Felila Thompson-Moreno is the owner of Warrior Legacy. Founded in 2016, Warrior Legacy is a small business that has seen a few changes throughout its existence. A member of the NABEDC Community since its inception, Warrior Legacy has morphed from Printshop to Community Advocate and Support Organization, shifting in focus from serving customers to serving the community and families in need.
In 2013 Felila, who is of Samoan and Tongan decent, sadly and very unfortunately lost a child just before birth. “We lost our baby boy due to complications found hours before birth. It was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced in my life. I felt so lost during his funeral services and I ached for the families across the world that had to go through this horrible trial, or any kind of medical challenge involving a child,” said Felila.
“Then, in September of 2014, I received news that a family friend and his wife had just given birth to a baby girl with very serious health complications,” Felila noted. The family were doing everything in their power to keep her alive and manage what was truly a catastrophic life circumstance. More help was required however, and Felila was compelled to open her arms to neighbors in need. “One day, my husband came home from work” and I said, “you are going to host a walk (fundraiser) to help this child and her family.” Motivated by the memory of their own tragic loss, Felila drafted a donation letter explaining their cause to local businesses. She designed and printed t-shirts made up for of the Walk Fundraiser participants and stockpiling additional promotional to raise more money, while her husband actively marketed the event in the community.
“So, off I went...Planning, organizing, phone calling, writing and recruiting friends to join in this effort. Networking with my sister to design the logo for the shirts. This was no longer a walk in the park,” Felila recalled. “It was a quest, to find peace for a family who only knew pain”.
“I can still remember the incredible feeling of inspiration and determination I had during those three weeks. I’m sure there was some divine intervention as well…The fundraiser pulled me out of one of the thickest fogs of my life and there was something about the creation of shirts with a logo honoring our son, while serving a bigger purpose in a time of great trouble and anxiety,” Felila recounted.
Her 2014 experience provided the rough outline Felila would later use to form her Warrior Legacy printing company. “By 2016 my children were in school most of the day, but I wanted a flexible schedule to be there for them after school, for school field trips, summer vacations,” she said.
Less than a month later, Felila and her family were loading screen printing equipment onto the bed of their truck, and in almost no time at all, Felila had established supplier accounts with major apparel companies. It was an incredible start for this new family Silk Screening business, Warrior Legacy. “The name of our company was inspired by our baby boy who passed in 2013.” She said. “We named him Tamatoa, it means boy warrior in the Samoan language.”
Warrior Legacy is a true family affair. While Felila is the only official employee, often working 22 hours straight, with the help of her husband, to meet deadlines and ensure quality; the entire family plays a part. “Customer satisfaction was a huge deal to us, and I wanted every customer to be elated with their final product,” Felila declared. “We had the privilege of creating designs for Summer youth camps, local fire departments, schools, sports leagues, dentists, bands, and our favorite, family reunions shirts.”
Each design was customized with their desired logo on t-shirts, sweatshirts, pillowcases, bags, etc. With her husband and sons, spending endless nights working out of their garage, together this family taught itself the value of hard work and organization. Felila’s husband worked with her sister to design the company logos for “company” paraphernalia which friends and family members couldn’t wait to wear throughout the community because they knew the meaning behind the name. It was this family dynamic and support from friends that secured the Warrior Legacy mantra that guides their work to this day, “Humility. Heritage. Heart.”
For Felila, the best part of the business is getting to know her customers. “We have met some of the most incredible people,” she remarked. “It is always a pleasure to share the meaning behind our company name, Warrior Legacy.”
Felila and her family found themselves in warrior mode once again in the summer of 2019, when their eldest son fell extremely ill, redoubling their efforts at Warrior Legacy, with a new purpose and finding a community more than willing to return the exact brand of purposeful involvement that had spawned their initial service.