WILLOW GROVE, Pa. (CBS) — Isaiah Thomas is self-made in more ways than one. The Philadelphia native has his business name – and personal mantra – across storefronts in Willow Grove, Moorestown, and even the Palisades Center in New York.

CBS3 began the segment ‘Open For Business’ during the pandemic to highlight local businesses. Now, it has become the Small Wins Grant Program aimed at thriving businesses run by women and minorities.

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Thomas and his business, the first ever recipients of this grant, are certainly thriving.

Stay Humble Stay Hungry Clothing is full of streetwear style for thousands in the Philadelphia region. It’s a brand with a message behind it, Thomas said, as he tries to combat the struggles he’s seen in his city.

“Growing up,  I grew up in North Philadelphia, Nicetown section, so I’ve seen a lot of violence, a lot of friends you know that I lost due to the death, streets and stuff like that,” he said.

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Thomas also wasn’t safe from that life. He faced a gun charge when he was 13-years-old, saying he hung around with “the wrong crowd.”

Time in jail made him realize it was time to make a change.

“It kinda woke me up early, you know I’m saying, being locked up with grown men.  It just made me look at life differently, and I didn’t never wanna go down that path again,” he said.

A decade later, he is now turning his life into something better for himself.

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“I believe the things that I went through, it was made for a greater purpose,” Thomas said. “I believe that God positioned everything in my life to help the next person.”

Vittoria Woodill