Today’s our seventh birthday. Seven years ago today just after midnight a girl named Emma Lieb bought the first ever Normal Brand product, a hat. Seven years ago feels like one hundred years ago and a lot has changed. At the same time – a lot has stayed the same.
First – family. The company never would have started without the confidence given to us by our parents. As a very inexperienced parent now, it seems clear to me that the best gift I can give my children is the gift of confidence. Great parents believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself and having that sort of support gives you an advantage over most of the world. Today, running the business equally with my two brothers is a blessing unlike any other.
Second – problems. We have grown a lot in seven years and our problems are different, but always there. Today I’m coming home from a “spring” photoshoot where we rented an Airbnb, multiple hotel rooms, cars, and brought in models, photographers, and videographers from around the country, and it was a torrential downpour for three straight days. We’ve got containers of inventory stuck in LA. And I keep being told our raw materials prices are going up with no sign of slowing down. Sleep hasn’t been great lately. Luckily our dad taught us a very valuable lessons many years ago that things happen, problems happen, and it should be expected that to do cool things, you have to endure hard times. He taught us to take responsibility, adapt a “burn the boats mentality,” and never, ever quit. I’m acutely aware that there’s nothing worse than someone who gives advice that really doesn’t deserve to be giving it. Our grandpa deserved to be able to give advice without being asked to. Me? Absolutely not. So as a technicality I’m going to pass on the best advice we ever got from our dad which is: decide that you have no other options but to succeed and your problems won’t seem so daunting because you know that no matter what – you’re going to figure them out.
Third – hope. We are naturally optimistic people and waking up each morning excited for the possibilities to come is a great way to live. Every day getting to walk into our office and see our awesome team working on great new products or new stores (more to come on that) or new pieces of content makes each day really exciting. Even during times where the world seems like it’s going nuts, we have a sense of hope for the future that makes life beautiful.
Fourth – thanks. Being able to work for The Normal Brand is the second greatest blessing of my life (next to family), and we are eternally grateful for the people who have supported us through the years. Thank you for giving us a shot. Thank you for allowing us to outfit your every day. Thank you for forgiving us if we make a cheesy Instagram post (yep) or an ugly shirt. Thank you for spreading the Normal word for us. Thank you for seven incredible years and hopefully many more to come.
-Jimmy (brother) on behalf of Conrad (brother) and Lan (brother)