Nine Line Apparel is a patriotic clothing brand that started out with co-founders Matt and Daniel Merritt making clothes in Matt’s garage. Today, the brand operates a 60,000 square foot facility in Savannah, Georgia, where their made-to-order products are almost 100% manufactured from American goods. However, the duo weren’t always entrepreneurs. Before they created Nine Line Apparel, they both served in the military for a decade. Once they returned from their last deployments, the brothers were inspired to make a patriotic clothing line that would help veterans like themselves.
“Shirts are just a by-product of what we’re doing for the community,” said President of Business Development, Matt Lyda, as he accepted the Veteran-owned Manufacturer Award at Made in America 2019 hosted by MadeinAmerica.com.
Their team has grown to over 200 people, many of whom are veterans or spouses of veterans. While the company has had tremendous success with sales, their non-profit initiatives have raised millions of dollars for veteran charities and they even have their own charity called Nine Line Foundation. The foundation’s purpose is to improve the quality of life for severely injured veterans and their families. Nine Line primarily focuses on helping one individual veteran at a time, but they recently began a new project that will help dozens of wounded soldiers. The venture, called Veteran Village, is a transitional community for homeless veterans in Savannah.
“Right now, we’re building 74 tiny homes for homeless veterans as transitional living. We have an entire service set up to give them an education, a permanent job and permanent housing. We are going to solve the veteran homeless problem that we have in America,” said Lyda.
Today, Tyler runs the company as CEO and is passionately focused on the Veteran Village project. In the past seven years, their commitment has made a difference in the lives of thousands of veterans and has helped to bridge the gap between civilians and service members.