Chad Brown, a decorated Navy veteran who received multiple honors, joined the U.S. Navy in 1991. After serving, he received a BFA in Communication Design at the American Intercontinental University in Atlanta, Georgia, received his MSc in Communication Design at Pratt Institute, and went onto receive the American Association of Advertising Award through the Multicultural Advertising Internship Program.
While building his career in freelance design, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was a daily reality and struggle. Then Chad was introduced to fly-fishing and he found solace in the sport. He still recalls the feeling of the first time he hooked in on a fish and felt himself filled with happiness, smiling for the first time in months. This was his sign to connect with the outdoors, as well as to advocate for all people to have access to the outdoors. Out of this healing experience came Portland’s first outdoor lifestyle apparel brand inspired by fly-fishing, Soul River Runs Deep.
With Soul River, Chad infuses style and substance into outdoor apparel. The apparel line is inspired by fly-fishing and aims to promote environmental advocacy as well as the healing powers of the river. It aims to reach a younger diverse demographic, with the intention of promoting a love of and investment in the outdoors. Alongside the apparel company, Chad created the nonprofit Soul River Inc. to work in tandem with his retail business, with 15 percent of profits from sales going to the outdoor, water-based organization that brings youth and veterans together to the river and home to themselves and their communities as inspired ambassadors of nature.