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Sophia Padua is an Artist, Entrepreneur and Owner of Moontown Paints in Half Moon Bay California | Ep. 46 - Special Edition Half Moon Bay Business Podcast

Sophia Padua is an Artist, Entrepreneur and Owner of Moontown Paints in Half Moon Bay California | Ep. 46 – Special Edition Half Moon Bay Business Podcast

Sophia Padua is an Artist, Entrepreneur and Owner of Moontown Paints in Half Moon Bay California | Ep. 46 – Special Edition Half Moon Bay Business Podcast

Sophia Padua is an Artist, Entrepreneur and Owner of Moontown Paints in Half Moon Bay California
Sophia Padua is an Artist, Entrepreneur and Owner of Moontown Paints in Half Moon Bay California

Summary

Learn how Sophia turned her artistic talent of turning secondhand clothing into fresh pieces of art and turned into a side hustle business by founding MoonTown Paints based in Half Moon Bay California. 

Sophia shares her entrepreneur journey, how she leverages Instagram and Facebook as her marketing channels and doesn’t spend a cent on paid ads, how demand for her product led her to starting her side hustle and how she’s used her business to give back to the local community. 

You’ll love her story and her clothing artwork ❤️


This is our fourth episode in our Half Moon Bay, CA local business series. 

Find Sophia’s Moontown Paints on Instagram and Facebook at:
@MoontownPaints

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Hello, 

Brandon: 

friends. Welcome to another episode of Build a business success Secrets. I am your host, Brandon. See, White. And today we have a cool creator, Sophia Patois from Moon Town Paints who has a really inspiring an incredible story where entrepreneurship found her and she recognized it, embraced it, and now has a backlog of customers that ultimately, I believe, just in the initial outpouring of support for her, she’s gonna have a really cool side hustle. 

Brandon: 

And this is a message for all young aspiring entrepreneurs out there because Sophia is actually a senior in college. 

Brandon: 

And we did this episode while she was in her apartment off campus up in Oregon when she took a break from exams to record our episode. 

Brandon: 

You’re gonna love this episode. 

Brandon: 

Let’s not waste another second and join Sofia with Moon Town paints here in our hometown of Half Moon Bay, Calif. 

Brandon: 

Well, hey, Sophia, Thanks for joining today. 

Brandon: 

You and I have been talking, and I probably should have been recording the whole thing because now some people have missed all this stuff. 

Brandon: 

But you are coming to us from Eugene, Oregon, today. 

Brandon: 

Yes. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to get to chat with you. 

Sophia: 

And we were just talking about Zoom University and how that’s going for you. How is Yes, Yeah, it’s going. 

Brandon: 

I’m a senior at the University of Oregon, and so it’s strange to wrap up my last year here, mostly on the computer, But I’m lucky enough. I live in an apartment with three roommates that are very close to me, and we usually just kinda sit around together, take our classes together on our computers. It’s definitely a weird transition. 

Sophia: 

So they doing this like normal college, where you have class from 9 to 10 30 that’s when it comes up on Zoom, Or is it more like a distance learning or how they doing it? 

Brandon: 

It really just depends on the course. 

Brandon: 

I have to synchronous classes and then to a synchronous classes, and it’s actually really nice because zoom fatigue is truly it’s a real thing. So being able to choose what I wanna watch my lectures is really helpful. But it is strange. I miss like I am a public relations major, and I’m used to having a lot of group projects and people to collaborate with, and it’s definitely strange having all of those interactions be over. Zoom now. 

Sophia: 

Yeah, it’s weird. I feel I’m out of college, as you might imagine, but yeah, it seems like everybody wants to have the zoom meetings like and I’m like we don’t need to Meetings were just sitting here where it’s not really like we didn’t do this before. We don’t have to do it, but I think people I do people Thio do think people are losing their minds from the lack of human interaction. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, I’m lucky tohave my roommates to quarantine with. 

Sophia: 

It’s nice to have people to go through this, go through this together with Well, let’s talk about I am everybody. 

Brandon: 

So you must be a very, very popular person here in Half Moon Bay because everybody said that I need to talk to Sophia from Moon Town. 

Sophia: 

Paints and I have been following you on instagram because once you start following one person, it sort of goes everywhere. And then I saw that you actually painted the horse which several times, which I want to hear about. But can you tell us how I know you have an interesting story? How how your company like came about? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, it really started out as a passion project in quarantine activity, right in the middle of quarantine in March. I have been painting just so much just to keep my sanity, and I got a little bit tired of painting on canvases, and I really like to paint for people that I love. So it started out just I started out painting like a couple of Jean jackets and copying old Matisse paintings and fun album covers and gifting it to a few of my friends for, like, birthday and Holiday Gift. And then I soon decided to make an instagram for it because I felt bad for bombarding my normal followers with all of my art photos. And I just really wanted to have an art instagram where I could put all my artwork and be able to look back years from now and see like a vast portfolio, whatever I was working on at the time. 

