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Making a Personal Connection with Patrick Stewart CEO of Apricot Lane

Making a Personal Connection with Patrick Stewart CEO of Apricot Lane | Ep. 172 | Business Podcast

Making a Personal Connection with Patrick Stewart CEO of Apricot Lane | Ep. 172 | Business Podcast

Making a Personal Connection with Patrick Stewart CEO of Apricot Lane
Making a Personal Connection with Patrick Stewart CEO of Apricot Lane

Summary

Patrick Stewart is CEO of Apricot Lane Boutique – the most popular women’s fashion franchise with over 80 locations.

Apricot Lane Boutique first opened its doors in 2007 and in 2008 received the prestigious International Council of Shopping Centers Association (ICSC) as the Hot Retail Concept for Fashion – getting over 70000 votes in favor.

Previous to Apricot Lane, Patrick was Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Sears Holdings where he was responsible for driving record revenue of $1.2B and a 35% increase in profitability.

Before that Patrick worked as the Director of Brand Development at the J. Peterman Catalog (yes that one from Seinfeld) VP of Marketing and Creative at Big Dog Sportsware, VP of marketing at the Walking Company and EVP of Marketing at Crazy Shirts. 

Patrick shares his story and lessons learned about marketing and branding along the way.

Listen to this all things marketing conversation and you’ll leave with plenty ideas to help your marketing and branding efforts with your business.

Links from the show:
Apricot Lane Boutique

Hello Friends.

Patrick:

Welcome to the Edge. Today we’re talking with Patrick Stewart, who is the ceo of a prick hotline, The leading women’s fashion franchise in America and Patrick has an incredible story of how he landed at april scott lane.

Patrick:

He started at one of my favorite catalogs. J Peterman and Company. And the reason I love J. Peterman is because they have the most incredible copywriters. I actually buy their old catalogs from the eighties because the copyrighting is just that good study.

Patrick:

And Patrick was there and he twisted and turned and found himself as the chief marketing officer at Sears, which really is the modern day internet, which we talk a little bit about.

Patrick:

And then we talk about apricot lane and how they’re doing how they built the company and all along our conversation, Patrick just has an incredible wealth of information about building brands and marketing.

Patrick:

You’re going to love our conversation.

Patrick:

Patrick’s a warm, friendly and really smart marketing guy.

Patrick:

You’re gonna love this episode.

Patrick:

Here we go.

Patrick:

Welcome to the Edge podcast, your weekly playbook about the inner game of building a successful business, making you a happier, healthier and richer business owner. And here’s your host, Brandon White. Hey Patrick, how are you doing great.

Patrick:

How are you?

Brandon:

Oh I’m doing good. Are you in napa today?

Patrick:

Yeah, just over the hill from napa, Green valley, Green valley.

Brandon:

Well how is it up there?

Patrick:

It is warmer than usual but still pretty cool. I’d say the temp is right around 78 right now, 78.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Patrick:

And it’s usually not that warm in the morning so, but still mild little light breeze.

Brandon:

Great weather.

Brandon:

It must be considered great weather.

Brandon:

Yeah, exactly.

Brandon:

Right where we’re really lucky.

Brandon:

It’s 56 and sunny here and happened in Bay.

Brandon:

So it doesn’t get any better than that in the bay area. Well, thanks a lot for joining again, listeners out there.

Patrick:

I have to say that I had a major screw up in the sense that Patrick, so kind to come on last week and had, I’m setting the bar here.

Patrick:

Hi Patrick.

Patrick:

So no pressure. That had an incredible conversation.

Patrick:

And I, after we recorded, I I was running out and forget where I was going.

Patrick:

And later in the afternoon I got a call from, are we have a new recording editor, It’s not his fault, things happen.

Patrick:

And he said it didn’t go well.

Patrick:

And I was like, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Patrick:

That’s like one of the Patrick.

Patrick:

We just had one of the best conversations I’ve had in the whole history of this program.

Patrick:

Like what are we doing?

Patrick:

He’s like, no, the recordings corrupted.

Patrick:

I was like, I can’t tell you I couldn’t even have a sick to my stomach, but that’s over.

Patrick:

And Patrick, thank you so much for coming back on the show and having another conversation.

Patrick:

You bet, my pleasure.

Patrick:

So for all the listeners out there guys just considered to be a secret episode that you missed.

Patrick:

I, I hope we can recreate it.

Brandon:

I was taking notes later on friday night. I was like, I mean, it was it’s just great. So we’ll just start because you have a really incredible, it’s really an adventure starting in the midwest to getting to the west Coast and then a little bit further west, which I’ll let you talk about.

Patrick:

But you started your your real journey in Illinois.

Patrick:

Right, well, yeah, if you’re if your listeners or bob seger fans, you might remember that uh young midwestern boy on his own.

Patrick:

But then he had his Hollywood nights.

Brandon:

Not quite that for me, but was midwestern boy get in the middle of the country. I grew up in ST louis and then, you know, moved around a little bit in there to the states that are surrounding, which are Illinois, Chicago and even indiana a bit and then headed out west.

Brandon:

But yeah, when I was there in the midwest, I was at J Peterman company.

Brandon:

We talked about that a little bit on our lost episode.

Brandon:

Well, yeah, I’m super excited.

Brandon:

But let’s talk about that again, because I have the J Peterman catalog right here.

Patrick:

And the reason that, and this is christmas, 1993.

Patrick:

And if you’re listening what you are listening, if you’re listening to this and you’re wondering why I would have a J Peterman catalog and how I was so excited that we’re having Patrick on because J Peterman in my mind and you can talk a little bit about this Patrick if you will that has some of the most incredible copyrighting I’ve ever seen.

Patrick:

And And literally back then it was one product per page.

Patrick:

One product or page.

Patrick:

Unheard of in any world of cataloging.

Patrick:

And you know, folks still get catalogs in the mail today.

Patrick:

No one does one product for page.

Brandon:

And also pretty much no one does copy that you even want to read.

Brandon:

You just flip through a catalog, look at the photographs, look at the price you’re done with it.

Brandon:

But these were super short stories wrote in the Hemingway style, which is and if you’re a fan of Hemingway, you know, he said say less remove unnecessary words.

Brandon:

And if you want to have me away recommendation, then just read The Old Man and the Sea.

Brandon:

It’s probably one of those shortest books.

Brandon:

You can get through it very quickly. It’s fantastic. Don’t watch the movie. It doesn’t make sense as the movie, but it’s a great book.

Brandon:

So when you were at J Peterman one is I love to hear how you actually got the J.

Patrick:

Peterman because that’s a really cool job.

Patrick:

But did you have were the copywriters that you hired trained or did you get samples from people looking for that Hemingway style and not telling them.

Patrick:

Now you kind of at least me wanted to train in that style.

Patrick:

Which which it’s not that hard.

Patrick:

It’s a briefer style.

Patrick:

But it has to be a very much a tone that is exactly right.

Patrick:

And you can pick up one of these categories, you can find those catalogs on Ebay today, you can look at them online.

Brandon:

It’s not the same.

Brandon:

You want to actually have that tactile experience. And that is part of the magic, which is not just as a short story being told, but the size of that catalog was meant to be very travel oriented. So you can put it in like your safari jacket and there aren’t even photographs.

Brandon:

It’s meant to be much more like a journal or a person who is traveling and having to do their own really great. But doing their own sketches of the product that they’ve discovered while traveling and it draws you in. And it’s one of the original exponential, like the experience was everything.

