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What’s your backstory?
I was born and raised in a small town in Washington State, where there was never much opportunity. A lot of people finish High School and then go on to work arduous jobs, and seeing my parents experience this first hand, I knew I had to do something big with my life. I had to create something special to make sure my family doesn’t have to lift a finger ever again. It was just a matter of finding the right path for myself.
At the young age of 15, I discovered my passion for fashion and business, and since then I was determined to make my goals and aspirations my reality. At that point in my young life I began to design various pieces of clothing for different clothing brands. I also began brainstorming, developing business plans and a variety of different ideas for my own fashion company.
Around this time was when my best friend and business partner created the idea of XKM, the high-end luxury company. We spent hours brainstorming ideas and designing different articles of clothing. XKM quickly became everything we thought about and constantly worked on for years.
After graduating High School and being accepted into the University of Washington, I embarked on a new journey in Seattle, WA. I quickly adapted to the city life and was focused on my studies for a business degree. While taking actual business courses in school, I was even more intrigued and so I would go out and do my own research on the fashion industry. I was extremely curious when it came to fashion and business, I asked myself “How did they make it?” “What was their first move?” and “How does that translate to our modern society and where the fashion industry stands today?”. Due to these questions, I would spend hours reading and learning about fashion brands whom are already successful.
Once the school year was over, I used the knowledge and expertise I had gained from working with people and studying clothing brands to develop a website and bring my products to life.
Although there have been hardships and confusion throughout my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve always been about making things happen, whether I am alone or not. I have always been extremely determined on accomplishing my goals and that will never change.
At only 19 years of age, I have Co-founded not only my very own company, but my lifelong dream. That is my first accomplishment of many.
Can you tell me the story of your prior successes, challenges, and major responsibilities?
At this point in my young life, I have had my fair share of successes and challenges but it wasn’t until now that I had my own major responsibilities that I had take action for every single day. Recently, I started my company along with my business partner which was very exciting, but as the man in charge of getting everything rolling from hiring people and overlooking their work so that it suits our vision and wants, was something different.
I had never been in this type of position of constantly working with others and having to connect to see what they had to offer to us, but it was something I found extremely enjoyable and fulfilling. When something that was once just an idea in my mind comes to life right before my very eyes it’s an amazing feeling.
Some of my challenges and successes have came from my academic journey. I’ve had my own successes while being in school from being a high school student taking college courses to eventually being accepted into one of the top schools in the country. At the same, there have been failures and challenges, for example struggling through class material that I may not necessarily understand or just having moments in my life where I lack motivation to do anything and feeling lost.
These moments and experience that I’ve had to endure ultimately forced me to adapt to certain situations and most importantly learn from my mistakes. Overall, from my successes and challenges I have learned that I truly can do anything that I set my mind to because my strong work ethic and vision will take me very far in both my personal and professional life.
Can you tell me about a time when you almost gave up, how you felt about that, and what you did instead of giving up?
To be honest, there has never been a point in time where I almost gave up on my myself nor my goals because I know my potential and what I am meant for. Although, there have been moments of self-doubt and confusion.
Through these times I have found what works best for me. When it comes to tough time, I take a step back and ask myself two things: “Why did I start doing all of this in the first place?” and “What is the bigger picture?” This is because it is so easy to get distracted and discouraged by such little issues which ultimately mean nothing in comparison to the bigger picture. You can’t let one grain of sand ruin your entire desert.
Something extremely important that I have also learned recently is to be more patient. Things don’t happen overnight, that is something I quickly had to understand and constantly keep in mind.
All in all, I have had my fair share moment of discouragement and self-doubt but mentally I have been able to shake myself out of it, I believe if you’re able to do this then you will last very long in this game we call life.