Sophia: 

And then I started getting direct messages about if I could paint for people, which was not the intention at all, but it turned into this like, really, really lovely, lovely little business, and it actually worked out perfectly because I normally volunteer wherever I live. 

Brandon: 

It’s just something that I like to dio. I try to do it once or twice a week. But in March, at the height of co vid, um, it was really, really difficult to get to do that in person. So instead of volunteering my time, I started taking 15% of my commissions from whatever art piece I was doing for someone and working with them to decide where we wanted to donate it to. And that was really it just felt really good because I felt like I was able to give back to my community in a way without putting other people at risk or my celibate risk. 

Sophia: 

So So the business really found you. 

Brandon: 

The business really found me. 

Brandon: 

And I’m so happy that it did, because I really can’t imagine my life without it right now. 

Sophia: 

So tell me, you, you you must have painted before you went to college or you’ve always been painting and I there’s this. Can you tell the story for listeners and anybody’s listening from Half Moon Bay? They will know the horse right from Laem knows farms, but but for people who aren’t. Can you explain this this phenomenon horse that changes it close regularly? 

Brandon: 

So the Lima’s farm horse is this massive statue of a horse like picture, like a little horse figurine and then blow it up to be I don’t even know how tall it is. I don’t want to just like ballpark in number, but I’m 52 and it’s like twice the size of me. So just for just a picture, But it z big and it’s located right on the side of highway 92 right outside the limos farm. And I grew up in Half Moon Bay, and my whole life, I’ve we’ve driven by that horse, and every month or so, the horses painted with a different design on it growing up in Half Moon Bay. 

Sophia: 

That was just this crazy phenomenon. We’d be driving over the hill away from town and you’d see the new design and you’d wonder, like, did little elves come painted in the middle of the night like we never see anyone painting it. How did it get here? And yeah, I had been chatting a little bit with the limos family and they needed a new horse painter. I believe they’re old horse. Paynter retired after like 7, 18 years or so of painting the horse pretty crazy. 

Sophia: 

I had really big, really big shoes to fill, but I have painted it three or four times now, and it’s been really fun and kind of like a childhood dream of mine as well. Just to paint that horse that I had grown up driving by for so long, so do they have. 

Sophia: 

Ah, it’s sort of when you live here, it’s sort of you feel like it’s random, but I’m sure there’s a pattern. 

Brandon: 

Is it every month? Do they have? Ah, is it a program that they’ve decided toe have, or how does that work? 

Brandon: 

So it’s every month or so, you’ll notice a trend of the holiday like a major holidays coming up or something exciting for happened. They folk, you know, pumpkin pressed is very important, so every every fall there’s always a really, really fun Paul Pumpkin kind of theme design going on, and I know that they’ve had other other programs in the past of how to decide on the design. 

Sophia: 

My personal favorite. I haven’t gotten to do this yet, but I know that limos Farm has worked with, like, local schoolchildren, and they do little contests about who can design. Ah, fun design for the horse, and then they’ll choose will choose like a kid’s design, which I think is awesome. And it’s a beautiful way to engage the community as well. 

Sophia: 

Yeah, that’s super cool. How long it take you to paint that? 

Brandon: 

Uh, that’s a good question. Uh, part of it takes it takes a while because there’s so much space on the horse and you have to wait for the paint to dry, which plays into how long it takes, but usually anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, and I’ll usually split it between two days. So if you’re driving by and you see just like white primer on the horse, you know something fun is going to be there the next day. 

Sophia: 

Yeah, that’s really cool. And before that, I think I saw some pictures on your instagram that you did mural painting beforehand. 

Brandon: 

Or did you do commission pieces for people in their home or volunteer I’ve done. 

Brandon: 

I’ve done a couple small murals, but my favorite one that I have had the opportunity to do was at the Raul Castillo. 

Brandon: 

I’m, um, aging in in town. 

Brandon: 

They were just looking for somebody to fill the wall with something that reminds them of Half Moon Bay. And it was a really, really fun project. I actually recruited one of my really close friends to help me out, and we did an entire 100 square foot mural in a day. Um, it was a marathon. It was a true art marathon. And then we actually got toe donate all yeah, all of the proceeds to different nonprofits. And so we got to donate half of that to see Hunger, which is another local local nonprofit. So it’s fun. It turns into a community effort. There’s always so many people involved. It’s awesome. 

Sophia: 

Yeah, it’s really cool. So let’s talk about your business, the business. You effectively obviously been painting that we’ve been talking about. And then you get tired of painting on canvas during Cove, it you decide you’re gonna paint on clothes and you give them away. 