Brandon:

And creating this aura of, I’ve got to have this product. And you know, one of the fascinating things about the Petermann thing besides the fact that it got picked up and so on.

Brandon:

Seinfeld, Julia louis Dreyfus ends up working for this J Peterman character. Right? So it’s, I can’t iconic for anyone that’s really been a fan of Seinfeld. But another really interesting nugget is that Oprah Winfrey loved this when she discovered the catalog she had her assistant because over would do it herself.

Brandon:

But she had her assistant buy her one of everything that was in the catalog really, she discussed.

Brandon:

This is the greatest thing ever.

Brandon:

I want one of everything, go get that’s incredible, incredible.

Patrick:

But trying to speak to the magic of this stuff is so good.

Brandon:

I must have it all.

Patrick:

And the stories are, I mean their stories, they’re not, I mean their product descriptions, but their stories are just really just epic.

Brandon:

And I think, and we talked about this before, so I’d like to diagnose no one knows what we talked about.

Patrick:

Well, that’s a good point.

Patrick:

So didn’t this really come from banana republic boy, you are astute.

Patrick:

That’s exactly right.

Patrick:

Yeah.

Brandon:

When I was, when I was at Peterman, people would ask me, oh, because I’m putting together this whole thing and they’re like, you must be a fan of the banana Republic catalogs.

Patrick:

And I say, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Patrick:

You know, like banana republic, that’s a big chain.

Brandon:

I mean, they had a catalog.

Brandon:

The catalog has been gone for a long time.

Brandon:

But if you go back in time enough to the very beginning, because my beginning of banana republic was exposure to it.

Brandon:

And again, I would have been living in the midwest when I’m exposed to this and sometime probably in the eighties or nineties and I remember an old school like Willy’s jeep coming through a window and that was my first exposure to a banana republic.

Brandon:

But they had already been purchased by gap at that time, that’s when they started spreading out nationwide. But if you go back in time further than banana republic started just like J Peterman debt with a catalog and the catalog had one item per page and it had a story around it.

Brandon:

So Peterman actually copied what they saw out of this small company, banana republic. That was, you know, it was founded in mill valley California, which is not too far from the headquarters of gaps, gaps in san Francisco.

Brandon:

But if you go across the bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge north, then one of the first towns you get to a sausalito.

Brandon:

But if you had the other direction you go to Mill Valley and that’s where that’s where banana republic was founded as a, as a little cataloger that did exactly what Peterman did.

Brandon:

They found old product that was like military surplus and made a big deal of it.

Brandon:

They did.

Brandon:

And I remember that, I remember it and that banana republic today does in my mind doesn’t even remotely reflect and it has some semblance of what they were in the sort of adventure.

Brandon:

You know, it was like a jungle catalog.

Patrick:

They had this hat that was solar panel with a fan.

Patrick:

And I remember as a kid ripping that page out and I don’t, I forget how it might have been $89 or $59, which was As a kid who’s getting 25 cents a week allowance and trying to sell lemonade not making a lot.

Patrick:

It was just a far away away and it was just my dream because I was thinking first of all solar back then was it was a concept but it wasn’t like real like it is today.

Patrick:

It was oh you could get energy from the sun and you could have this dan on you all day and living a battery.

Patrick:

Yeah.

Patrick:

Like living in Maryland in the hot humid and you know, it’s hot and humid in Maryland now it was hotter.

Patrick:

I think back then, maybe it just felt that way because I didn’t have air conditioning but having that hat in that fan was just my dream.

Patrick:

And I remember looking at that catalog and it was an adventurer catalog.

Patrick:

It was jungle.

Patrick:

It was, it was army surplus I guess now that you said it very different than sort of evolved and but as the story goes, J Peterman had copied, had flattered copying what they had seen and involved and it kind of went away.

Brandon:

So by the time Peterman was doing it wasn’t like they were a me too from something that still existed.

Patrick:

They were hearkening back to something that had existed but had gone away because after the purchase happened, the, you know, the brand very much changed.

Brandon:

So where do you go from?

Patrick:

I mean J.

Patrick:

Peterman is just cool as love that part.

Brandon:

Where do you go next?

Patrick:

Yeah.

Patrick:

How do you get there?

Patrick:

It was cool. And because it was cool, it was cool by itself. It was cool that Oprah thought so much of it, that had to have one of everything and that can bring additional exposure to people that may be here the story. But the biggest thing was that the writers of Seinfeld and you gotta admit that between, you know, everyone knows jerry and Larry David were really great writers.

Brandon:

They also hired great writers, you know, so all together you have what at that time was the number one show on television.

Brandon:

And these guys, like if there are great writers and one of the things that they admire is writing from this J Peterman catalog, probably have lightning in a bottle. So they have one of the characters of the show, go to work for this thing, which is tremendous.

Brandon:

And somebody way out in California thought enough of that to go, hey, this, I know it’s a real company, I wonder who’s in charge of this and sought me out.

Brandon:

And so I actually got recruited to buy a company that was headquartered in santa barbara California and they said, you know what we need, we need someone that nos catalog knows online online was a very new thing at that time as we need someone that knows both of those things.

Brandon:

And, and if you’ve got brick and mortar retail experience as well, that will be great. And so that company was big dog sportswear company that was founded in santa Barbara as it’s got an interesting story but it was founded as a lifestyle brand for people that like playing beach volleyball.

Brandon:

And so their core product was Shortz and at that time the shorts were for men were really short.

Brandon:

Like if you look at some vintage photographs, john McEnroe playing tennis or like Bjorn borg, look at the shorts that they wear.

Brandon:

Those are mighty short shorts.

Brandon:

People don’t wear those short shorts.

Brandon:

Today, men do women do that, men don’t.

Brandon:

And so this valuable brand big dog sports or comes about.

Brandon:

And these guys say, hey, we’re gonna make some shorts because we’ve got some old material which was rip stop nylon from tent and backpacking business.

Brandon:

And this rip stop nylon.

Brandon:

These guys go, well, business isn’t that great from backpacks and tents because once you buy a tent you’re pretty much done.

Brandon:

It’s not a repeat sort of business. They had this material, the guy who had founded the small boutique company, maybe there’s one or two locations says, I think I’m under so up some shorts with this excess material and he makes a pair of shorts on the sewing machine and apparently he’s not the greatest and they come out really big.

Brandon:

He puts them on and he shows the staff and someone says, man them puppies are big but they’re really longer than usual and they go man, them puppies are big and he thought about it saturday.

Brandon:

There’s a brand name in there somewhere and he named it big dogs and that was it.

Brandon:

It was these And you know, only type of shorts.

Brandon:

People are now are things that come down at least close to the knee and if you’re a little bit shorter than that, that’s kind of interesting.

Brandon:

But you know where approached the 70s shorts and then they got into t shirts as well.

Brandon:

But it was always the type of apparel. And even though that company As I worked there got to be like 200 locations nationwide, big catalogue business.

Brandon:

It maintained this nice, this is what you’d want to wear when you want to chill on the beach somewhere and it all started I think people forget Patrick where these companies come from because the overnight success is you see what it is and you forget or don’t know really where it came from.

Brandon:

So this all really starts by focusing on one pair of shorts.

Patrick:

Did they have any other when you arrive there?

