Wes Woodson is the founder and the chief storyteller of thehidden company. However before he became that, he was one of the few black kids in his all white middle school class. After already struggling to find who he was, as existed "in between" the white kids and black kids, his struggles became worse after he was diagnosed with a rare skin condition at the age of 12 years old.
With distorted pigmentation throughout his hands, feet, and parts of his face, Wes began to hide who he was. He would walk through the hallways with his hands in his pockets, to avoid being ridiculed. Unfortunately, it didn't work as he planned. The name calling, he tried to avoid, came anyway.
It was after 8 years, hiding his hands in his pockets, he wanted to finally do something about it. He wanted to build something that would empower other kids to never feel the way that he once did: hidden.
Wes, using his college issued laptop loaded with design software, began playing around with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. He had the idea of making a slogan that people could wear and adapt their own meanings to. He wanted something simple, yet cryptic. He wanted something empowering yet inquisitive.
It was then, during the middle of his college accounting class, he designed the hoodie shown above with the phrase "Be Not Afraid To Stand Alone".
He made 22 hoodies, posted blog on Facebook about what he was doing, and the next day all 22 hoodies were gone. Since then, it has been rinse and repeat: sell clothing with empowering messages. Two years later, a brand has been born.
In Wes's eyes, thehidden is more so a movement through which he seeks to empower the world to be okay with who they are.