Brandon: 

People start seeing them. You decide. Thio simply stand up an instagram page, which, ironically, is really how instagram got started with artists in many ways, right and Then people start direct messaging you and saying, Can you paint X on my clothes? And how did you figure out how toe charge them? Because you seem like a really lovely person who would do probably anything for free. But eventually you you got to pay for your car and your mortgage and things like that. So how did you How did you decide to charge? Like, is it? I see you do jackets. I see you do pants. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, that’s actually got an ongoing just process for me of It’s been really the business has been awesome for many reasons, but something that I’m really thankful for is it really made me think about. Okay, What is my worth like? How do I value myself and how much is my time worth? And I definitely started out charging way cheaper than I do now. And I was losing money because art materials are very expensive. 

Sophia: 

So now I feel more comfortable about how much I feel like my time is worth, how much the materials are worth. How much do we want to end up donating to whatever nonprofit my customer wants? 

Sophia: 

So usually what happens is I’ll give just kind of an estimate to somebody about how much it will be. 

Sophia: 

But it’s how. 

Sophia: 

How many hours do I think I’ll be painting for? Because I think a lot of people think that aren’t just kind of happens. It will pop up, and what they don’t see is you laying on the floor a two in the morning painting for four more hours just to get the amount of layers and details them that you want. 

Sophia: 

So I charged by our and then also I take into account of how much I’ll be spending on materials. 

Sophia: 

I think that’s a great way to approach it. I think it’s a good lesson for ah, lot of people, which is when you love what you do. 

Brandon: 

You feel like you should give it away for free, because it’s really not working. 

Brandon: 

But you can’t give all your time away for free. So did you, like, write this down on your pad? 

Brandon: 

Do you have an Excel spreadsheet? Like how do you How do you come up with this idea for how you charge for it? 

Brandon: 

At first, I just really didn’t know what I was doing to be completely honest. So I was kind of just playing around with it and seeing what was working and what wasn’t. And then after a few weeks of that, I created an Excel spreadsheet. I’m a very visual person, and I highly recommend it to anybody that is trying to keep track of different numbers like that. So I keep everything on a spreadsheet. Yeah, my client. What they want, Like how much I think, how maney materials I think I’m going to use, like, how many colors? That’s a big thing. And then, like the price of the jacket, like the cost estimate and then how much will be donating to the nonprofit that they choose? 

Sophia: 

And how much control do you give the customer? 

Brandon: 

Do I say, Hey, Sophia, I’d really love one of your pieces. 

Brandon: 

Here’s what I want you to model. 

Brandon: 

Or do I say, Hey, just come up with something cool with flowers So that’s a really fun part for me is because every every client is different. 

Brandon: 

Some people come to me knowing that they want just something cool on their jacket or a fun painted water bottle, but they don’t know exactly what so I try to make it as customized as possible. 

Brandon: 

So I’ll ask them just a little bit about themselves and what colors they like, what kind of style they have and then all mock up a few sketches for them to choose from, and we kind of work together from there, or people can come to me with an exact design that they want. It’s been fun painting a bunch of old classic pieces of art. For example, I just treated myself to my own art for Halloween. I painted the scream on the back of one of my jackets and yeah, it’s a nice It’s a nice balance being able to have my own original artwork and then kind of get Thio, get to do with other people like a swell Well, that’s cool. 

Sophia: 

Now do you charge for the sketches? 

Brandon: 

A swell, I hope. 

Brandon: 

I kind of Yeah, I just I add that into the amount of time that I take. 

Brandon: 

So do you give them a quote and say, and then you stay to that? 

Sophia: 

Or do you say I think it’s gonna be what is the average price of a piece that you do now for the back. 

Brandon: 

So you have a Jean jacket, those air very popular for the back of a jean jacket. It’ll range between 80 and $120 and you give the estimate and then stick to that or you like, Hey, I told you was $100. 

Sophia: 

But you made because you and I both know I think that people will be like, Oh, well, could you do this? Could you do this and you get scope creep right? And now, before you know it, you’ve had an extra four hours. 

Brandon: 

If they if they ask for something completely crazy that I know will take just a lot of my time, then I will charge a little bit more and people are super understanding about that. I think that it’s nice, son, starting this business within a really supportive, amazing, like small community, like people know me and they know they already know how much like I’m worth to them, which I feel very thankful for. 

Sophia: 

So that’s that’s normally how it goes. But yeah, I I usually stick thio to the estimate that I give at the beginning and are most of your I mean instagrams worldwide. 

Sophia: 

But are most of your customers right now from Half Moon Bay. 

Brandon: 

For the most part, I’d say Bay Area rather, instead of helping by just Bay area in general. And then I’ve got a pretty large portion of customers here in Eugene College students and then just a few other people that I’ve met along the way. 

