I am the founder of The Normal Brand, a lifestyle apparel company inspired by life in the Midwest. The company started in my parents’ basement with five hats in March of 2015 and has expanded to 360 products in 12 months. In their first year, we had $500,000 in sales and project a $2 million total in year two. As the oldest of 10 kids, my siblings and I were encouraged by our parents to think outside of the box, work hard and start businesses. Working with my brother, Lan, my biggest accomplishment has been being able to see an idea become reality.
Washington University, B.S. in finance and member of the football team.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I hope to be running one of the biggest brands in the world.
How have you grown personally in your current position?
My businesses growing up were simpler. We ran summer camps, sealed driveways and sold poinsettias during Christmas season. There are many similarities — we work hard, set goals and try to accomplish them. However, managing a team has been more challenging, but also more rewarding. It feels like I am playing a sport again.
What is the one thing you hope to accomplish in your career?
I have seen the power of clothes. They can make people feel good and give a sense of pride. I hope to make products that make a lot of people feel proud.
What is your most rewarding volunteer experience?
We are lucky to have so many worthy charities in St. Louis. It has been particularly rewarding to be a part of the Ronald McDonald House and see first-hand how their leadership works to help so many people.
What is one thing your coworkers may not know about you?
I can play one song on the piano — “Lean on Me.” If I could play more, I would be really annoying.