Last year I shot some of the new Women’s Fitness line for Puma in New York City. You can shop the collection here.
Posts tagged work.
Stealing the founder’s dog might be the best way to get a job.
We recently hired two new employees at Fohr Card, and I wanted to tell you how we did it.
7 months ago, my co-founder, Rich Tong, answered a knock on his door and greeted two women he had never seen before. Grace and Emma were new neighbors. They apologized for showing up to his door at 9PM and for asking what might be a crazy question. But they just had to know, could they take his dog, a giant Samoyed cotton ball named Penny, for a walk. And as easily as that, a friendship began.
After the walk, Grace and Emma explained that they had become friends working at an agency together in New Castle, Australia. After years of working as hard as they could, they left feeling discouraged. Like many in their position, they had been giving everything, but nobody in the organization seemed to care or notice. They were discouraged from being taken for granted, from not being challenged. Most of all, they were discouraged that they had become one of “those people” who continue at a job even though they hate it.
I believe bad jobs are like degenerative diseases. They eat away at people and their pride, until nothing is left. Emma and Grace realized in Australia that they had wound up in bad jobs, and that they had gotten sick. So, they decided to change things. A few packed suitcases, a bank account, J-1 visas, and two one-way plane tickets had brought them to Williamsburg, where they met Rich, his dog Penny, and later, myself.
A few days after Rich met Grace and Emma, he leaned over and told me, “Oh, I found us some interns. They’re actually coming over in a few minutes.” At this point, Fohr Card was in war mode. We were furiously trying to grow revenue, launch a new version of the site and plan out next year’s product strategy. Needless the say, the last thing I thought we needed was to waste time onboarding two new interns, holding hands and not getting much back.
With that in mind, I explained to them in a sort of impromptu group interview, “We don’t have any money to offer you, but we do have expectations.” I wanted them to know that if they were going to be a part of this team, even as interns, we would expect them to walk through our door ready to fight. Trading a glance with Rich I told them, “Everyone here is 100% committed to making this a great company, whatever it takes.” Funny, what I thought would scare them off, seemed to only get them more excited. They were on board.
Grace and Emma worked their asses off over the next three months. Oh, and did I mention they also worked 4-6 days a week at other jobs!? They were coming in weekends, mornings, and nights. Every day they added real value, and they did it all without a single paycheck. The next time Rich and I sat down with them, we were the excited ones. We got to offer them positions as full-time employees, paid full-time employees. And even after working their asses off for months, they were excited for more.
I couldn’t be happier that these two Aussies knocked on Rich’s door to steal his dog. I’ve gained two new friends and two great employees. Looking back, the experience has taught me a few invaluable lessons I’d like to share with you.
1. Always knock on the door — When Grace and Emma realized they didn’t like the way their lives were shaping up, they were willing to take drastic and dramatic steps to change it. They knocked on a lot of doors.
2. Make room for the great ones — When Emma and Grace started, I didn’t want to bring in any interns. I thought they would be a distraction, but Rich’s persistence and their gumption convinced me to give it a try. I learned as a CEO that sometimes great people find you. You have to be willing to try something you are uncomfortable with when opportunity knocks.
3. Prove it, don’t ask for it — Emma and Grace never asked for a full time job, instead they made themselves indispensable. At that point, I had no choice but to ask them to quit their part-time jobs so they could join us full time.
Think about the doors you’ve knocked on that have changed your life. I’d love to hear your story. And what about the doors you could be knocking on, right now. How many times have you heard knocking and not opened? It’s definitely happened to me. Keep your mind open and ready to open doors, so that you can recognize and take advantage of opportunities.
Thank you to everyone who came out last night to F* Wednesdays with Fohr Card and Fleur du Mal! Special thanks to Phhhoto for the both, Tin Cup for the booze, Blind Barber for the space and Alix Brown for the tunes. Let’s do it again!
New York City is, for the most part, full of ambitious, smart, passionate and generally interesting people. We come here to cut our teeth, make our way, prove we can do it, and yet, get a room full of these people together and we end up talking mostly about work.
We wanted to change that at Fohr Card, and so, launched a speaking series called TenFohr in which we would ask amazing, driven people to come and talk for 10 minutes, the only rule? Their topic couldn’t have anything to do with their job or work.
Last night we had our 5th and largest #tenfohr. Jeff Laub, founder of blindbarber told us why sometimes it’s good to disconnect. Kata de Solis, managing director of Moving Image and Content defended her hoarding as a by product of growing up in the consumption obsessed 80’s. Lee sang us a song that touched a group of weary travelers on an Indian train and naveen, co-founder of Foursquare, reminded us that sometimes you climb a mountain for the view you get of yourself, not the clouds.
