All posts tagged: entrepreneur

Love a Good Cross-Post

I was flattered to be posted by my surrogacy agency, Growing Generations, with this missive about maintaining my expectations as a new dad. Growing Generations was one of the first agencies to help shepherd the parenting process in the surrogate realm. We were so lucky to find them and I’m honored to be featured on their blog. Check it! https://www.growinggenerations.com/news/parenting-dont-bother-preparing/

Chapter 5: You Only Get One Chance to Do This Right…Don’t F it Up.

Another poignant moment came thanks to an acupuncturist. I was in a session for a leg injury and I told him the story of my bag. He said, “I have another patient I should put you in touch with. She’s a gem and she’s high-up in fashion design. Let me call her for you.” He did. And he put me in touch with her. This sent-from-the-fashion gods woman offered to meet me for coffee on a beautiful summer morning. I thought I’d need to impress her because she was a high-power consultant at Saks Fifth Avenue. I met her on a street corner. I walked with her to an uber-crowded Starbucks and she said, “I hate waiting in line for corporate coffee. You wanna just hit the coffee truck?” Again: the kind of grounded attitude I never expected in the fashion world. We walked out, I splurged with $2.50 for two light-n-sweets from a coffee cart and we sat on a bench. I told her my concept and showed her sketches and even brought swatches …

Chapter 4: Who’s Carolina Herrera?

So I called Ben Liberty. A brief phone conversation revealed a super friendly man who seemed far-from-pretentious when he listed the companies for whom he creates samples: Gucci, Coach, J.Crew. Once again, I was talking to a behind-the-scenes fashion mover-and-shaker who voiced full enthusiasm for my project. Spoiler alert: throughout the entirety of my research and building this company, everyone everyone EVERYONE has been nothing but helpful and enthusiastic. I expected Project Runway attitude and fashion snobbery. Nothing could be further from the truth. (Well, actually, Howard with the Italian fabrics was condescending and unimpressed, but then again, I didn’t actually tell him what I was making.) So, in person, Ben ended up being a blue-collar Bostonian with a fantastic small factory on the far Lower East Side of Manhattan. “I used to be one of hundreds. But 9/11 destroyed our business. No one could get to us. Everything south of Chambers was closed off for months. We couldn’t do business. That’s why I’m the only one left.” His factory was about 1,000 square feet …

Chapter 2 – Starting the Path

So I called a good friend, (also an actor), who had some experience in design, James Brown. I asked him, “I have a random idea for a design I’d like to ask you about. Can you meet me at the playground where I bring my kids?” A few days later we met at a playground, aka my office. “What do you think of making a stylish diaper bag for dads?” He didn’t guffaw in my face. Phew. First step down. Right away, James put together some inspiring ideas and notions of other bags. A week later, we met up at a coffee shop (so we’d have a table for sketching) and laid out a basic idea of a messenger bag. I mentioned, “I’d like the bag to be deep navy blue. Like Louis Vuitton material, but blue.” Armed with a design, I first reached out to a friend, Mike Lubin, whom I like to call “the unofficial president of an unofficial gay dads club” with which I’m remotely active. I texted him a pic of …