Patrick:

Did they have other products or really I just had, you know, they had grown up quite a bit by the time that I had gotten there and the thing that they really wanted to expand into was this world of direct mail catalog and online because they just thought that that was the biggest and best growth opportunity and while I was there, that was the biggest and best growth opportunity made it so that we could spread out nationwide and international if we wanted to and the cost was a whole lot lower and also at that time the internet was very new.

Patrick:

So it was you know it’s unproven what it could do at that time when I started amazon didn’t exist you know, so it did come along and you know a lot of things unfolded is an interesting time of growth only expanded even more stores and a lot of things.

Patrick:

But anyway, so that’s how I got out to California and living in santa barbara.

Patrick:

Yeah.

Patrick:

Well this turns don’t know where that is but you can look it up.

Patrick:

I think it wasn’t even a tv show based on santa barbara but it’s well actually people will know what I say santa bar because that’s where Harry and Meghan moved recently right?

Patrick:

Everybody knows it’s just it’s about an hour 45 or two hours depending on what part of santa Barbara north of L.

Brandon:

A.

Brandon:

I have a lot of people prefer because the it’s more of a of a downtown small doesn’t have a lot of traffic.

Brandon:

It gets great weather.

Brandon:

But even the you know a reason that Harry and Meghan would shoes is because the people of Montecito where they live and I lived don’t care about your celebrity.

Brandon:

So Oprah chose to live there.

Brandon:

But again because Oprah come off the streets and she’s not going to have people finding of her people will just do one of these.

Brandon:

Maybe I think you’re right that it’s very similar while it’s the southern version of here in Half Moon Bay because that’s why there’s actually a lot of tech celebrities if you will that live here in my neighborhood and they live here because when you see him at trace amigos mexican restaurant around the corner from our neighborhood, you’re sort of like, oh Yeah, that guy is the # two guy at Apple.

Brandon:

You know, or uh, that guy actually invented the iphone.

Patrick:

That’s cool.

Brandon:

Hey, what’s up man?

Brandon:

You know, I mean it or I ran into this guy, he invented, you might remember Pitfall Harry, which was a really famous Atari game.

Patrick:

I mean it was Midway game, it was, he invented it.

Patrick:

His license plates pitfall harry on his Tesla.

Brandon:

It’s like, you know, this is iconic stuff, but it’s the same story.

Brandon:

I want to go back to something and ask you about big dog.

Brandon:

What do you think is the key?

Brandon:

Because it, there’s a lot of people who want to build clothing brands and clothing brands, which I gave it a shot.

Brandon:

I had originally been working with Patagonia as an ambassador in the early days when they came out with fish including and then my brother and I, we still have a brand that sort of side hustle that I’ve learned takes a lot of years to build this, but big dog has this pair of shorts.

Brandon:

Now those pair of shorts could may for a moment be different, but not terribly hard to knock off, so to speak.

Brandon:

So what’s the key in your mind to building a brand that really is the moat.

Patrick:

That protects something that you really can’t.

Patrick:

I know you can do some copyright and patent stuff, but it’s really hard to protect this design of your core product.

Patrick:

Yeah.

Patrick:

Is hard.

Patrick:

Well, here’s what, here’s what the founders of that company did realizing that how are we going to make sure that we aren’t just copycat it because it is not that difficult to just get something copy it and you don’t have a lot.

Patrick:

Well, they named the brand something that’s very memorable.

Patrick:

So Big Dog, very easy to remember.

Patrick:

And boy, does it take a lot to protect that trademark?

Patrick:

Because there is there are saints around which the company was built.

Brandon:

If you can’t know what the big dogs stay on the porch.

Patrick:

That saying is predated them.

Patrick:

Boy.

Brandon:

They wanted to get t shirts up and made that said that.

Patrick:

And then they featured the logo, but I haven’t talked about the logo yet, but a logo became important to be as much of an icon as say, the alligator on the brand Isaan cost a right.

Patrick:

So that little Algar, what does that have to?

Brandon:

I don’t know.

Patrick:

But that’s what Djokovic wears when he plays tennis.

Patrick:

I mentioned him because he’s probably gonna win.

Patrick:

Wimbledon, we’ll see.

Patrick:

But the logo means a lot.

Patrick:

So these guys because they said, we’re going to call the brand Big dog.

Patrick:

Said, what’s the biggest thing I don’t know?

Patrick:

Back in the day, you didn’t look it up on the internet because it didn’t exist.

Patrick:

They went to a dictionary, Some of your listeners might know what that is.

Patrick:

I went to a dictionary, there was a Saint Bernard traced it and said, let’s get this thing made into a logo.

Patrick:

And that’s what the logo was and it was placed on everything so that it could be memorable as what the brand was.

Patrick:

And you know, the nice thing also about having a relation with a dog compared to an alligator.

Patrick:

I mean, what do people like?

Patrick:

More people don’t have pet alligators, but they liked dogs.

Patrick:

So it became a symbol brand that people liked.

Patrick:

So there were a lot of things just that was like the wind at your back sort of situation.

Patrick:

And if you’re thinking about starting your own business, your own clothing line or anything like that, the more you can put the wind at your back and have things working in your favor of the easier it’s going to be.

Patrick:

I mean, you could try to go against it, which the guys with the alligator did it work for them.

Patrick:

But if I had to choose which way am I going to go, I’m going to go with something that I think people have a bigger affinity for almost every time and it’ll probably work out for you.

Brandon:

Cool!

Brandon:

So you’re in santa barbara, which is a super nice place to live.

Brandon:

How do you get convinced to leave there?

Brandon:

Well, yes.

Brandon:

So it happened that there was a company that wanted to do what big dogs had so successfully done which was grove hundreds of stores nationwide, very robust and growing online presence and a good direct mail business and was in the business of chill at the beach.

Brandon:

Well, there was a company very similar to that out in hawaii crazy shirts and they called up and said, hey, we need someone that’s done this already, can you do it?

Brandon:

I said and the ceo at the time asked me, how do you feel about a very hands off Ceo and I said, I feel great about that.

Brandon:

So I was pretty much given the reins to do exactly what I loved doing a great deal of autonomy go out and and a really ramp up the online side of the greatest shirts business, The direct catalog mail, which was much more international business to be grown because the folks that really traveled to hawaii, not just americans, but you have japanese korean chinese Australia’s, you have people from all over the world wanting to go to hawaii and if you can establish a affinity for your business, being authentically from there, then you’ve got the great repeat business for the time of peril that we were.

Brandon:

So it wasn’t luxury goods that would maybe price prohibitive to people to have a great repeating purchase he around, but with the type of apparel that we were selling, it was the thing that people wanted to buy again and again because it reminded them of their trip to Hawaii.

Brandon:

So that stores throughout the islands and then this great thing that always kept the relationship going with them with the online and catalog.

Brandon:

So really interesting business model had a lot of fun while in hawaii.

Brandon:

And so that was the thing that would make me move from the near ideal weather conditions and atmosphere of, of santa.

Brandon:

Barbara is the bluer waters and warmer water.

Brandon:

So boy yeah, it doesn’t sound like so in your journey here you’re suffering at all, it seems like you just keep getting better and better as you move minimal suffering.

Brandon:

You know, an interesting part of that that you said that I think for anybody listening out there who’s trying to build a brand is there was a stark difference between big dog and crazy shirts in that crazy shirts is leveraging maybe a cool name.

Brandon:

Maybe some designs, but it sounds like they clearly understood that there was an emotional connection to the visitors visiting Hawaii and purchasing these clothes, which, which triggers emotions to remember that as you’re saying that I had that I, I love hawaii as an east coaster.

Brandon:

Originally east coaster.

Brandon:

We didn’t go to Hawaii a lot as a California.

Brandon:

I go there much more often.

Brandon:

I really love it, although the summer is really hot for me.

Brandon:

But um when, when it’s not so hot is this Hawaiian shirt company that I can remember the store?

Brandon:

The shirt is in my closet and it’s just you know when I put on that shirt, I’m like, oh yeah, like it’s almost as if it brings you back and it sounds like they really understood that piece of their business and leaned into it, which if Brennan they didn’t.

Brandon:

Oh depressingly.

Patrick:

But I did.

Patrick:

Well okay, you, you, you, it’s a, it’s a real fascinating thing.

Brandon:

Some, some people really don’t have that true understanding that that there there is a great deal of very difficult to put your finger on.

Brandon:

But there is an emotional connection.

Brandon:

There is, it’s almost, it’s almost a mystical, but I don’t really want to describe this that way.

Brandon:

But there is a deep, a deeper connection than is often assumed with an experience manifesting in a product that you purchase.

Brandon:

Okay.

Brandon:

And so where I come from is, and I’ll use this Hawaii example, but there’s many.

Brandon:

In fact, I won’t even use the Hawaii example, I’ll use a different example.

Brandon:

So there is, so I’ll tell the story, there’s a class going on in Berkeley and it happens to be an economics class and the professor wants to make a point because the topic is retail.

Brandon:

And what is the difference between an emotional connection and a transaction.

Brandon:

And and this professor actually had some experience in retail.

Brandon:

So he’s teaching economics.

Brandon:

And he said, all right, I’m going to make my point cause he had a lot of uh students in the class that we’re just taking the numbers side of what it took to be successful in business.

Brandon:

And this professor produces a pen from his jacket and it’s this black pen and it looks like a mount blog fountain pen and it’s old and and looks pretty cool, but it gets a whole lot cooler.

Brandon:

Wendy tells the story says the class what everyone can recognize this.

Brandon:

And he holds up a pet, he said, people know what this is, they think they do.

Brandon:

They said, well, it might surprise you that this pen was owned by Albert Einstein and it was it was presented to me and he tells the story of how it was presented.

Brandon:

And when he’s done telling a story, he’s like, would you like me to pass this around?

Brandon:

And he does because all the students want to see this type and feel it and it passes around the hole assembly of students.

Brandon:

And then he gets it back and he says, that’s pretty cool pen, right?

Brandon:

And everyone’s like, yes.

Brandon:

And so he says, yeah, that goodness and badness, the good news.

Patrick:

It’s is this pen is very special.

Patrick:

But the bad news is he goes, it’s only special because I told you that it was from Einstein or it wasn’t.

Brandon:

And as I made that up to see you, just to show you and allow you to see for yourselves the power of building a story and making a memory.

Patrick:

It was the product is only part of the, of what the experience is, because I made a memory and made it more special to you.

Patrick:

This object which is tangible, has more value with the intangible.

Patrick:

And that can be very much what makes product better and why something that goes in your closet, will stay in your closet, because it has all these intangibles associated with it, that if you can come to that realization and you happen to be in the world of retail, then you create memories from the transactions that go on.

Patrick:

It’s not just the products can be and it should be so much more if you want to really develop a meaningful relationship that really evolves into a really great business, it’s not just product that’s just transactions, you want to build memories and relationships.

Patrick:

I think that’s a incredible lesson for anybody out there and what I’m thinking and tell me if I have it right, is really, you could, I’m not suggesting you want to, but you could have a mediocre product and an incredible experience either buying it or I guess buying it, however, that manifests itself either either through a story and copy or in a retail store or in any whatever in person store, that whole experience of making it happen can be weighted more than the actual product.

Patrick:

Yeah, the product, the product minus experience.

Patrick:

A person has really missed out on a lot if it’s just a product and you take away the experience and so the company I’m with right now is is living proof of this.

Patrick:

So april Katelyn boutique were the Number one women’s fashion franchise.

Patrick:

And so we’ve got locations across the nation.

Patrick:

The thing that makes us stand out is every one of those locations is locally owned and the owner is in charge of the buying there in the boutique creating these experiences.

Patrick:

So product equal if you took away the owner and I took away the ability for the owner to buy the product corporate just send product out to this location, it’s just hourly workers, you become another retail chain like anyone else.

Patrick:

And to the shopper it’s like what’s so special about this?

Patrick:

And the answer is really nothing because they could say the product seems to be like I think that product anymore and frankly they’re right, if there’s nothing special about the interaction, it just becomes its product and and that customer then says why should just, I should just buy it online, I mean why bother going, there is nothing that special, but the product becomes more like it’s Albert Einstein’s pen, there is something much more special when the owner is the person who, it’s their business, they purchase this product.

Patrick:

And if the owner is really empowered, then they can buy products specifically for you.

Patrick:

And if they live up to that and it’s not just I bought it because I liked it, but I bought it for you, then the relationship is authentic.

Patrick:

It’s not, it’s not a made up story.

Brandon:

It is, this is really a relationship and it deepens the meaning of every everything that happens when you go there is more meaningful.

Brandon:

So, you know, when you go to, let’s say hawaii and you buy a souvenir, you are really what’s creating that.

Patrick:

So, and so is the island itself.

Brandon:

And then you take the object and I said, if I took this object and I put it in Montana, do you still want to be like, no, I don’t want that anymore.

Patrick:

You know, I want that experience.

Brandon:

So, the experience to people and it’s just human nature.

Brandon:

The experience really matters.

Brandon:

And there’s a lot to that.

Brandon:

And as a business owner, if you can really wrap your head around, how do I create experiences, then you’re in a position to really grow.

Brandon:

And, and so what I was getting out with uh, my company apricot lane, we’re seeing customers show such a big appreciation for the experience is because for the last year and a half, many of them have chosen have either chosen to stay at home or they’ve lessened how much they’ve gone out or maybe there were government restrictions on how much they got theirs lockdowns, There’s a lot that has gone into it.

Brandon:

Their life definitely changed over last year and a half and they now Have realized, customers have realized, I love experiences and so like our sales are up compared to 2020 definitely, even compared to 2019 sales are up say 40% across our entire fleet, Which is in the world of retail being up 40% is a lot.

Brandon:

It tells, it tells you without any guests.

Brandon:

Boy people have really decided across the nation.

Brandon:

I love experiences, I want, I crave interaction and it’s not that they’re just wanting to buy, they want the interaction that is the deeper meaning that they can get.

Brandon:

And so for us it’s the local ownership where it’s a really authentic and deeper exchange that you’ll have your still by.

Brandon:

But it’s a deeper exchange and experience then then somewhere else it just sells clothing and certainly than just what they previously did, which was maybe they just said I’m just going to buy online because it’s easy, they now are saying, you know what I really want experience, How did you recognize?

Brandon:

You know, I think it’s funny as business owners, there is a big advantage of having someone who’s qualified come in with a clean slate, so to speak and not so close to the to the actual business.

Brandon:

Did you recognize that when you went into it and that’s what made you move another four hours west?

Brandon:

That they did have some magic in that sense?

Brandon:

Yeah, I did see the magic of local ownership.

Brandon:

I uh clearly I definitely, I’m a believer in being able to take an object and and view it with more that more, more value.

Brandon:

It’s not just prices, not just manufacturing quality, those are sort of given.

Brandon:

But how do you make it?

Brandon:

So a person prefers one item to another and trying to find that I think that the local ownership is the, that’s the ability to take the shopping experience and make the whole experience better.

Brandon:

So it’s the difference.

Brandon:

I like using restaurant analogies.

Brandon:

I said, if you were going to go out to bobby flay’s steakhouse and it just had bobby flay’s on the sign and you went in there and you’re like, is bobby flay here tonight?

Brandon:

And they said, no, bobby flay has never been here.

Brandon:

What?

Brandon:

Uh and a whole bunch of the magic goes away because here’s what you don’t get that.

Brandon:

You don’t know that you’re really getting bobby flay recipes cooking quality.

Brandon:

You’re certainly not going to see him.

Brandon:

You don’t know if the chef has ever met bobby flay?

Brandon:

But what if you went to bobby flay’s steakhouse and bobby flay was actually there and then he came out and he met you and what if before ordering he came out and met you and said, what do you really like?

Brandon:

And you said, well I kind of had this one flank steak that was prepared this way when I was on key west and I had a little bit of jamaican flavor or something like that and by playing, so I’ve been there because that place was called ford steakhouse.

Brandon:

I know exactly what you’re talking about it.

Brandon:

I have a better recipe than that.

Brandon:

Then the bobby flay experience is the most epic ever.

Brandon:

He’s listened, he’s adapted, he’s trying to do it some and then delivers and hey, guess what?

Brandon:

Even if it wasn’t better than your original recipe, you are convinced that it’s better because of everything else that went into it and you can’t replicate that, Could you imagine the person that says, hey, you know what I want from bobby flay, I want take out, can you just wrap it up and have it and you miss all that stuff, you’ve taken everything that was going to be great and you just undermine it all because it was the real experience that you love and you and as the customer, what you want is I want, I want to do that again.

Brandon:

I don’t need that exact same dish.

Brandon:

But can I capture that lightning in a bottle again.

Brandon:

And so that’s what I saw at april Colin having local owners being able to stand out from all other retail is the magic of that experience where you’re in the restaurant bobby flay and he’s actually there, can you do that?

Brandon:

Well, you can, if every location is the local owner where you move from Hawaii.

Brandon:

So somehow someone convinces you to leave Hawaii, what happens in your journey?

Brandon:

My journey from leaving Hawaii was I got recruited to do something that was monumental and task.

Patrick:

So the pitch to me was this shape.

Patrick:

We used to be the world’s biggest retailer and we are no longer the world’s biggest retailer.

Patrick:

It’s been many years, it’s been 20 years, but we were And we’ve kind of got this losing streak and our winning streak was more than 50 years of being the world’s biggest retailer and unfortunately, we have now fallen greatly, but we still consider our greatest competitor, Someone who is poised to become the world’s number one retailer.

Patrick:

And we would like you to help us get back to where we were.

Patrick:

So, the company that was speaking at the time was serious, serious robot had been the number one retailer.

Patrick:

They had been what amazon is today and they were still Fantastically huge, $40 billion dollar company.

Patrick:

So way bigger than anyone that I had any experience working with and their chairman was a billionaire.

Patrick:

So he had very deep pockets and who he was competing with was, I thought that when he was talking about, we want to compete with the world’s biggest.

Patrick:

I thought, well, you’re talking about walmart, right?

Patrick:

They said no, because we think that amazon is actually going to take over the number one spot and is going to be bigger.

Patrick:

And I said, okay, well you’re still talking about a billionaire and bastos.

Patrick:

And so that’s who we’re competing against and yes, that’s who are competing.

Brandon:

I said, wow, well, it has taken a lot to get me away from Hawaii, but this sounds like a fantastic challenge.

Brandon:

And interestingly, I was thinking that because of the great legacy that Sears had, that it was more of a great american icon then amazon, which is also an american company, but I didn’t view it that way.

Brandon:

I mean I viewed, I viewed it as amazon doesn’t deserve to be number one.

Brandon:

The great and mighty Sears that had enjoyed so much american rich tradition and history deserved To get back in the game.

Brandon:

And so I said, I got to be part of this challenge, especially since you guys have failed so much to get it back on track and you’ve had 20 years and I said, and well the guy who is the building or has the pockets to do it.

Brandon:

And I was convinced that I had the strategy that needed to be employed to get back and really start ramping back up business and it was to my great disappointment that as much and I was hired as a really senior guy, chief marketing officer and I was like convinced that all it’ll take is me having sit down, maybe a couple of sit downs with the chairman in order to say, here, here’s what you need to, here’s what you really need to, it’s going to be painful, but this is what you really need to do.

Brandon:

And I, even though I was hired as a really senior guy, I never got to sit down here was moreover recluse like howard Hughes that never got to meet him.

Brandon:

And so my plans never got, I got to implement a lot of plants and grow divisions of the business, but I didn’t get to implement the big turnaround that I wanted to and I knew that there was a ticking clock against it because once too much time had passed, it wasn’t going to happen.

Brandon:

So after a year and a half of saying, I’m not going to meet this guy, so, well this is, it’s not going to happen now, it’s too late.

Brandon:

And so I, I said, okay, what I’m gonna do here is I was in the midwest and and I was successful at what what I was doing, got to transfer out to san Francisco where there were offices and got back into my west coast vibe and started looking for a business where I could make a much bigger impact and that’s what I found, so it was, it was a tough, I wouldn’t consider loss, I had some successes, but you would actually, if I was able to my plan, Sears would actually still be a powerhouse and it would be a household name again and it’s not well what we’re in summary.

Brandon:

I mean that’s a longer conversation.

Brandon:

I know, but what was the, what did you believe series How to do?

Brandon:

Because Sears really did.

Brandon:

They clearly had a house list of customers.

Brandon:

I remember as a kid that catalog was, you know, to say it was a catalog is is misleading.

Brandon:

It was a phone book and it had everything from clothes to tools to appliances.

Brandon:

I mean, I don’t put it in the same category as walmart because I think walmart competes on price and I didn’t ever feel like Sears competed on price.

Brandon:

I also as growing up with Sears and Montgomery wards, I felt like Sears was quality.

Brandon:

You know, I remember my mom saying that in craftsman tools are besides snap on her arguably.

Brandon:

I mean my toolbox is mainly filled with craftsman tools, which was a serious brand.

Brandon:

And what was the idea of the plan that you thought that they could transform?

Brandon:

Well, here’s the super interest in short stories here.

Brandon:

Sears invented the internet but it was made out of paper.

Brandon:

Okay, so it was everything that you ever wanted.

Brandon:

It was made out of paper.

Brandon:

So you, you know the upload speed was tremendously fast.

Brandon:

There.

Brandon:

It is no lag time now if you particularly if you think about the first internet, you had motives and the speed was terribly slow and the images, if their images took a long time to load and so serious, invented it, but but they didn’t evolve with it.

Brandon:

So they invented the first one made out of paper and then they didn’t evolve it to basically they let amazon become serious.

Brandon:

The source for everything in a frictionless way.

Brandon:

Right.

Brandon:

And so what series needed to do was evolved faster and what it was really going to take was get rid of the expenses that are preventing you from investing heavily in the areas that are necessary.

