How a Family Turned the Tragic Death of Their Son Into an Online Legacy

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On July 3, 2020, Brady Nathan received the call no parent wants to receive: his son, Jack, died at the age of nineteen. The night before, Jack had been at a friend’s birthday party and swallowed what he thought was Percocet. The pill was laced with Fentanyl and he never woke up.

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Brady Nathan

Before Jack’s passing, he founded Happy Jack, an online lifestyle brand and community for those struggling with mental illness. Jack suffered periodic bouts of depression and painting became his therapy. Happy Jack featured the founder’s designs in clothing, with a portion of the proceeds going to mental health foundations. Jack donated $1,000 to the Children’s Mind Institute from the first week of sales.

Brady chose to continue what Jack started to honor his legacy and mission.

“He wanted to change the world,” Jack’s mother recalled. “She wanted to make the world a better place by speaking out and letting other kids know they’re not alone.”

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Son’s label as mother’s cure

Brady continues to use Jack’s designs in new product drops and has since donated $60,000 to mental health foundations such as Active Minds, Born This Way, Mental Health Recovery, and the American Cancer Society. The road to charity is no easy task: sourcing, production, distribution, site management, customer service and fulfillment were all roles that Brady stepped into in his son’s absence.

“It’s funny when someone tells me they called customer service,” Brady said, “because I I’m customer service.”

Happy Jack’s is a family business that welcomes advice and consults with experts as they grow the brand organically. Brady and Jack’s father, David, eventually wanted to become a COO, get financing, and build the right infrastructure. This gives them the space to focus on sharing Jack’s story.

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Healing while helping

With additional help from Jack Drew’s sister, the project has partnered with brothers across the country to organize fundraising events. Brand ambassadors are being recruited on college campuses to help create mental health awareness. Happy Jack has also organized pop-up shops in spaces like WeWork and the Harbor District. These allow the family to meet and share with many who are struggling.

“There was never a question of whether or not I was going to continue being Happy Jack,” Brady added. – It seemed obvious.

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