Jordan Atherton, Kennedy Hayes
The companies well-known logo welcomes guests to the party.
Truman Wilson, Rita Ruber
The crowd waiting to get their hands on a Truman Bar!
Truman Wilson with a customer.
Truman Wilson, Billy Fong
Truman Wilson, Greg Brinkley with Vogel Alcove
Truman Factory t-shirts in some neon shades.
Truman Bars on display.
The pop-up Truman Factory.
It’s wonderful to watch something grow. To have seen it from the beginning. That’s the case with the Truman Factory. The namesake chocolate bar of entrepreneur Truman Wilson, the son of Dallas art collectors and philanthropists, Christen and Derek Wilson.
I actually met the couple right after Truman was born and I have counted them as dear friends every since. In fact, at one of their annual Super Bowl watching parties six or seven years ago, I hired a then very young Truman to be my own personal paparazzi. I gave him a disposable camera and requested that he follow me around while I mingled with guests and acted like a pseudo-celebrity.
At the end of the night, I wrote him a check for $10 for his services. Who knew he was an up-and-coming entrepreneur?
Truman started the company when he was 12. PaperCity’s former Dallas editor-in-chief Christina Geyer was one of the first to interview the young man when he launched the Truman Factory in the summer of 2017 after he was inspired by some kids on the hit reality TV show, Shark Tank.
The Truman Factory offers a variety of merch including pins, stickers and T-shirts that appeal to his peers (and some adults like myself as well). The logo of the brand is a riff on Truman’s personal style. The young man is known for his blonde upswept hair and signature black-framed glasses. The primary sales item for his company is the Truman Bar. These delicious chocolates are kid taste-tested, custom-designed and manufactured by Nassau Candy/Chocolate Inn in Hicksville, New York.
Like the famous Willy Wonka, each contains a golden-ticket voucher with a code. Some of these codes, when checked online, are winners with prizes ranging from video games to drones.
Truman’s parents have instilled in their son a sense of commitment to the community. The young man realized he wanted to do things to help the homeless and made the decision that a portion of the sales from the Truman Factory should benefit Vogel Alcove. Close to 3,000 children in Dallas go to sleep each night without a home of their own and Vogel Alcove’s mission is to help overcome the lasting and traumatic effects of homelessness.
To celebrate the two-year anniversary of the launch, a party was held recently in Highland Park Village. Guests were welcomed at the door by greeters offering a pair of black-framed glasses. Inside one took a journey through the evolution of the company. One of the many things on display was a drawing made by a young artist torn from what was likely a spiral-bound notebook. (Remember those from middle school?)
The man (or rather young man) of-the-hour was on hand to answer questions about his namesake company and his vision for the future. What was that vision I posed? Well, Truman responded just like a true entrepreneur: “More Truman Bars in more stores in 2020.”