From Soldier to Sewer: The Incredible True Story of Entrepreneur-Designer Nate Carr

Breaking into the global fashion industry is no easy feat, but entrepreneur-designer Nate Carr is making a break for it with his bespoke clothing lines and shockingly fresh styles. A Philadelphia native, Nate first discovered his love for fashion in the form of his step-father’s old sewing machine, turning out custom outfits for himself and close friends as a high-schooler and young adult. Nate, a veteran, now manages global style brand “FIRE by Nate” building out style lines in everything from shoes and boots to bespoke jocks and monogrammed duffels.

“I have always loved fashion and creating things,” shares Nate. “Growing up I can remember walking in a room and looking at everyones outfits and shoes saying ‘pass’ or ‘fail.’ It was really when I got out of the military and I began to sew again and sketch out outfits that I jumped fully into my passion for fashion. People began asking me to make them different things and I just started pouring out outfits by hand. My close friend encouraged me to create my own clothing line, so I incorporated as an LLC and started to scale my business!”

As a veteran, Nate was well aware of the difficulties of global supply chains and sourcing quality fabric for his outfits. Early on, he struggled to front the money for expensive, bulk fabrics and came close to quitting several times. After opening up an online store and focusing on the effective launch of his brand, however, Nate began to see through to the other side of the tunnel. More orders came in, and Nate soon was able to source raw materials in bulk, while his marketing and networking finally began paying off.

“Mindset when starting a business is the key factor. Having the right mindset can push you forward or pull you down to crash really fast. This industry is forever growing and moving and changing so you can’t allow that to frustrate you and or consume you or you will lose your authenticity. I struggled at the outset to keep my brand authentic to my vision, while aligning it with bigger brands that are out there. I had to work hard to focus my creative process and to get the message out past just friends and close family.”

Leaning into his initial network of friends and family, Nate soon began gaining exposure and traction outside of his native market. Bringing in models from around his hometown to show off his apparel as it was meant to be worn provided a huge boost to Nate’s online sale and exposed him to more creatives in the community. Despite constant pressure to conform to brand-name looks pervading the streets, Nate has managed to carve out his brand’s own, unique niche in the market, building out his website and social media following along the way. 

“I would say my biggest obstacle that I’ve overcome in my career so far is getting my brand known to individuals outside of friends and family. I currently work in Iraq, so my projects have been limited for the past year, but I am now working towards getting my first billboard ad in the states, while also continuing to craft new items for my brand. I currently have new sneakers, polo shirts, and thigh high socks that I will be putting on my website in the next month.”

Moving forward, Nate expects to grow his brand’s exposure and credibility in the market, expanding to new markets in the United States while securing the financial backing he needs to ensure its success. One look at Nate’s website shows a man committed to fashion, without breaking the bank of his dedicated customers. It’s not often that bespoke, brand-name looks can be had at such a reasonable price – though such deals may not last as FIRE continues to grow exponentially!

Check out Nate’s work on Instagram (@firebynate) or pick up your own FIRE apparel on his brand website: