46: Jeff Staple – How to Create a Street Culture Brand
In order to live your dream, there’s a lot of sacrifice that has to be made.
Street culture has been around for almost twenty years, but is still evolving and growing. A combination of hip-hop, punk rock, and skate, the culture is a perfect amalgamation of creative, independent lifestyles.
No one knows this better than Jeff Staple, the founder of Staple Pigeon, Staple Design, and Reed Space. In this week’s episode, I’m talking with Jeff about how he went against the grain and risked disappointing his family to start his businesses. This man is a brutally smart businessman with an adventurous spirit, and that comes across in his wise words about work and life.
I can’t wait for you to listen to this episode and maybe be inspired to quit your day job.
I believe that you scientifically, metaphysically cannot make others happy if you yourself are not happy.
Some things we learn in this podcast:
- How his traditional Chinese family affected his path [3:40]
- Why New York is an attractive city for creatives [4:15]
- How journalism was a way for him to work while also writing creatively [6:00]
- How he discovered graphic design [8:15]
- How his family felt about his transition from journalism to graphic design [9:35]
- The difficulty of art school [10:50]
- The importance of making yourself happy first [12:40]
- The necessity of creating his own streetwear brand [15:25]
- Why you have to be willing to sacrifice anything [16:55]
- How he expanded his clothing brand into a creative agency [18:30]
- How to play a management role in three different yet related companies [20:55]
- The staying power of street culture [23:40]
- How to take the wake up test and the going home test [26:15]
- Jeff’s definition of success [27:05]
- The importance of checking in with yourself to see if you’re content [28:40]
- Why you should take risks to live the life you want [31:25]
- How to ask yourself what is holding you back [33:15]
- Why taking care of your health is a mark of success [33:45]
- What you sacrifice to build your own business [34:05]
- Why you should operate as though everything you have can go away at any moment [37:10]
- How to avoid needing to relieve your stress [40:55]
- The value of near-death experiences [41:25]
- Changing the negative connotations of street culture [52:20]
- Street culture as an amalgamation of hip hop, punk rock and skate [55:00]
- Why he wants to inspire his employees [59:00]
- Why competition is a good thing [1:00:40]
- Check out Parsons School of Design, where Jeff went to school
- Jeff’s clothing brand, Staple Pigeon
- And his creative agency, Staple Design
- Check out Reed Space’s site
- Music Credit: Howls by KRNE