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Sew & Vac Boss Takes Art To The Public

By Aaron Kraut

Wednesday - 1/8/2014, 12:25pm  ET

Bryan Morris, part of the family that runs longtime Bethesda business Brothers Sew & Vac, shows off one of his shirts

When he’s not selling vacuum cleaners, Bryan Morris is likely drawing.

One of the Morris family men who run the three-generation old Brothers Sew & Vac, the 42-year-old has recently put his sketches out to the world in the form of graphic t-shirts. He’s also hosting demos at the Whole Foods in North Bethesda (11355 Woodglen Dr.) and Dawson’s Market (225 N. Washington St., Rockville).

“It’s just something that I have to do. It wants to come out of me,” said Morris, the youngest of two brothers who help run the shop’s Bethesda location (4826 St Elmo Ave.). “It kind of surprises people.”

The designs started as curvy lines, abstract doodles that came to Morris while he was sitting in the store. He put the designs into a folder at home and recently decided to use a local silk screener and printer to put the drawings on shirts.

Bryan Morris designThey sell at the Brother Sew locations and at the local artists section at Whole Foods. Some of them involve birds, one within a heart-shaped nest.

Art has always been a passion, though Morris has never taken extensive art classes and quickly went into the family business.

“I started pulling out the designs and thinking, ‘What could I do with these?’ It’s so special to me that I almost didn’t want to share them in a way,” Morris said.

At a recent product convention, Morris started talking with reps from Husqvarna, the Swedish company known for its sewing machines. His art came up and eventually, he agreed to sell his designs for use as a preset embroidery in Husqvarna products.

“It’s amazing to me how this dream has sort of taken off. It’s like that thing, ‘If you believe them enough, it’ll actually happen,’” Morris said. “You can speak them into existence. This is one of the best times of my life.”