’t that many kid-operated businesses out there,” Treandos said. “Kids out there, you can be whatever you want to be, so just believe in yourself.”
Treandos’ father is proud of both of his sons and believes in the importance of education in a person’s continued success. "I am proud to see the boys thriving in their purpose,” Treandos L. said. “Education and exposure are key.”
When asked what advice she had for parents who are interested in encouraging entrepreneurship skills in their own children, Shana recommended that adults take the time to listen to children’s ideas and always empower their hopes and dreams.
“I think just as guardians and parents, it’s important to listen more to kids and see them as the empowering and magical people they are,” Shana said. “They do offer so much to our lives and just continue to be encouraged by that.”
Do You Have a Camp Invention Story?
If your child has attended Camp Invention, do they have a story to share? We would love to hear from you, and we invite you to reach out on our Facebook page.
To learn more about this year’s Camp Invention program, visit our website!