Patrick:

So the big painful things were going to be, you have to get rid of the unprofitable stores.

Patrick:

Now, there cannot be a delay because often in retail and if you know who goes bankrupt and retail, it’s because you’re in a lot of unprofitable situations that you just can’t get out of.

Patrick:

And so retailers often filed for bankruptcy protection signed new leases are able to reinvent themselves in the best way with the reset.

Patrick:

They’re basically trying to stop the big negatives that are losing so that they can invest elsewhere.

Patrick:

So really in a fundamental way, series needed to take immediate and quick action and it is painful because a lot of people are involved in being employed in these huge locations that was what was necessary.

Patrick:

So that investment could happen properly elsewhere in the investment that had to happen elsewhere was what you pointed out with your craftsman tool.

Patrick:

Example if your mom told you that craftsman tools were good and maybe the best.

Brandon:

I know people that I completely believed craftsman tools were the best and the reason that they were the best was they were guaranteed for life.

Brandon:

And that’s a big deal.

Brandon:

What that means is if you are actually a person that uses tools for a living, you only by crafting because you use the wrench and if it fails, you go back to Sears and you show them the wrench that you broke and they go pick out a new one and there are no questions, you walk into the store with your broken tool and they say go get a new one and you then are convinced that this is the best.

Brandon:

Now there could be a better, fundamentally better tools that could was that had better tensile strength and you can check out youtube’s right now there’s guys that do them and they will match all tools across the board to see what the breaking point is and then you can decide but none of those tools have lifetime guaranteed.

Brandon:

Once you break them, you bring them back.

Brandon:

Otherwise you always win the best of class.

Brandon:

You’re like, I know it broke, I am fine with it because it was the third strongest and it broke, but I never putting another hydraulic press, I don’t have to worry about that.

Brandon:

I just want to know that it’s going to work, That was the quality and so Syria’s had lost that.

Brandon:

The tools that previously were the best with a 100% ironclad lifetime guarantee made in America.

Brandon:

We’re now well those things aren’t really all guaranteed and they’re made in china and so you can’t do so you have to have enough money to invest in America because it would be more costly to do fine and you have to be willing to back your product with the irons.

Brandon:

I guarantee fine and you have to have enough cash flow in your business to do all those things.

Brandon:

So you really had to evolve out of the locations that were no good.

Brandon:

Anyway there’s a lot of detail that goes into it.

Brandon:

There was a path it was not taking, it was the path not taken.

Brandon:

Well that’s a bummer.

Brandon:

And I think you see these things and I guess in the bureaucracies that happened they just missed an opportunity and that’s too bad.

Brandon:

But you got to san Francisco.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

And and how did you thought what what was what was next on the stop at this point?

Brandon:

Which I think is an important lesson if you don’t get a meeting or you don’t get somewhere in a year and a half.

Brandon:

I’m not saying that’s the exact time, right?

Brandon:

But at some point you say to yourself okay I was hopeful I was really excited.

Brandon:

I think you were in Chicago which is called as hell and you know, I’m getting out of there and I’m gonna find my next gig and you’re on your way.

Brandon:

So yeah, I uh I used the life experience two and it’s good to have this sort of attitude which has easy life experience to make something better.

Brandon:

And so I took my experience of being in charge of a really big, big multibillion dollar company too.

Brandon:

Say, I don’t think I like multi billion dollar companies because they move really slow.

Brandon:

They are nimble, It’s not as enjoyable and I think that there’s something better.

Brandon:

So I set my goals on small, local able to be very nimble and I still loved retail when I started right and I wanted to be with a company that had the had the great opportunity which I saw which was being local, creating those experiences like I talked about with, you know, where the restaurant experience, I use that as the analogy, but that exact same sort of thing can happen inside a retail where you’re going to buy clothing and the company that I was attracted to as a pickup line because it was going to allow me to, I was hired a ceo to grow the company.

Brandon:

But the fundamental roots were in place, which was, it can be, it didn’t have to be, but I wanted it to be only local owners in charge of doing their own buying, trained by a great team that I was able to assemble people that really were experts in all different areas of retail with the end result bead.

Patrick:

I want you to have a great experience nationwide.

Patrick:

It’s not going to be the same experience, but that’s by design.

Patrick:

It’s not going to be like the Mcdonald’s here is the same as Mcdonald’s there.

Patrick:

It’s not that it is that we’re going to try to replicate a great meaningful exchange with the owner who is in charge of doing everything.

Brandon:

They know all of the thing about retail that makes maybe a person go out of business.

Brandon:

We’re going to train them all that.

Brandon:

So they don’t have to worry, am I going to go out of business and I can now as the owner focus on creating great exchanges.

Brandon:

So if you were bobby flay in your restaurant, I want to train you to be as good as chef as him.

Brandon:

But I want to let you know that the interchange that you’re going to have with the customers is really what they want.

Brandon:

So you don’t have to have the name, bobby flay to go out and talk to the customer, find out what they like and then while them and you will become preferred to bobby flay because when they go to bobby flight, he’s not there, he’s not there, the name might be on the outside, but he’s not there, You can name it, your restaurant and create for the local following a far more meaningful business that’s profitable.

Brandon:

It’s great.

Brandon:

The customers love you, you’re their favorite place to eat.

Brandon:

That’s what we do at april college where your favorite place to shop and that’s because the local owners, it’s not because of me, I’m not doing it, I’m just there to support the local owner and train them and give them support in the end, what you’re looking for in your shopping is that experience.

Brandon:

And I’m just with a company that’s able to deliver that, it’s all rooted in the fundamentals that we’ve been talking about and it’s a franchise model.

Brandon:

I think it’s an important, which I didn’t when I first read about april cut line and what you were doing.

Brandon:

I thought, I couldn’t figure out that.

Brandon:

I thought apricot lane was not only Franchising the retail locations, but also supplying the fashion or the clothing, but you’re not doing that.

Brandon:

You’re really a training company that gives someone in infrastructure to minimize the risk because they effectively are quote unquote buying and expertise mentor who’s going to assure, I mean possible you could not make it work, but who’s going to come in and and really do the things that take decades to figure out like location and train them how to buy clothes, which may be applicable to their market versus saying, oh, you’ve got to buy our shirts or our, our stuff.

Brandon:

So, so yeah, we, we have found and our business is greatly growing because there’s so much demand out there in the, in the United States and it’s probably worldwide demand for people really wanted to get into business on their own.

Brandon:

But if you want to get into business on your own and you’re intimidated, you’re intimidated rightly.

Brandon:

So because just going into business on your own is the odds are stacked against, you are very likely to fail and earning your small business or as what a franchise means is, hey, this is a business that it’s a business model.

Brandon:

It is proven to be successful over many years and they’ve got the ingredients that are necessary.

Brandon:

And so you start asking the wise as the person who is interested in looking at it and you know, there are a lot of women that have wanted to own a boutique because they had a special experience.

Brandon:

And so since they’ve been very young, they’ve always had this dream of owning their own.

Brandon:

I’ve been hesitant because they’re thinking who could fail And and with us, what you’re getting as a team that’s going to support you in all the areas to prevent that failure because we know what works.

Brandon:

And yes, it’s the buying corporate is not forcing the product on you were teaching, you were introducing you to a very big network of the best apparel sources.

Brandon:

We’re getting you discounted prices so that you have better buying power than you would on your own.

