Vans Warped Tour consists of large crowds, long lines, and insane heat. A half-dozen stages are spread across acres of venues’ properties, packed with thousands upon thousands of fans of ages 5 to 50 who have been waiting since December for their date to roll around. But among what seems like hundreds of bands’ and sponsors’ tents that make up the winding maze that guides attendees from stage to stage, is a husband and wife duo who have something new to offer Warped-goers.
Troy Lano began selling “Then, Now Always” necklaces, designed to promote the last album he released with his former band, InPassing, in 2010. The band broke up, but the imagery and tagline stuck. Fast forward a year, and Troy found himself in Portland, Oregon, where he proposed to his wife, Tiffany. Since then, they have been on the road almost year-round to promote the continually developing brand, with the help of their cousin, Jen, and their french bulldog, Henri.
“We started with an Etsy store with the help of a friend, then we left our apartment, quit our jobs, and hit the road,” Troy told The Daily Slice. “When we have any free time, we’re usually eating Thanksgiving dinner, or opening Christmas presents, then it’s back on the road again.”
Troy and Tiffany followed the 2011 and 2012 Vans Warped Tour, promoting their brand outside of the festival, selling a couple of t-shirt designs and a handful of necklaces. But within a week of the festival’s kickoff in 2013, Kevin Lyman invited them to have a tent inside the festival, where they would receive much more traffic. Then, Now, Always has been a vendor on Warped Tour ever since.
“We’re just trying to keep the box open as far as what kind of merchandise you can get at Warped Tour,” Troy said. “It’s cool that we can still claim that we’re the only handmade company on Warped Tour for the third year in a row.”
Troy said the idea for Then, Now, Always is rooted in his Christian background. As he was preparing to go off to college, Troy began reflecting on his faith. He said he had a conversation with God in which he decided that he did not want to simply say he believed in God so he would not go to Hell, but he wanted to be able to go out into the world and pursue his dreams, while still holding on to his faith. Then one day in downtown Denver, he came across a poster that depicted Jesus on the cross with a tagline that said “Jesus: Then, Now, Always.”
“This has solidified my faith for me,” Troy said. “It’s definitely inspired a lot of people and what we’ve been trying to do is get people to think a little deeper rather than just have surface-level conversations. It’s created a lot of cool conversations and friendships.”
According to Troy, these relationships are what make the company so special. He said Then, Now Always is about building community through the expression put forth by clothing, and guiding people to resources that might be useful to them. In some cases, he said he’s even connected teens and young adults to churches in their area as a resource.
“We’ve heard a lot of people struggling with isolation and depression, and we want to be out there as an option to have a conversation and experience the joy in pursuing nature that I’ve experienced in interacting with God,” he said.
But the goals of Then, Now, Always are not limited to spirituality. Sustainability, and creating opportunities for people is another major part of their long-term business goals.
“Ideally, we want it to be a sustainable and successful business so we can hire people and provide jobs here in America,” he explained. “We try really hard to make sure our materials are locally sourced or handmade in America. We also want to use this as a bit of outreach too, whether that’s to nonprofits or to other bands to make a difference.”
Then, Now, Always has a new summer line coming out called “Made for Life, Not Death,” which features floral tank tops with handwritten font, HD photo print shirts, wooden sunglasses, and of course, their trademark triangle necklaces. You can pick up their merchandise for the rest of the summer on Vans Warped Tour, or visit thennowalways.co to stay up to date on their festival appearances – which they have booked through October – or to shop online.
“We want to keep the conversation going and make Christianity relevant,” Troy added, “and to talk to people about where they are in their faith and the state of Christianity in the world.”