Swapping Skateboards and Spreadsheets for Sewing Machines
How many finance grads do you know with a sewing machine? Well, now you know at least one.
Inspired by my grandfather’s textile business and my own love of skateboarding, I became a one-man loom in college, crafting five-panel hats and pocket tees for my friends.
I loved this creative outlet, often turning down Friday night parties to keep up with Monday morning shipping deadlines. But the voice of reason coaxed me down the straight and narrow – get the degree, nail the internship, and land the Wall Street gig.
I got the internship but never pursued a full-time finance job, opting to sleep on my sister’s couch while starting my own clothing line,Fortune New York. Soon, my sewing machine and I moved to a walk-up in Chinatown with seven strangers, surviving on dollar pizza, local dumplings, and a whole lot of hustle to pay the rent. It was sweat equity at its finest. I spent every New York minute designing, sewing, and shipping.
To get the word out about my new designs, I started a YouTube channel – it culminated as a mix of my business acumen and a visual document of my travel adventures in New York and abroad. It grew exponentially in the next few years and today, I’m lucky enough to travel for months at a time, shooting video content and leading Fortune New York.
It still feels like I’m just getting started, but I know I’ve come a long way from dorm room beanies and dollar dumplings. I realized it when I posted about a shoot I was doing and 150 people showed up – 150! It blew my mind. The excitement to share in the creative process is palpable and I can’t wait to continue to channel this energy and spirit.