Dayton native Larry Kennon has turned his love and pride for the Gem City into a clothing brand called Opehio.
Kennon’s dream of starting a clothing brand came into fruition in 2020 while he was at home during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. When he struggled to find clothing that he liked which represented his love for Dayton, his vision ultimately transitioned into a Dayton-focused brand.
Opehio’s line includes T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies that pay homage to the city of Dayton. Kennon said he enjoys making vintage and retro style shirts that have a connection to the Wright Brothers, but his online store features much more.
The name of the brand comes from the Midwestern exclamation “ope” combined with the state of Ohio, Kennon explained.
Opehio’s public debut will be at Miamisburg’s Spring Fest Friday, May 19 through Sunday, May 21.
Kennon is a band director at Troy Christian Schools and realtor with Berkshire Hathaway. He is a 2008 Centerville High School graduate and 2018 Wright State University graduate.
He recalled growing up in Dayton and hearing his friends say they couldn’t wait to leave Ohio. In turn he hopes his brand will inspire greater support for Dayton.
“What we have here is awesome,” Kennon said. “Dayton is a beautiful place, a lot of rich history here and a lot of things to do. As (the) band Hawthorne Heights said, “My heart is in Ohio.””
Although his main focus is teaching band and selling houses, Kennon said if the opportunity arose to open a storefront in downtown Dayton, he wouldn’t be opposed to it. He is also interested in partnering with Dayton shops, bars or restaurants to sell his shirts.
“I want people to feel proud to wear Opehio and show off their Dayton pride,” Kennon said. “I’m excited to see where this journey goes.”
For more information, visit www.opehio.com or the brand’s Instagram page (@opehiothreads).