The advice to "never go into business with your family" is usually salient, but for Craig Fernandes, starting a business with his teenage son, Brady, has only brought the two of them closer together.
Craig talked to Nashville poet Kelley Bell as part of our podcast Versify, and she turned Craig's story into poetry — including the fact that he was laid off after 20 years in medical manufacturing.
"So here I am, you know, 50 years old and really didn't expect to have to start all over again in my career."
The result was that Craig ended up spending a lot more time at home with Brady. They bonded over Brady's idea to start a clothing company called Patriot Threads to honor Craig's father, an Army veteran.
"Usually at that age, when they're junior high, senior high school, you kind of don't spend as much time with them," Craig said. "So here I am with all this extra time, and my son had a desire to do something to honor his grandfather and help our veterans. And I had the time to do it."
Kelley wove together details from Craig's story into a poem that reads like a love letter from father to son:
If I could take every breath
In my lungs and name them,
They would all be named
After 20 years spending
And spending hours, a layoff
That opened time like a door
To build for the first time,
For me to build anew
If they were things to be named they would be
Named after you.
Hear the full poem and story in the Versify episode called "The Thread Stretched Between Us." Listen at podcasts.wpln.org or any podcasting app.