Sophia: 

Well, that’s cool. One of the things I think that I find, I guess really interesting is how businesses in happening they successfully use instagram and how many students that I teach come to me from all over the place and are challenged by the fact that they’re not sure how to sell sell online. 

Brandon: 

I’m laughing because it seems like this community here in Half Moon Bay has really done has some magic in the sense that everybody supports one another, which means that all the stories or all the posts get put at the top of people’s feeds, and then you actually use the tool to post work. 

Brandon: 

And I saw your screen thing. 

Brandon: 

You I think you modeled it yourself and actually sell that way. 

Brandon: 

I mean, this is really besides where the mouth, which comes from that and maybe outside of that. 

Brandon: 

Is that really your main channel? 

Brandon: 

That all of this is coming through? 

Brandon: 

Yes. So Instagram is big for me. I have not created any other social media for it for my business yet, but I am working on a website right now. It’s a fun little side project. You can find it at Moon Town paints calm. And that’s been really fun for me because I am trying to learn more about s CEO and coding and just learn how to do it for myself. 

Sophia: 

So I have a better understanding. But back Thio Social Media I think one thing that makes happen bay so amazing in supportive is that during normal times you run into people a little more frequently. You know, when there’s no pandemic going on your ableto hug people at the grocery store and catch up for a little while longer than you would right now. And I think that it really translated over toe online like people still want to know what their community is up to, and they still want to feel like they’re a part of it. And that’s been really, really helpful on Instagram, at least for me. but it’s mostly just fun in the way where I get thio share with my community. What I’m up thio and just have that conversation with different community members that I might not see when I’m quarantined at my house that I think that’s really true. 

Sophia: 

Do you have a schedule? 

Brandon: 

Because I feel like you’re always at the top of my stories, you and a bunch of other people. 

Brandon: 

But when you when you really keep that rhythm right for anybody listening, your story stays up there for 24 hours and then expires. But if you keep this running story, so to speak, so it overlaps, then you are always in that conversation with people. 

Brandon: 

I actually do not have a schedule, which is something that I feel a little bit embarrassed about because I’ve been. 

Sophia: 

I spent the summer working on Occam’s team for a tech company in San Francisco in one of my main jobs was helping out with the social media schedule for that company. 

Sophia: 

I post when I get Thio, have the time to paint. Right now I’m juggling painting with my school schedule, but I’ll think about it like once every couple of days like Oh, yes, Like I’ve been painting, I should update update people with what I’ve been up to. So that’s kind of my schedule right now is, um, Post what I can and just be thankful people are still seeing it. But it’s definitely something that I want to work on in the upcoming months. 

Sophia: 

Well, it sounds like you also have some professional expertise in this. So for those listening out there that might want some tips around Instagram, are you finding that it’s more important to to update and keep the stories active and not worry as much about the posts? 

Brandon: 

Or what’s your What’s your feeling about how the the whole instagram platform is evolving and making sure people engaged with you? 

Brandon: 

So instagram is a tricky one because the algorithm changes quite often and it kind of it works against. 

Sophia: 

I think that it works against just the typical average instagram user. I think that it’s a lot more corporate focused right now, and I think that one thing that helps people stay a relevant and in the algorithm the way they want to be is a consistent schedule which I’m totally talking against myself as I said that I haven’t been doing very much, but keeping a consistent schedule. And so if you’re someone that post a lot of stories, then keep consistent with that. If you normally update your followers twice a week on your regular feed, then keep doing that and also just building engagement, like respond to the people that comments on your photos. Make sure that they know that their time is appreciated on your part and respond to people’s stories. And, yeah, it kind of it goes both ways. You can’t just post post post and expect anything in return if you’re not showing Lovas well. 

Sophia: 

And what do you think about Hashtags in stories and in the post? I don’t I don’t remember. Is that something you do and believe is helpful to get people outside your network? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, totally. 

Brandon: 

Hashtags on a public account are really fun. I’m I’ve actually. That’s the way that I’ve got Thio be exposed to a lot of other art accounts that I wouldn’t have found. Formally, I’ve been gathering a fun little community of followers and inspiration and people to follow just from the hashtag that I’ve been using for my posts, and I think Hashtags are hashtags or finicky, like it’s really easy toe. Wanna hashtag something on your photo that has nothing to do with you, but you just see that there’s a lot of engagement on it. I’d say Stay away from that and use hashtags that are relevant toe whatever you’re posting. 

Sophia: 

I think that’s good advice. I’m actually looking up your instagram right now to see because e limit my own time. I think there’s some advice. I think your advice is really good. 

Brandon: 

Thank you. 