Brandon:

We’re teaching you the appropriate mix to have in the things like tops, bottoms, dresses, accessories, and and showing you the season out seasonal changes so that you know how much inventory to have in each category, How much should be really cutting edge?

Brandon:

How much should be pretty cutting edge and how it should be core basics of every one of those categories price appropriately how to move through inventory, increase your turn.

Brandon:

We’re teaching you all of the great things that are going to help you be successful.

Brandon:

And and one of those things that we’re teaching you is how to buy for your customers, not just to buy what you like.

Brandon:

And that’s a big deal, right?

Brandon:

Because the instinct would be, well, I like it.

Brandon:

I must buy it.

Brandon:

And the far better thing is no, no, no.

Brandon:

Just because you like rhubarb flavored donuts does not mean that that’s what your customers like.

Brandon:

Your customers love butterscotch, that’s what you always want to have on hand and you dabble and everything else.

Brandon:

But you definitely, by listening to your customers are poised to with us lean into because you’re you’re able to do the by when you find what your customers like you then have the mental leap.

Brandon:

I want to buy only for my customers, not for my taste for their taste.

Brandon:

And that’s where really successful things can happen unlike any other retail out there because that, that sort of recipe doesn’t really exist in another retail.

Brandon:

I think it’s a well from my research, it’s a very different franchise model because in april garland you also don’t take you help choose the real estate, right?

Brandon:

And you helped negotiate the least, but you don’t own the real estate.

Brandon:

So it’s not a real estate play.

Brandon:

I think it’s, I don’t, I’m not, I don’t have a ton of experience with franchise ease or franchises, so I’m not giving a dig out there, but I am just making a perception that it really looks.

Brandon:

It seemed to be more genuine and I don’t want to say authentic but pure in the sense that you’re really helping people go into business and coaching them along the way, but still allowing them to be their authentic self in in that the authentic self, in their community.

Brandon:

Yeah, I think that it’s a fair assessment to say that what we’re doing is helping people be successful.

Brandon:

Everyone on my team has expertise and they’re given area business might be visual merchandizing, might be, product might be training teams, could be information technology, because there’s a lot of, you know, there’s a lot of tech support that we give to everyone whatever the area of expertise.

Brandon:

I recruited people with the biggest thing that they wanted to do, The big commonality between them is they wanted to help people be successful.

Brandon:

They wanted to use what they’ve gained through their life experiences to help people be successful because that’s a very rewarding feeling for that.

Brandon:

So I’m able to have people that could make far more money working for someone else doing something else.

Brandon:

But they choose this as, so it’s sort of like they’re the rewarding experience they get is from helping our franchisees be successful and so we have really, we have first name relationships with all of our franchisees, they are not names and numbers, We know all of the process that we go through is it’s like a dating, I think before we award a franchise, we’re getting to know the person who ultimately comes an owner and they know our entire team and we’ve got relations with all of them that are sent us a text and were able to quickly have a call to, you know, so it’s that sort of relationship, it’s not set a meeting with us, we’ll get to you next week as we have text exchange phone calls with people on a first name basis and that’s our relationship with our franchisees and I don’t think that’s confident, no, you know, most other franchises, I don’t think it’s common in most business anymore, unfortunately, because it’s been, I think a transaction transaction bassist, Before we get to three tips from you, I know that you have an interesting story that people might not know about you, that you are a shoo fashion model and that there’s a cool story about those shoes that came out of it.

Brandon:

It’s really crazy when you start learning all of the businesses that came out of.

Brandon:

There’s some great businesses obviously come out of California, but at a little town in Mill Valley, there, north of san Francisco, can you tell that story on how you became a fashion model?

Brandon:

I will tell us people don’t know that I made it to Mill Valley.

Brandon:

They missed that part.

Brandon:

So I’ll tell, I’ll tell that story quickly.

Patrick:

So the listeners do know that I transferred from Syria’s in Chicago out to where the apparel division is in san Francisco and as I’m looking for a place to live in san Francisco.

Patrick:

I get a call from one of my brothers, both friends and it is now his brother and also they started out as best friends and they dated the sisters and they married each one of the sisters.

Patrick:

So his best friend became his brother.

Patrick:

So I get a call from the brother in law Bill and he says, hey, I hear you’re visiting san Francisco.

Patrick:

I said, yeah, he says you got to come out and check out Mill Valley, you’ll like it more than santa barbara.

Patrick:

And I said just passed.

Patrick:

I’ve never heard such Lunacy from anyone.

Patrick:

No one says that because I’ve never even heard of Mill Valley, what are you talking about?

Patrick:

So I go, you go across the Golden Gate Bridge, you go north across the spread share and uh immediately fell in love.

Brandon:

I did a real estate tour for one day and made an offer on a place that we saw one day real estate tour made an offer.

Patrick:

Nobody does even, I don’t do that, No way.

Patrick:

But that’s how much I love this place.

Brandon:

So I moved to Millbury not knowing a lot about it.

Brandon:

And then I come to find that those guys that created the very first banana Republic catalog Had their very first retail location two blocks away from where I left.

Brandon:

And so then they get bought out by a gap from in san Francisco.

Brandon:

And so then they moved and I said, I wonder where they might wonder if they left out.

Brandon:

No, they didn’t.

Brandon:

They just moved up the road a little bit too blocks that a way.

Brandon:

And so, oh my, wow, this is fantastic.

Brandon:

So they’re still local.

Brandon:

I love it.

Brandon:

I hope to bump into them one day.

Brandon:

And then I learned that there is another founder of a company that people know that lives on that exact same road as the banana Republic people and it’s the founder of Rockport shoe company.

Brandon:

So his name is Bruce Katz and Bruce Katz.

Brandon:

It was a name that I didn’t know, but Bruce Katz, it’s because he had been so successful in founding this Rockport shoe company back in the eighties.

Brandon:

I think it was probably the late eighties, possibly early nights, but I think it was late eighties that Rockport had become so meteoric in its growth that they had been earmarked for purchase by someone that wanted to do acquisitions and the companies that want to do acquisitions are those that are growing exponentially themselves.

Brandon:

And at that time it will baffle the mind of your viewers to hear that Reebok was more popular at the time than Adidas.

Brandon:

It’s like what?

Brandon:

That is crazy.

Brandon:

I think who that Reebok was just exploding from the, from the small shoe that was for aerobics, which is maybe knew at one time.

Brandon:

Anyway, Reebok was hot was, was so, was enjoying so much growth that they had earmarked money for acquisition And I think more than 25 million and they said, let’s buy this Rockport shoe company because they’re growing so much, they were just on such a terror growing that they got acquired and Bruce Katz was an East Coast guy.

Brandon:

Old, what would be called the shoe dog because I came from a family that was in the shoe business, but it came from a family of all my grandfather are sold shoes and had me going door to door and he’s a guy, if you think if you just imagine a hippie driving around in an old Volkswagen bug and only wanting to be on the water with a small sailboat and enjoying himself.

Brandon:

So that was what he liked doing and Bruce Katz when he was able to sell and just make millions of dollars.

Brandon:

This was like winning the lottery to him.

Brandon:

So he was able to commission a sailboat that could circumnavigate the globe.

Brandon:

This is a big sailboat and he had built the biggest sailboat ever built at the time and went and used his money to the sale the globe Great.

