Fairfax County mother-son duo launches inspirational activewear brand; portion of proceeds go to Virginia Special Olympics

A Lorton mother-son duo recently launched an inspirational activewear brand that gives back to the Virginia Special Olympics.

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A Lorton mother-son duo recently launched an inspirational activewear brand that gives back to the Virginia Special Olympics.

Tiffany Hamilton and her 16-year-old son Isaiah, who has high-functioning autism, co-founded the brand inspired by Isaiah. The brand sells T-shirts and hoodies with written slogans that promote positive affirmations, and 10% of the proceeds are donated to the Virginia Special Olympics.

Unaware of his high-functioning autism diagnosis until age seven or eight, Hamilton said her son went through many trials in school. It took a while to figure out his learning style, resulting in him attending four different middle schools.

“And in middle school — which is a horrible age for any human being — he went through bullying,” Hamilton said.

So when she explained his diagnosis to him, she said he struggled to feel good about himself. That’s when Hamilton started reinforcing positive affirmations.

“Be proud of the skin you live in. This is you, and you’re amazing. You know, you are talented. You are smart. Don’t let people define you,” the mother said she’d tell her son.

Those affirmations are what helped Isaiah to feel good about himself, she said, they also helped to inspire Victor Wear.

“It really got through. He really started believing those inspiring things I would tell him,” Hamilton said, adding that customers have shared similar stories of believing the inspiring slogans after putting on the clothing.

The mother and son chose the name Victor Wear because victors are people who overcome obstacles through grit and determination. Tiffany Hamilton said it’s a word that describes every Special Olympian.

A significant motivation behind the brand is the employment statistics for people with autism. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, adults with autism experience “substantial unemployment and underemployment.” The department says they also experience barriers to completing postsecondary education and training opportunities.

The statistics are one reason Hamilton plans to grow the company and employ people with disabilities.

“Think about the great resignation and so many employers who needed to find certain people, and you have this whole segment of people who can’t get jobs … it really makes no sense,” she said.

Isaiah hasn’t let his diagnosis stop him from achieving. He codes video games, participates in competitive swimming and bowling, sings and paints. The D.C. Chamber of Commerce awarded him the 2022 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Hamilton said the skills that helped her son win the award are the same ones he contributes to the business. He helps with event planning, designing and marketing, and the ultimate goal is to make Isaiah the face of the company.

The activewear team also plans to start the “I’m a Victor Blog,” a platform to showcase “stories of triumph.”

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