The world of menswear is a relatively small one, but it’s definitely full of interesting and inspiring gentlemen. If you keep up with menswear podcasts, chances are you’ve come across The Life Of A Gentleman podcast. However, if you’ve ever searched for affordable men’s accessories, then I’m sure you’ve came across Harrison Blake Apparel.
I recently caught up with Richard Taylor, Founder of Harrison Blake Apparel and host of “The Life of a Gentleman” podcast to learn more about his story and find out what it means to live like a gentleman!
Family Man, Entrepreneur & Mogul In The Making
“I’m a husband and father of two great kids. I have a daughter and a son, so I guess that’s the best of both worlds. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, because I’ve always had an eye towards entrepreneurship. I’m also a firm believer in the success principles spoken by Dr. Claude Anderson, when he says that ownership is the key to financial stability.”
For those that aren’t familiar, Dr. Claude Anderson is widely recognized as one of America’s most influential intellectuals and authors. He coined the term Powernomics, which is a package of principles and strategies for Black America to become a more self-sufficient and economically competitive group.
“I started Harrison Blake Apparel in 2014. The first year I wanted to fill a niche in the market, selling only lapel pins. We had every type of lapel pin you could think of, which got the brand off to a successful start. Since then we’ve expanded to offering neckties, pocket squares and other accessories.”
“Prior to launching the brand, I worked in apparel manufacturing for a few years. There I became very familiar with the ins and outs of the industry, seeing how materials were ordered, produced, packaged and shipped. With that knowledge, I knew I could establish my own brand of products.”
“Lately my focus has been on growing our customer base and getting more exposure for the brand. One of the challenges for a relatively new brand is to get it’s name out there. Consumers have a lot of options, so you have to give them a reason to try your brand, especially if they never heard of you before.”
“Another one of my goals is to create an even greater customer experience for those making purchases. Whether it’s following up with the customer or offering incentives to make sure we provide excellent customer service. I also feel it’s an added bonus to offer great content to customers, so we plan on continuing the podcast and inviting more experts in fashion and lifestyle to educate and inspire them.”
I’m always interested in learning what inspires other entrepreneurs because the journey is definitely not an easy one. However, I’ve learned that one of the easiest ways to stay motivated is to get your loved ones involved!
“I wake up feeling inspired everyday. Primarily, because this company means more to me than just a way to generate income. I named the company after my son, Harrison Blake. My goal is to make sure that his name is held in high regard by those making purchases from us. I am motivated to keeping the brand moving on its upward course so that my two children can have the opportunity to work beside me, should they choose to.”
“They already assist as much as they can, being 11 and 7 years old. My daughter is the oldest and she has already taken her love of photography and helped the brand by taking pictures for us, many that you may see on our social media accounts. I take a lot of pride in teaching them in their young age about the power of owning your own business. They already have so many different ideas about future products and services. That makes me very proud.”
“The best advice I can give to any budding entrepreneur is to believe that you can do it and work on your dream everyday. Do not be ashamed to sell – that’s your job. Tell people about your business or service everyday. There are no days off!”
“One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that you may be traveling on this road alone. Some friends or colleagues that you thought might support or join you, may or may not share your same vision. Also, other smaller upstart brands may view you as a threat rather than want to collaborate and work together in some way. I believe in group economics, where you can work with others to lift each other up. Sadly, not everyone feels the same so don’t feel disappointed when certain connections can not be made with people who you think might align with your business.”
Also, be sure to use promo code ADVISOR for $16 off the first month of your Harrison Blake Apparel subscription. It’s a monthly subscription that delivers 1 necktie + 4 matching accessories for only $25 per month. There are no contracts or obligations so you can cancel at any time.
As always, thanks for reading and special thanks to Richard for participating!
The Dapper Advisor