Brandon:

So he had his life stream and after he was done a five years circling the globe and achieving his train, he’s like, what I figured I would just die after this.

Brandon:

But apparently you keep living.

Brandon:

So what goal do I have now?

Brandon:

And so he’s enjoying his time in Mill Valley.

Brandon:

But, but it’s now now that the big sailing expedition has been done.

Brandon:

Livestream accomplished.

Brandon:

He’s like, I kind of missed the shoe business plus.

Brandon:

And this was a part story that even you don’t know, he had set aside a bunch of his very favorite Rockport shoots.

Brandon:

He thought that he had set aside a lifetime supply of them because this is what his hero was, but he was running out and he thought to himself, hey, I either have to find a way to make more of these Rockport shoes or maybe I could make something even better.

Brandon:

And his idea of making something even better was to get back in the shoe business.

Brandon:

And so he creates an issue company named after his grandfather.

Brandon:

The one that introduced him to shoes way back in the day.

Brandon:

And so the shoe company is called Samuel Hubbard and Samuel Hubbard shoes are better than anything Rockport ever made.

Brandon:

Nice thing is your listeners can check him out Samuel Harvard dot com and he’s great catalog or two because he’s old school.

Brandon:

So he makes a fantastic catalog, great website, great product for men and women.

Patrick:

They are supremely great shoes because Bruce takes a lot of pride in the quality.

Patrick:

So you don’t have lots and lots and lots of styles, but what you have are the best.

Patrick:

So yeah, Bruce is, is a fantastic middle valley story living, you know, 23 blocks away from where I was.

Patrick:

And and my wife went to work for me because my wife had experience in the shoe world as well.

Patrick:

And so she goes to work on the, uh, in sales.

Patrick:

And it turns out to be great and it’s really easy.

Patrick:

So a great product.

Patrick:

And so my wife tells me, hey, you know what we like doing this catalog thing?

Patrick:

And it was still fairly new.

Patrick:

And I said, no, what do you like doing?

Patrick:

Because we like featuring local businessman.

Patrick:

And at that time it was mostly men’s product wasn’t.

Brandon:

And I said, okay, good.

Brandon:

So we want you to show up with the photo shoot.

Brandon:

And I go, whoa, I’ve never been, I’ve been to photo shoots because I’ve directed many, never have been in front of the camera, much more behind the camera type person.

Brandon:

So there’s just pick out your favorite products.

Brandon:

Oh, these right, the pen and we’re going to get some shots.

Brandon:

So I was on a photo shoot in northern California near some wineries.

Brandon:

Great location when I took my on the photo shoot, I’m being photographed when I get the call from the founder of Apricot Lane who wants me to be Ceo and help them grow the company, interesting story, nice bit of serendipity.

Brandon:

It’s a great story.

Brandon:

I’m I’m glad you shared it.

Brandon:

I think the other genius in that that listeners can take away and I don’t think it’s new, but it’s a great playbook is to feature local business people or whatever you’re businesses because it inherently expand your brand because that person is going to tell all their friends and you’re making the customer the celebrity instead of making you the celebrity.

Brandon:

And I think that’s exactly right.

Brandon:

And people customers see authenticity.

Brandon:

They’re drawn to it.

Brandon:

You don’t have to just completely manufacture something authenticity matters local matters.

Brandon:

People find it, they don’t just relate to it.

Brandon:

They do relate to it and that’s important, but it’s what they prefer.

Brandon:

So all things being equal if you are better at your business and being authentic and at connecting locally, then you’re going to win, not just customers, you’re going to win, fans and that’s repeat business for you.

Brandon:

Just gets more stable and you as the owner will enjoy it more and there’s a lot to be said for?

Brandon:

Just enjoying what you do.

Brandon:

Well thanks for sharing that story.

Brandon:

What three tips would you give business owners out there listening to this.

Brandon:

Aight tips are think big have this understanding and what I say, think big that you’ve heard before, but have this understanding that most people put big mental limits on what they think is possible for them to achieve.

Brandon:

And if you have an awareness that you you have also set limits on yourself, you’ve done it than when I say, think big, it really translates into think bigger.

Brandon:

You don’t have to limit what you’re doing, you really don’t have to think bigger next is to achieve that, think bigger goal, you have to set yourself goals and there’s two types of goals that you need to set, not just one goal of Oh, he said, think bigger.

Brandon:

So, I wanted to do this and I have that as my goal.

Brandon:

One goal without stair steps along the way will probably be impossible to achieve if you or if you never climbed a mountain, don’t just say, I want to find Everest one day that is not going to be achievable if you don’t have steps along the way.

Brandon:

So, to achieve the great big goal that I want you to achieve, set short term goals and long term goals and the short term goals you want to stair step along the way.

Brandon:

So that goal setting is the second point, think bigger, set goals, and the third one that will help you get there is to surround yourself with positive people because that support group, if they’re positive, will be the how you achieve each one of those small goals.

Brandon:

It will be a very rewarding life for you.

Brandon:

I think those are fantastic tips and advice for our listeners Patrick, How can someone listening who wants to get into business or maybe in business and wants to get into another business, Check out apricot Lane two become a franchise.

Brandon:

E So there’s two parts.

Brandon:

If you just want to get into business, I encourage you to look into franchises to start looking into that because those are the businesses that already exist that have a bottle that assures you more success than if you just get into business on your own and you’re trying to figure out how to be an expert and everything.

Brandon:

So franchises are really this proven business models.

Brandon:

All right, So look into it if you want to get into business is a smart thing.

Brandon:

If you want to get into the world of fashion and on your own boutique for thinking of someone that does, you can’t look into us.

Brandon:

You’ll find us just by looking into best women’s fashion franchise.

Brandon:

You’ll find us that way or you can go directly to our website and really start digging into the information we provide april Kotla franchise dot com fastest way to look into us, which I encourage everyone to do and if you want to call us, you will speak with me, our phone numbers on their email.

Brandon:

You’ll be able to get ahold, you can set up an appointment with us, make a meeting.

Brandon:

So there’s lots of good ways for you to take immediate action.

Brandon:

I know people like doing a lot of research and I encourage it, even if you speak with us will encourage you to do more research because it’s, it’s good to know and compare our business to everyone else.

Brandon:

We want you to know the differences and you know, if you aren’t in the world of fashion, you just want to get into franchises, do good research.

Brandon:

It’s the smart first steps along the way to your eventual goals.

Brandon:

So that’s what I recommend.

Patrick:

Perfect.

Patrick:

And I went onto your website to do a bunch of research and a lot of that information is lost a lot.

Patrick:

Almost all the information other than speaking some to someone that is on your website and it’s actually really affordable to do that.

Patrick:

So anybody listening check out apricot lane franchise dot com.

Patrick:

Just google apricot lane or number one women’s franchises.

Patrick:

Patrick, thank you so much and being generous with your time.

Patrick:

Take time out of your morning to be on the show.

Patrick:

It’s been awesome.

Patrick:

Thanks for having me.

Brandon:

I appreciate it.

Patrick:

Thanks for being generous with your time and joining us for this episode of the edge before you go a quick question, are you the type of person who wants to get 100% out of your time, talent and ideas.

Patrick:

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Patrick:

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Patrick:

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Patrick:

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Patrick:

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Patrick:

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Patrick:

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Patrick:

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Patrick:

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Patrick:

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Brandon:

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Brandon:

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Brandon:

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Brandon:

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Brandon:

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