Sophia: 

You’ve got toe, you’ve gotto, if you don’t give back and you don’t like other people or you don’t it just it’s not Build it and they will come right is this is not gonna happen like you didn’t put up Moon Town paint chair and everybody just came. 

Brandon: 

No, no, it’s a place. 

Brandon: 

It’s a place where people get thio, enjoy art together. It’s a total community thing, and I think that’s just a It’s a nice way to keep things a little more personal is well. 

Sophia: 

I think that the Internet can be kind of impersonal sometimes, so just showing that there’s an actual human behind an account rather than like an automated thought. 

Sophia: 

Just posting posting posting is really important. 

Sophia: 

Yeah, I can’t agree with you more I get I don’t know about you on instagram, but I get contacted by, like, 1000 friends that I didn’t know I had, which I’m really grateful that they want to reach out for me. 

Sophia: 

But I just feel like they’re bought is searching my keywords. And every time I respond, I basically I do respond to him on purpose. 

Brandon: 

I’m like, Hey, you’re if you had actually read my thing, you’re bought. Didn’t read my thing. You’re about just picking out there like I’m not a body. I’m like, you know, you’re a baht. I just It’s the Internet has gotten so automated that it is in personal. Now I’m I’m checking out your instagram at Moon Town paints which anybody can jump on here and follow. And I remember you the jackets. I forgot that you actually do shoes like vans, right? 

Brandon: 

Yeah. So these are just things that are, you know, I’ve been taking orders as they come. I started with jackets because it was something that I found interesting and my friends and family found interested, but I really haven’t said no Teoh a custom order yet. Like, for example, the shoes or I just started doing hydro flasks or my personal favorite is when someone comes to me with a surfboard that they won’t painted surfboard like one that they actually use. 

Sophia: 

Yeah, e think I’ve got a couple photos on the account, but that’s something If anybody listening wants a surfboard painted, I don’t get to do them often, but when I do and always so happy, this is, um, these shoes are really incredible. 

Brandon: 

I think that’s a picture of the back side of Pillar Point looks like to me, but maybe it’s not there. 

Brandon: 

It’s the backside of on Terror Act. 

Sophia: 

Yeah, right idea. 

Brandon: 

That’s what happens when you live on this thing this end of Half Moon Bay. 

Brandon: 

It’s actually amazing to me. 

Brandon: 

It’s actually amazing. 

Sophia: 

We were just talking right where I said. I said, We’re talking about breakwater, barbecue and nano barbecue and up here on quote unquote this side of town. We have this sort of barbecue and then on the on this north side, and it’s like we don’t we don’t even live that. It’s like four miles. It’s not even that far, but it’s so it’s so localized in that way, it’s pretty incredible. 

Brandon: 

But yeah, you’ve done the flasks and you’ve done jackets and I see a big sign. I think the jackets are super cool. Can you? Wow. Here is a surfboard that’s actually super cool, thank you. 

Brandon: 

And you donated 15% to the ocean cleanup. 

Sophia: 

Now, can people wash this? 

Brandon: 

Yes. 

Brandon: 

So, in fact, you can. I have some information posted on my INSTAGRAM account, and then I also have an entire section on my website that you’re able to refer Thio. It’s totally machine hand washable. You could do hand wash you canoe machine wash that’s good in the dryer. 

Sophia: 

I think one thing that helps preserve the life of the jackets is the fact that it’s a jean jacket. Not sure if you’ve ever owned a jean jacket, but you don’t have to wash them as often as other articles of clothing. And it really helps the paint say, But I actually use a solution that I mix in with my paints, but that becomes it helps it become just a little more flexible. It turns it into a bit more like fabric paint, and then the process is actually not over. When I’m done painting, I end up heat setting it with an iron. And then I will also toss it in a dryer if needed. And the heat really seals it onto the jacket or any other piece of clothing that I then I Pete. And it helps them just be super durable. I’ve got a pair of shorts, but I wear to the beach all the time. They’ve been through the wash like 10 times now, and they have still completely the same way that they started so well, that’s super cool. 

Sophia: 

And you’re not going to believe this. 

Brandon: 

I can’t figure out if you asking me if I actually had a Jean jacket was good. 

Brandon: 

Bad makes me old, young or whatever it makes. But you’re not gonna be like 20 years ago we did have Jean jackets and they do last. They’re super cool. Your Jean jackets are like make jean jackets really cool, and the fact that it lasts is even better. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, I think it’s nice I one of the things like how you said 20 years ago you had a Jean jacket. Something that has been nice during quarantine. Time has been people have been cleaning out their closets and finding articles of clothing that they’d either toss out or give away. Or just let’s sit in their closet for longer. And I kind of help the up, cycle them and give them a whole new life. 

Sophia: 

Yeah, I think that’s awesome. I mean, in fact, you probably get a whole business bind stuff at the thrift store, painting it and charging six times what it waas, right? 

