Ex-homeless teen gets business started

By Steve Powell

spowell@marysvilleglobe.com

MARYSVILLE – Mark Dixon had to grow up fast.

He said he dropped out of Marysville Getchell High School and was homeless for a year at age 16 after leaving a family dealing with drug and alcohol issues. His family jumped around, so he says he was raised all over the state.

Now 23, he is planning to marry in October. His soon-to-be bride, whom he met while attending Cascade High School in Everett, has a 4-year-old son, and they have a 1-year-old daughter. His fiancee works at a bank, and he is an assistant manager at a retail store, after having a variety of jobs for seven years. “I had to work to pay the bills,” he said. “I do what I can.”

Dixon wants to be an entrepreneur. He has a business plan and license. He is going after the American Dream. He wants to inspire others through a clothing line. Dixon sells T-shirts online with the saying, “The Heart of a Dreamer.”

“I don’t let my past affect me in a negative way,” he said. Other slogans include:

•You Can’t Stop Me

•Family, Love &Self-Worth is why I do it

•I Got This Love of a Dreamer

He plans to sell other items, too. Each will have his logo, an exploding heart.

One of six kids, Dixon said his mom has turned her life around and now watches her first grandbaby so her parents can work. “I got a better reaction from my family than I thought I would,” he said of starting a business. Growing up they were all “consumed with doing their own thing.”

Dixon, who almost has his GED, also writes music and lyrics. “My songs are about real-life situations,” he said.

One is about working the graveyard shift, risking his life for a paycheck. Another is about young love, from grade school to high school. He describes how deep it feels at the time, but then you have to move on. The third song on his demo CD is about working hard and never giving up hope. The fourth song could be Dixon’s mantra. He’s overcome a lot but “Life, I’m comin’ for ya.”

For more on Dixon:

•email mdixon933@gmail.com or kudosdixon.gmail.com

•www.squareup.com/store/heartofadreamer

•soundcloud.com/.kudosdixon

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