Chasing Dreams with Matthew Fernandez

Matthew Fernandez is a miracle. At birth, he was pronounced dead before being resuscitated back to life. Doctors painted a bleak picture of a short existence in a vegetative state. Well, twenty-five years later, Matthew is far from a vegetable. He is a clothing brand owner, influencer, and daily fighter.

His daily fight looks a lot different than what most people could ever imagine. Being born with cerebral palsy and struggling to walk on his own has turned simple tasks, from going to the bathroom to getting up the stairs, into mountains–mountains that he knows he has to climb every day. But Matthew isn’t your average person, and he has managed to fortify his mind by pulling from an unwavering motivation to accomplish his dreams of walking on his own and creating a clothing brand.

“If something is hard, I have to keep practicing and doing it again, and eventually I can get it. My mindset, I say, ‘anything is possible’. If we fall, we have to get back up again. You have to keep pushing no matter if it’s tough. You’ve got to go for it and give it your all.”

Matthew started giving the world a first-hand look at his life with cerebral palsy on Instagram under the handle @emazingmatthew. Posts of his relentless grind to achieve his goals have inspired thousands of people and put Matthew in contact with several influential figures, such as Nipsey Hussle, YG, Akon, and Mike Tyson. His online presence also sparked a relationship with someone who would help turn his dream of owning a clothing brand into a reality.

That person was Charlie Rocket.

Charlie Rocket is the founder of the Dream Machine Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to launching the dream businesses of disabled youths. After Matthew tagged him on an Instagram post, Charlie reached out, and the two met in person.

“They took me to a manufacturer called Bella Canvas, and they were helping me choose material for my clothes…And a couple of days after, he took me to a surprise photoshoot that I wasn’t expecting. The photoshoot was fun because the models were wearing my clothes and all my merch, and I was almost crying.”

Violets Are Kind of Purple launched on September 7th, 2021, and did $250,000 in sales in the first four hours and $400,000 in the first week. “It was crazy. People were buying from all over the world, from Asia, India, England, New Jersey. It was just crazy…that’s definitely a day I’m never going to forget.”

Since the launch, Matthew’s brand has been featured in a fashion show organized by Runway of Dreams, a foundation that empowers designers and models with disabilities. And Matthew has no plans of slowing down. His new dream is to get Violets Are Kind of Purple in retail stores nationwide; however, whatever happens with the brand, Matthew is already living his definition of success, which is far more profound than any monetary goal.

“What success means to me is to just be happy with what you have because you never know that maybe tomorrow, you may not be here. So, you have to live life to the fullest, and you have to enjoy every single moment and be [grateful] for what life has to offer.”

Matthew made it clear that he has a lot to be grateful for, especially for the support from his family, Charlie Rocket, and various celebrities. But at the end of the day, it’s Matthew who finds the courage within himself to keep grinding. And he believes that everybody, no matter their circumstances, can light that same fire within themselves and achieve the impossible.

“Don’t stop following your dreams and give it your all no matter what. Continue to fight, and everything will be okay. You’ve got this. Always dream positive and always be happy with what life has to offer.”

Everyone has to play the hand they’re dealt, and Matthew is the perfect example of making the most out of what life has to offer. His story has reached people around the world and even inspired the rapper C5 to make a single titled The Matthew Fernandez Story.

Dreams stay dreams until you stop making excuses. Matthew knows this better than anyone else, and despite his circumstances, he doesn’t let anything slow him down. It’s not what you’re given that defines you; it’s what you do with it. So, follow Matthew’s footsteps, and never stop chasing dreams.