Brandon: 

People do do that. I thought about it, but at the moment, this is still a project that I hold dear to my heart. And I think it’s really fun. Just toe get orders as they come. But I have thought about incorporating my own little 15 and painting hall in the future. 

Sophia: 

Yeah. So what is your weightless look like? Like, do you have a wait list right now? 

Brandon: 

Um, everything e have a whole section that is You’re weightless. 

Sophia: 

Behind you. 

Brandon: 

Yes, that’s a very I mean, there’s, like, 123 I mean, there’s, like, 12 or 15 pieces there. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, something along those lines. Yeah, I have a whole section in my in my room, dedicated to all of my art supplies and materials. Um, I like having all the jackets in one place, and I there’s other yeah, jackets and pants, and I’ve got a hat that wants to be painted, So I like having them all in one place and I get to work on. I’ll usually kind of rotate, So I have, like, three or four of them that I’m working on currently right now. 

Sophia: 

So just for anybody who’s not watching this on YouTube and is listening on the podcast, I am looking over Sofia shoulder in her room at this rack, and I highly recommend that if you want one of these pieces that you get on her waiting list because it appears to be getting very, very long e think I think what you could do is raise prices as you’re waiting list, gets longer and then make a limited edition pieces and charge a lot of money for him. 

Brandon: 

But it that’s super cool. 

Brandon: 

Now, talking about Half Moon Bay, I’d like to ask everybody this. 

Brandon: 

Can you Can you ever imagine living anywhere? 

Brandon: 

I know that Eugene is ah, pretty beautiful place, and it’s pretty cool. 

Brandon: 

But is there really a better place on Earth, Toe Live and Half Moon Bay? 

Brandon: 

No, it’s truly an amazing place. 

Brandon: 

It’s just it’s I hold it very dear to my heart. 

Brandon: 

It’s crazy. Um, I before the pandemic was quite a big traveler. I’d like to be in many different places. I love toe soak in new cultures. I think it’s amazing way toe. Just learn about yourself in the world. And everywhere I go, I’m always stunned by the beauty of where I am. 

Sophia: 

But I always think about wow, like homeless, so beautiful. So no, I I like living in new places. 

Sophia: 

I think it’s fun, but I’ll always hold happened. They very dear to my heart. 

Sophia: 

Now what other hobbies do you have? Besides painting, which is now a business painting, that sound business I normally really love the volunteer. 

Brandon: 

I try to volunteer once a week wherever I live, So when I’m in Eugene, that’s normally like the student food pantry or other places. But that was that was before coded. Now I’m just donating from my jackets, but yeah, loves a volunteer. Live music is very special to me. I grew up in a very musical household. My dad used to play music with a few other local guys from Half Moon Bay, and I think it’s really special reading. 

Sophia: 

I love hiking with my friends, like Oregon and California are both really beautiful places to explore. So all of my friends and I like to be outdoors. So what do you what hobbies? 

Sophia: 

It sounds like it. 

Brandon: 

Where do you think the desire to volunteer comes from? 

Sophia: 

Because I think that’s really interesting attributes that not all younger people have and and you seem to have a real passion for Where do you think that comes from? 

Brandon: 

Thank you, You know, like looking off into the distance trying to think of it. 

Brandon: 

But I really think that it has to do with my family. 

Brandon: 

Like my my parents always just especially my mom, really just pushed, like giving back to people and like giving making sure other people’s days are Justus good or better than yours was really important, and I think it’s just like turned into something that I can’t live without. 

Sophia: 

Like I feel strange and guilty if I’m not giving back to whatever community I’m living in. 

Sophia: 

So I think, yeah, just just my parents and my family and definitely growing up in Half Moon Bay, like growing up in a small town where you everything, everything relates to something else, like it’s a total symbiotic relationship. 

Sophia: 

So you understand that giving back makes the whole community greater and as a whole. 

Sophia: 

I think that’s cool. 

Sophia: 

I also think you learn a lot. 

Sophia: 

Don’t you get to meet a lot of people? I find it incredible. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, that’s definitely one of the other pluses. I’ve had so many interesting conversations with strangers that have turned into friends or just other community members. I think that’s one reason I loved to volunteer wherever I live, because I’ve lived in a few different places now, and it’s a really good way to get in touch with the community and understand community members that you might not get to meet Justin. You’re like kind of average day to day routine. 

Sophia: 

Well, here’s another question that I have to ask him for listeners out there who may not realize Sophia has some brothers who are big into surfing, and you didn’t even mention surfing as a hobby and half of the bay and when we were talking about that. 

Sophia: 

But what? 

Brandon: 

What do you think? 

