Chad Brown is the Owner, Creative Director & Designer of Soul River Runs Deep LLC and Soul River Inc. Runs Wild.
Chad joined the U.S. Navy in 1991, a decorated Navy veteran who received multiple honors. After serving, he received a BFA in Communication Design at the American Intercontinental University in Atlanta, Georgia, received his MSc in Communication Design at Pratt Institute, and went onto receive the American Association of Advertising Award through the Multicultural Advertising Internship Program.
Chad went onto do design for companies such as Presher, Phatfarm, and Epic. With over 20 years of experience in creative advertising & design, working as a creative director, designer, and photographer with clients, from New York to Los Angeles to Hong Kong and Mexico, he has lead teams to produce strong international brands as well as rebuild companies’ brand images through integrated advertising campaigns that include communications, print campaigns, websites, commercials, and more.
While building his career in freelance design, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was a daily reality and struggle. Then, Chad was introduced to the sport of fly fishing and he found solace in the sport. He still recalls the feeling of the first time he hooked in on a fish where he felt himself fill with happiness, smiling for the first time in months. This was his sign to connect with the outdoors, as well as advocate for all people to have accessibility to the outdoors. Out of this healing experience came Portland’s first outdoor lifestyle apparel brand inspired by fly fishing, Soul River Runs Deep.
With Soul River, Chad infused style and substance into outdoor apparel. The apparel line is inspired by fly-fishing and aims to promote environmental advocacy as well the healing powers of the river. It aims to reach a younger diverse demographic, with the intention of promoting a love of and investment in the outdoors. Alongside the apparel company, Chad created the non-profit Soul River Inc. to work in tandem with his retail business, with 15% of profits from sales going to the outdoor, water-based organization that brings youth and veterans together to the river and home to themselves and their communities as inspired ambassadors of nature.
As a result of his work, Chad has had multiple opportunities to speak to state and federal officials in Washington D.C. on Capital Hill. He was worked with the National Wildlife Refuge, the US Fish and Wildlife and key city leaders and organizations about diversity, conservation, the business of branding, and building collaborative relationships between non-profit and for-profit businesses. Organizations he has worked with include Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, and City of Vancouver Parks and Recreation. Chad also sits on the board of Healing Hurt People and Boy Scouts of America. In July 2015 Soul River will be featured as key story in Outside Magazine.
Chad will represent the Soul River Runs Deep at the SHIFT Summit’s Marketplace on Friday, Oct. 14 at 1:45 p.m., as well as speak at the panel ‘Outdoor Recreation and Cultural Relevancy‘ on Friday, October 14 at 10:30 a.m.
Tickets for the 2016 SHIFT Festival can be found here.