Bryan Swarn, co-founder of Phenetix Urban Athletic Wear Co., is the 2010 recipient of the AATCC Young Entrepreneur Award, chosen “for his intuition, creativity, leadership and courage in creating a new generation of products and promoting new opportunities for the textile industry.” AATCC presented the inaugural award at the yearly AATCC International Conference held in Charleston, S.C., U.S.A., in March.
Swarn started Phenetix while a student at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). He was an All-American on the Georgia Tech track and field team, giving him an understanding of and appreciation for the “importance of durable, lightweight uniforms with great wicking capabilities, range of motion, and quality design.” Swarn told his coach that he could design a uniform with better quality and fashion-forward designs. Phenetix’s first uniforms went to Howard University in the spring of 2004, followed by Florida State and Georgia Tech in 2005. Since its inception, Phenetix has grown both nationally and internationally.
AATCC is a nonprofit association headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., U.S.A., providing test method development, quality control materials and professional networking for its members around the world. The Young Entrepreneur Award was created to focus on young entrepreneurs (less than 40 years of age), who engage in business or industry based on the objectives of the AATCC: increasing the knowledge of the application of colorants, chemicals, and polymers in the textile industry; encouraging research on textile design, coloration, chemical processes, and materials of importance to the textile industry; and increasing the interchange of professional knowledge among AATCC members.