Brandon: 

Well, I grew up in happening baby group with brothers that absolutely loved the ocean and love to serve. 

Brandon: 

I personally love the ocean so much. 

Sophia: 

I am such a kook. When it comes to surfing, I want to get better. That’s one of my winter winter break goals, because I’ll be returning home for a few weeks. So that’s kind of all my on my list. I have a wetsuit. I’ve been going out whenever I’m home once or twice, but definitely definitely getting more into it as I get older. 

Sophia: 

So you just started surfing? 

Brandon: 

Yeah. Tommy, Tommy, Tsunami surf school actually lent me. Let me a wave storm. So, getting out there at the jetty? 

Sophia: 

Yeah, well, that’s cool. I told Yeah, Tommy, the We just we were talking about. We just interviewed him. And, like I said it, I mean, just doing this local addition. 

Brandon: 

Not only am I meeting people I’ve seen right I see around town, but actually getting to know him and then finding out the crazy part is I don’t know if this makes me a hermit. 

Brandon: 

Or maybe I’m just a tech nerd who works on the computer all the time. All right, My bike. But Tommy is a freaking neighbor, like, three blocks away. He’s like, I live right on the corner, and then you tell me that he’s got you. 

Brandon: 

Tell me he’s got a sauna and an ice bath. 

Sophia: 

And now, Now I’m thinking that that if he’s listening to this, which I’m sure he is when he gets back from some surfing adventure that, uh, he should invite his neighbors over so that those of us who might be a slight bit older can recover faster from getting beat up in these cold water that day. 

Brandon: 

Seriously? Yeah. Oh, my gosh, it’s good fun. Well, it sounds like I might be seeing you in the lineup. We might be. We might be more on the same surf level than then told me and my brothers. 

Sophia: 

Yeah, well, I told Tommy yesterday, I said, My I am a fiercely competitive person. 

Brandon: 

I’m not that old, But when you get into your forties, you you start to understand that, you know, like you need an extra 30 minutes sleep from that long ride or going surfing and getting beat up, and I think I don’t notice to be. 

Brandon: 

I think I have decided I don’t don’t know that this will stick, but I think I’ve decided that I’m just going to be a long border. 

Brandon: 

I’m going to go for easy waves, and I’m going to accept that as as fun. 

Brandon: 

You know, I think we are on the same page, and it’s something that it’s it’s I’m totally fine with. 

Brandon: 

I I still love the ocean. 

Brandon: 

I think that it’s like, just special. 

Brandon: 

Even if you’re out there standing there for a few minutes every day, it’s just very healing place to be. 

Sophia: 

So you don’t need to be getting barreled every single data. Enjoy the well. 

Sophia: 

I’m gonna just throw in the caveat that I was watching your other brothers videos last night again and watching Tommy and, uh, your brother Luca get barrelled at Mavericks and I was like, That’s like that’s, like, the coolest thing ever, right? 

Brandon: 

I mean, who gets barreled at Mavericks? 

Brandon: 

They definitely yeah, they love it out there. 

Brandon: 

They’ve got a really good crew, and I’m super proud of them. They train very hard for what they dio. 

Sophia: 

Oh, I can’t e think, though I’m I’m thinking you and I will hang out at the at the jetty and maybe Pacifica, maybe Santa Cruz. 

Brandon: 

I think Cows and Jackson these places, they just seemed like a really mellow, cool wave deserve. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, it’s crazy out there. Like, I think a lot of people just watch the surfers out it Mavericks and think about how crazy it is. But to me, it’s, um, watching my other brother Dominic, like, on the jet ski with this camera and a stabilizer. Or like the guys doing rescue crew like there’s so many other people out there doing Justus amazing and dangerous activities just to make sure everything goes smoothly. 

Sophia: 

I think, Yeah, the thing I was actually that you mentioned that is watching that video. And I was thinking like the jet skiers and the people who do that are absolutely incredible and putting themselves in Justus Harm’s way in many cases, basically to get to get clobbered. 

Brandon: 

But I was thinking Sophia, all those people, not only here at Mavericks but at all the big waves in the world that kept these big waves secret for so long. 

Brandon: 

They were out there by themselves with no jet ski. People like, Yeah, isn’t that scary to me? 

Brandon: 

Yes, it’s insane. 

Sophia: 

Yeah, And then the, you know, just everything. 

Sophia: 

But I think you know the ocean for me much like it sounds like you. I think it’s a healing place because it keeps you humble, you know? You know, you look out under this ocean and you’re like, Wow, we really are small And the the I said. So I was actually talking to a friend today who is a Navy seal, and he I said, Well, and he lived here in Northern California when he went to Stanford and we were just catching up and I said, You know, I started surfing and he was surfing from San Diego in a station down there. I said, Did you serve up here? He’s like, No way, man. I was like, What are you talking about? 