Everyone has a story to tell, most of us just never ask.
Imagine for a moment you are running through the woods. Arms pump like pistons, your breath tactile in the cold morning air. Now imagine there is a pack of wolves nipping at your heels as your catapault yourself through that morning and through those woods. What would you do? What could you do?
You keep running. You keep your eyes forward and your arms pumping and the only thing you don’t do is look back. Doing that would certainly cause you to trip and be consumed, so, you keep running.
Business isn’t much different. You enter a space, the space becomes crowded, happens every time. The only thing you can do is stick to your plan and keep running. Pandering and reacting to your competitors is the surest was to trip, to be consumed.
Pay no attention to the wolves at your heels.
1,153 blogs, 276 brands & designers, 16k posts, and over 200 million impressions across 30 days.
proud of the team and of our community. Over 200 million impressions, damn.
Eight months ago, we launched Fohr Card here in NYC with some of the best people in our industry. This Friday, September 13, Rich and I are continuing that tradition and celebrating the launch of Fohr Card UK, in partnership with Dazed & Confused, Spring Studios, Karla Otto, with transportation provided by Uber.
If you live in London and are interested in attending send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The First Annual Fall Classic
Fohr Card worked with Alex, and got help from Nike, The Blind Barber to put on a #menswear basketball game last night. The guys were impressive, the light calligraphic.
Fall Classic NYC: 9/5 5:00PM, Tompkins Square Park
Like all things, this started with a story. Alex came to me and told me about this big part of the #menswear community who used to play NCAA basketball, and how he wanted to put on a game before fashion week. Did Fohr Card want to help.
Yes, of course, let’s get working.
And here it is, next week we will sit back and watch our friends try and rediscover a part of their life they had mostly left behind. I am humbled by the support of Nike and The Blind Barber on this, and thankful for Reyka and Peroni for sponsoring drinks for the after party (make sure you RSVP to the after party, space is very limited).
Next week I expect to see all of you at Tompkins Square Park, pick a team, grab a drink and see what happens.
Really excited that the backstage work I shot for Thom Browne is in a new Style.com print feature. Pick up an issue or check it out here
If you ride a bike and wear clothes you have probably heard of the new H&M x Brick Lane Bikes collaboration (if you havent catch up here). As a man who likes clothes and loves bikes I was stoked when they reached out to me to have me help spread the word and give away some pieces from the line. All you have to do is tag an Instagram photo of you and your bikes with #HMBikeStyle by Friday and 5 dudes will win some new threads.
Now grab a camera, finds some tailwinds and show us your bike style.
It was snowing the night my Father told me how disappointed he was in me. I will forget a lot of things in my life, but I will never forget the way the wet snow sounded crunching under my size 5’s.At the time I was stunned with how loud the sound was but looking back, I think it was his silence that was so alarming.
I grew up in a house were passion was assumed, excellence expected and effort essential. My Dad used to call all of us brother’s the “Future Leaders of America” and you know we all started to believe it. So when, in the months leading up to my frosty walk, I had let my grades slip and my passions switch from homework to girls his predictions of grandeur seemed a bit more distant.
When he finally spoke up my Dad did not say much but it stayed with me. He said [paraphrasing here], “Every great thing in this world is a product of passion. The way a Ferrari sounds, the way your favorite song makes you feel or a winning catch with 10 seconds to go. They are all products of people who love what they do, and apply themselves to it fully. Your Mother and I expect you to be great, but more than that we expect you to want to be. Find your passion, it will be your greatest asset and best friend.”
I have spent the better part of my last 10 years hopelessly addicted to my passions. I have wanted to be a lot of things and gotten the chance to be quite a few of them. I helped build a small business, took an older one into the digital space, I tried to change the way people viewed stock photography, I built a record label, I’ve done marketing consulting with some of the biggest companies in the world, I am a fashion photographer and tie maker. I celebrated youth and speed with my brother and raced for my dream brand. I’ve lived a life fueled by passion but sometimes lacking in focus.
I am proud to say that starting today, I am going to start living out another dream of mine: running a business. For the last 6 months Rich, Holly and I have been working nights, weekends and mornings on building Fohr Card and starting today we are all focusing on it full time.
So, when I walk from the L-Train the our offices in Brooklyn later today, I will listen to the sound of the rain and think about the crunch of the snow. I’ll stand there for a second and feel the cold of that night years ago and think about my Dad and Mom. I’ll thank them for believing we all would be great and giving us the confidence to believe the same.