Local man spreading positive messages through Adam’s Wear

September 3, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

A local man is making a difference in his community, by promoting positive messages and inspiring others with his clothing company.

Adam Thompson, who receives support from Community Living Dufferin (CLD), began his clothes making journey in January of this year, when COVID-19 lockdowns were in full force, as it   provided him with a creative outlet to pass the time.

His first two orders totaled nearly 200 shirts and since that time he’s launched a website: where many more orders have been placed.

His clothing brand is called Adam’s Wear, which sells t-shirts and hoodies with a few different designs, all sharing the same message, “Be kind. Be calm. Be safe.”

Thompson said the message caught his mind and it felt like the words he needed to use to help give people strength and encouragement through the pandemic.

“There was a time during COVID, when not just Adam but a lot of us felt like really down by what we were seeing on the news, not being able to see family, not being able to see friends,” explained Kimberly Van Ryn, who started assisting Thompson with Adam’s Wear back in June.

“Part of the message was about raising people’s spirits, and that’s what Adam felt that he could do through this project,” she said.

Van Ryn, who is the executive director of Branching Out Support Services and operates a clothing company herself, began helping Thompson after her partner, who works at CLD, told her about Adam’s Wear.

They’ve been attending the BIA’s Farmer Markets in Orangeville for the past few weeks to spread the word about Adam’s Wear and drum up some business.

“Now he’s working on really building up his customer base, because a lot of people who already know and support Adam were some of his first customers,” she explained. “Now he’s really working towards connecting with people he doesn’t know yet.”

Van Ryn noted that Thompson’s drive to start Adam’s Wear is very inspiring to the wider community.

“I certainly like to support entrepreneurs who have differences, because I think anybody can open a business if they put their heart and soul into it, and Adam is showing us that. He’s able to make these things happen with support when he needs it,” she said. “Adam shows other people who have differences or disabilities or their brains work differently, that they can do this. He’s like an inspiration.”

Thompson spent lots of time colouring through last year’s Christmas season and used a few different coloured pieces as the artistic designs for his clothing.

His art has gone on to receive recognition, as he’s been nominated in the “Emerging Artist of the Year” category of the Town of Orangeville’s 2021 Arts and Culture Awards.

Currently, Thompson and Van Ryn are working on new designs, which they’re hoping to launch in the fall.

Thompson recently began taking photos of nature on his iPad and in the coming weeks he plans to choose a handful of photos that will be turned into colouring pages by a graphic designer. Once the photos are coloured, Thompson will use them to release new t-shirts and hoodies.

This way, all of his designs will be 100 per cent created by him, from start to finish.

Thompson said he’s hoping the newly designed clothing items will work well as Christmas gifts this year and he’ll see increased sales heading into December.

Going forward, he also plans on designing a t-shirt to fundraise for the Orangeville Wolves hockey team, which is made up of players with neurodiversity or developmental disabilities. Thompson retired from the team recently, but has been involved with them for many years.

Meanwhile, many community partners have helped to get Adam’s Wear off the ground. Community Living gave Thompson a small loan, which has been fully repaid and the Town of Orangeville’s Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC) helped him to secure a $600 grant.

TD Bank also donated $500 and Déjà vu donated $500 as well.

Andrew James of Town Tees in Shelburne has been a major help to Thompson as he prints all of Adam’s Wear’s clothing.

Thompson would  like to thank his sister Nancy Grinwis, Paula Reynolds of CLD, Rhonda Davies of CLD, his father Wes Thompson, and Ellen Sinclair from the SBEC.

One of the reasons he’s motivated to run the Adam’s Wear business is in honour of his mom who passed away in 2004. He says she would want to see him active and moving, doing everything he can to create an amazing life for himself.

Thompson’s dream is to have celebrities and WWE wrestlers, particularly the Edge, who’s from Orangeville, wearing his t-shirts.

Looking ahead, Thompson will be set up at the Dufferin Board of Trade’s Think Local Market on Sept. 14. 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. to promote his business.

Anyone interested in learning more about Adam’s Wear or buying some clothing can visit: and show their support.

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