Brandon: 

He’s like, It’s rough, it’s big. 

Sophia: 

You have animals that swim in there and it’s cold. And I was like, Wow! Even though I’m surfing, these wimpy waves at least were considered tough because surfing out Northern California is not for the faint of heart, right? 

Brandon: 

No, it is not. 

Sophia: 

And bring it back to Moon Town paints. If you are hearing this and you are surfer, Sophia can paint your surfboard and it will stick right. You can wax right on top of it. 

Brandon: 

Yeah. Yeah, we put a finish right over it, and it’s totally safe. 

Sophia: 

So what do you think is next? Do you think that your marketing major is that right? 

Brandon: 

Public relations, public relations? 

Sophia: 

Do you Do you think that you’ll decide that this business that found you is something that you want to do for yourself and and turn it into a full time job after college? 

Sophia: 

Or do you see yourself going toe work somewhere else? What do you think? 

Brandon: 

I see myself going to work somewhere else for a while. I really, really loved this. Like I love Motown pains. But it did start out as a passion project. And art is in my life because I love it. And right now it’s It’s serving like a very great purpose in that way. I really enjoy my major and I love working with people. And I like the challenge that public relations brings. So I think my goal. Well, no, I don’t think I know My goal after college is to work for Com’s team or PR firm somewhere. Maybe the Bay Area we’ll see. But have that and then also balanced in town paints on the side because it’s just yeah, two things that I love very much very different from each other. But I can’t really see my life without either of them. 

Sophia: 

I think it’s a good path and having ah, side hustle that throws off some extra cash for you that you like is a really cool thing that a lot of people doesn’t hurt. 

Brandon: 

It doesn’t hurt. It’s been nights I have already tackled, getting both my brothers some holiday gifts and the rest of my family. So it’s definitely something like college Student doesn’t usually get toe have unless they’re working a different kind of job. So this is nice. 

Sophia: 

So I’m interested in getting in three h P. T s three high percentage tips for fellow entrepreneurs, and I think they’ll be unique from your perspective, mainly because the business found you, which is really lucky. Like when when that happens, what would be your three tips for someone who is just starting out who is a creator and wants to start a business either as a side hustle or, ah, full time job. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, the first thing that I that I really, really stand by and it has to do with just your life in general. 

Brandon: 

It has really, really helped me with. My business has been, like, right down, like establish your goals and values that you have for yourself and for your business and make sure they align with how you truly feel. 

Sophia: 

I think knowing your values and understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing is really, really important, because sometimes it’s easy to get swept up in the craziness of things. So that would be my first thing. Create an action plan for yourself and set goals again. Set your goals. Create an action plan for me personally. Yeah, like I have the Excel sheet that keeps track of all my orders. But I also have another Excel sheet that just keeps track of, like, what do I actually want to do with my business? How often do I want to be updating and working on my new website? Those kinds of things and I know for me like I’m a very visual learner. So having all of that just laid out in front of me is super helpful. And I know other people benefit from it as well. 

Sophia: 

And then the last thing is, be flexible. Be willing. Thio. Unlearn what you know. Be willing to listen to other people when they have advice for you. Some of honestly, I would not be where I am today without such a great support system. 

Sophia: 

But I’ve had so many other local toe, Half Moon Bay and like small businesses and just other people just give me such amazing advice that I would never have thought of of my own. And it’s helped me grow as a person and grow my business. So, Jack, just be willing to adopt with the times and listen to other people’s advice. 

Sophia: 

Well, those were great, really great advice for people looking to start aside, household or start a business. 

Brandon: 

And hey, congratulations on your success so far. 

Brandon: 

If anybody wants to find Sophia, they confined her at Moon Town paints dot com and the same on Instagram. 

Brandon: 

It’s just at Moon Town paints. 

Sophia: 

All right, well, we’re gonna get you back on here in a year or eight months and see where you have landed and how much success Moon Town paints has achieved in that time. 

Brandon: 

So best of luck and congratulations again. Thanks for coming on and taking time in between your midterms. 

Brandon: 

Thank you. 

Brandon: 

Thanks for having me. I really enjoyed our chat. 

Sophia: 

Does Sophia just have the kind? Just heart. Can you just tell that coming through? Wow, What a great story, Friends. 

Brandon: 

Thanks for joining the show today. 

Brandon: 

If you enjoyed this episode, please rate review. We want to hear from you and subscribe. 

Brandon: 

So you don’t miss another episode on We have some corn still coming up in our local Siri’s here of businesses in Half Moon Bay, California, where I am taking my own advice and working in my local market before we try to go worldwide with our ability. Success, secrets, podcast. Hey, until the next episode, remember, you are just one business playing away. I’m rooting for your success. We’ll see you soon

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