In a suburban Nashville shed, One Feather Press creates small batch travel essentials exclusively for Mike Wolfe’s American-made adventure brand Two Lanes.
Tennessee in August can be hotter than a Harley pipe after a 100-mile ride. Inside a weathered garden shed 15 minutes from Antique Archaeology Nashville, Thomas Petillo stands in front of his grandfather’s 1922 Westinghouse oscillating fan, trying to find some relief from the heat. In the early morning sun, he sorts through piles of navy fabric fresh and warm from the dryer, his daybreak ritual for years in this Inglewood neighborhood of East Nashville.
As a college student in Alabama, Thomas carried a bandana in his pocket to help him keep cool while walking around campus. Years later, Thomas created One Feather Press — his one-man custom wholesale bandana business he runs out of a 1930s shed in his backyard.
“One Feather was established in 2014 after I had helped my friend Joshua Black Wilkins create bandanas for his tour merchandise,” explains Thomas. “The bandanas people were screenprinting at the time looked more like kitchen towels than traditional bandanas. I quickly realized it was a missed market so I set myself on a path to learn more about the process.”
“Mike is a storyteller by trade. He appreciates every detail and process behind items that are created authentically. As small businesses, we all benefit from collaborating with like-minded brands. It helps restore customers’ faith each time they make a purchase that some things are still made by hand, in America.”
Every One Feather Press bandana has been made with care, by hand, each step of the way. The US-sourced fabric is cut and sewn by the talented hands of the three women of Nashville Makers and Company. Thomas also washes, dries, and irons each bandana at his own home. Inside his shed, among the lawn tools, paint cans, old signs, and his kids’ BMX bikes, he fires up his homemade press.
“As a papa and a professional, I needed a way to work while being around my young ones. Being able to work out of my home allows me to stay close to my deadlines and my kids.”
Bandanas have long offered a way to combine artistic fashion and marketing potential with practical function. Over 65 years ago Dwight Eisenhower handed out “Win with Ike” bandanas to supporters at rallies and events as he campaigned for president in 1952. Those printed fabric squares were useful, portable mini-billboards.
“Bandanas really are the best business cards,” says Thomas. “I always have one in my pocket just in case! While I don’t personally design the imagery on them or decide on the story they tell, I am honored to preserve these legacies in cotton so that others may pass them on in their travels.”
There are dozens of practical uses for a bandana: hoist it as the camp flag, use it to keep track of nuts and bolts while changing a tire, or drench it in creek water to keep you cool on the trail. However you use it, this bandana will be a travel essential wherever the Two Lanes take you.
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