Talladega’s Jayden Patterson, 10, starts T-shirt, mask business during COVID-19 pandemic

Talladega’s Jayden Patterson, 10, starts T-shirt, mask business during COVID-19 pandemic
Since May, Talladega's Jayden Patterson,10, has been selling T-shirts and masks bearing his designs. (contributed)

Jayden Patterson, a 10-year-old from Talladega, has turned his creative passion into a business supporting community safety during the COVID-19 crisis.

Jayden attends Stemley Road Elementary School, where he is the Community Service League representative. In that role, Jayden spreads and encourages kindness by leading morning PA system announcements.

Jayden has always been creative and enjoys drawing and designing, said his mother, Cecelia. “He even enjoys creating things out of Popsicle sticks.”

When his great-aunt, Bridget Merritt, made a shirt using a drawing by Jayden, his family knew it was a great business idea. Jayden’s first T-shirt design was posted on social media May 9. Before long, he had sold more than 50 shirts locally, with some shipped to other Alabama and Georgia cities.

After realizing the need for face masks, Jayden began creating them at home with his dad.

His mother said, “He saw that he could do something positive during the time of a pandemic in the world. He wanted to bring some light into the world during the time of darkness.”

Jayden created four original designs and has big dreams for his business.

His family has been very supportive, assisting with the purchase of a heat press and continuing to buy shirts he designs. Jayden’s parents encourage him by providing materials, supervision and transportation.

Jayden’s first design of a bearded man wearing a hoodie is his favorite. His favorite part of the business is “meeting new people and talking to new people.”

When he’s not designing T-shirts, Jayden likes to watch movies, swim, make s’mores and ride bikes with his brother, Javien.

“Jayden is such a kind and caring child,” his mother said. “He is a joy to most people who encounter him; it’s hard for me to choose what we are most proud of. If I must name something, it would be him being an entrepreneur and a leader at such a young age.”

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