GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Walking up and down the streets of Lombardi Avenue on a Packers’ game day, you can’t miss the cheeseheads that fill the sidewalks but if you’ve ever seen fans wearing green and gold dreadlocks – the story behind them is much more than just a fun hat.
Thomas Gryniewicz, born and raised a Packer fan in Wisconsin, had an idea that was sparked from his daughter in 2014. Just two years after Thomas’ kid’s mother passed away from cancer.
“My daughter, my son, and I were watching a preseason Packers game back when Eddie Lacy was a rookie. I think he was one of the only guys that had dreads on the team. We were talking about her (Gryzniewicz’s daughter) getting dreads because it would be easier for me to manage and her”, said Gryzniewicz. “Then I came up with the idea of why doesn’t someone do a fun hat for kids to wear when they’re trying to be like their favorite player?”
That’s when Gryniewicz started Fanlocks, originally named ‘Chedlocks’. Fanlocks are a cap that embraces the culture of dreadlocks and those who where the style. Once, made just for the Packers and now Gryniewicz expanded their colors to match every major sports team.
The aspect of giving back has always been important to Gryniewicz. Since the passing of his kid’s mother – he’s used his platform to help those going through the same thing: cancer. Every time someone purchases a ‘Fanlocks’ cap, Gryniewicz gives one to those in need.
“When someone’s going through this treatment, they need to stay positive. They need encouragement, they need the slightest things to keep them happy, and the idea for us to ‘you buy one, we give one’, we’ve established some relationships with cancer hospitals and charities. It’s really helped motivate everybody to see the bigger picture”, said Gryniewicz.