The term ‘misfit’ is often cast in a negative light. A misfit does not fit in with the crowd, or rather, is unfit to do so. For recent Thomas More College alumni Jason Matheny and Monty Collier, however, ‘misfit’ has a much different connotation. These 2012 graduates founded a clothing brand based in Covington, Ky., by the name of Modern Misfit (Classic) Genius. Their goal is that the company represent more than just clothing. Rather than hiding our misfit traits, the company encourages embracing them as that which makes us all unique.
“Individuals embracing what makes them unique will help them become the best possible versions of themselves, and that’s what matters most,” explains Matheny, co-owner, and head of design and social media for Misfit Genius. “Obviously we love designing and creating clothing, but the greatest satisfaction has come from being able to connect with people about the values upon which Misfit Genius is built.” Those values—passion, loyalty, intelligence, confidence, and humility—are the foundation upon which Misfit Genius was founded.
Matheny, an art major, and Collier, an accounting major, founded Misfit Genius in the halls of Thomas More College. “We decided to start the business when we discovered that we shared a common interest in the ability to inspire and generate a positive response through the use of design and storytelling,” Matheny explains.
Modern Misfit Genius recently finished as one of eight finalists in the Cincinnati Artworks Big Pitch Event, which Matheny and Collier identified as an excellent learning and networking experience, helping to fine-tune their creative vision and business goals. Much of their recent focus has been creating character development workshops for schools, as well as design and branding for local bands.
Matheny reflects on his time at Thomas More College fondly, emphasizing the personalization of a small college experience. Having lived on campus during his time at the College, Matheny recalls, “The students are more than numbers. You can really get a sense of the community that exists, both inside and outside of the classroom.” The intimate, communal nature of life at Thomas More College led Matheny and Collier to link up as business partners and pursue their business endeavors while still attending the College.
Matheny cites Thomas More College English Professor Sherry Cook Stanforth as one of his primary inspirations, as she makes a habit of thinking outside the box, and passes along the value of “being yourself” to young minds. Matheny also elaborated on the role his art professors played in his present-day successes. “Learning from others who share a passion for art helped me immensely, and that’s what I got at Thomas More College.”
Modern Misfit Genius is a graphic tee design company, but it represents more than that to Matheny, Collier, and consumers. Matheny and Collier believe that once we welcome our differences with open arms, we can unlock our own inner genius—Misfit Genius.
For more information of the story behind Modern Misfit Classic Genius visit themisfitgenius.com
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