Last week I had the privilege of traveling to my hometown of Plymouth to meet with Owen Nannarone, founder of Outrageous Souvenirs LLC and the creator of ThunderHeadz, the sports collectible souvenir you haven’t heard of… yet.
Owen Nannarone isn’t the typical CEO. You won’t find him in a suit and tie, jaunting to meetings with his briefcase in hand. Instead, Owen can usually be found bent over his workbench and outfitted in his signature black hoodie. He’s a 16-year-old kid with an entrepreneurial spirit and a drive to do good. He loves working with his hands, sees beauty in design, and really, truly believes in the business he has built.
With the help of his loving parents, Owen has grown his business and manufacturing facility rapidly. With branding licenses from Major League Baseball, NASCAR, and more, his souvenirs are being sold on his own website, on Amazon, in the fan shop right outside of Fenway Park, and at upcoming NASCAR events and the MLB All Star Game. And even more impressively, he’s done all of this while dealing with the unimaginable — brain cancer. You might have gathered this already, but Owen Nannarone is a pretty remarkable kid.
When I walked into his production facility I was awestruck. Owen has a huge space with some very sophisticated equipment — the whole facility was much bigger than the start-up operation I was expecting. I was greeted by Owen’s lovely mom, Korey, who helps him with his business operations and marketing. Together they offered me a full tour, and Owen walked me through the ThunderHeadz manufacturing process from start to finish.
He explained that his idea for this souvenir came from his love for fishing and the thought that some fishing lures are beautifully made and too pretty to be used exclusively for a big catch. With some mentoring, Owen perfected his own design and set out on branding his creation. His hands touch almost every souvenir they churn out.
As a mother myself, I’m always a little skeptical about the types of souvenirs my kids pick out at a ball game or on a family trip. Is it something that can hold up to their rough little hands? Is it multi-functional and worth the money I’m about to spend? Owen sent me home with two ThunderHeadz for my boys, and I can happily report that they LOVED them. They’re fun to wave around! They GLOW! They are branded with the best baseball team in the country (go Sox!). And they were a hit.
With every purchase of a ThunderHeadz souvenir, 10% of the proceeds are donated to brain cancer research. Owen and his company have made it their mission to help to eradicate pediatric brain cancer, and they’ve partnered with The Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he receives his own treatment. Owen’s product, while an eye-catching and super fun souvenir, is so much more than that. It’s a passion project, and it’s doing real good in the real world.
If you’re in the market for a souvenir, have a sports fan or collector in your family, or if you or someone you know has been touched by brain cancer, I encourage you to support Owen and his mission. We’re lucky to know him, and we’re proud to say that ThunderHeadz are Boston Moms Blog approved!