Andy Nguyen: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur

Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Andy Nguyen of 6streets apparel. Instead of setting his sights on moving to New York or LA, this style-conscious Calgary native has decided to make his stomping ground the place where he grows his fashion-forward clothing brand…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I do a little bit of everything and a lot of nothing… just kidding! I design and produce men’s casual wear and come up with really creative ways of getting it in people’s hands.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I decided to start the 6streets brand because I wanted to create something meaningful in my life and share it with the world. I really love designing and branding. Streetwear and street culture have always been my passion of mine.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is not having to call what I do “work.” The saying is true: when you do what you love, you never have to work a day in your life.

The most challenging part is the mental game. There are moments of self-doubt where I ask myself if I’m doing the right thing. At the end of the day you have to look at these moments as opportunities to grow. You just have to trust your gut and take that risk one day at a time.

What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
When I have a creative moment late at night I end up designing for hours on end. I then realize that it’s only an hour away from sunrise. A few sleepless nights are inevitable in the entrepreneurial lifestyle.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I see myself opening a retail boutique in Calgary. With the city’s immense growth in the last several years, Calgary’s fashion scene is heading in a really cool direction. To build and grow a strong community-based business in this city is a great way to transition our recognizable brand into a retail environment.

What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I overcame was the day I left my 9-5 career to pursue my passion. Leaving my comfort zone was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I think Jim Carey said it best: “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Success to me is not measurable. It’s the positive impact you have on people, the people you connect with, how you’re growing as an individual, and the milestones you create along the way. A successful person doesn’t just experience success in one part of their life, but in all avenues.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I can never forget the very first time I saw a random person on the street wearing a 6streets hat. The feeling was so surreal!

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Be persistent and consistent. Also don’t be afraid of failure. It’s important to have goals, but what’s more important are the obstacles and challenges you experience along the way. It builds character and contributes to your growth.

Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
My favourite place is Una. Really cool vibes coming in and out of that place.

When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
“Me” time is cycling around town taking photos of urban cityscapes, grungy alleys, and street art.

Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
I’ve fallen in love with Vancouver. I make annual trips to the West Coast. It’s a really awesome vibe out there and I always come back with so much inspiration.

If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
It would be “Jay Z – Heart of the City.” I’m a city boy and always will be.

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be a street photographer. I’ve managed to build street photography into my brand. It’s a really fascinating time to be involved in photography with social media.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I’m currently volunteering as a Big Brother with Big Brothers & Big Sisters. I grew up as an only child in a single parent family. It’s important to be a mentor to a younger kid who shares a similar experience and story.

What to you is notable?
Notable to me is being able to capture the attention of others through your own actions. It’s also being able to motivate and inspire people to move forward with their goals and aspirations. An individual who is notable is a leader and an influencer.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone all the way.

#NOTABLE

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