Mark Gainor of Native Shoes: Today’s Notable Young Professional

Today’s Notable Young Professional is Native Shoes Creative Director Mark Gainor, whose mood boards for the company’s five-year plan are a collection of rocket ships and intergalactic maps. Hey, to achieve success you have to reach for the stars…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
Grand Poobah of the Native Propaganda Machine, aka Creative Director. I work with an in-house team and some of the most talented, inspiring people in the world to create the product and visual language that tells the Native Story. 

Why did you start with Native, what was the inspiration?
The smell of freshly baked EVA and the power of a new idea was inspiring.  

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Being able to build and create new ideas or objects with people you respect and are inspired by is incredibly rewarding. I am fortunate to be able to do this on a daily basis. 

The most challenging aspect is learning to consider all the other moving parts of a successful business. Design and creativity don’t always naturally merge with operations and finance, but those elements must co-exist for a business to be successful.

Where do you see yourself going with Native in five years?
Keep exploring new terrain. We have a lot of rocket ships and intergalactic maps on our future mood boards. I can’t spill any details, but let’s say that our five-year strategy includes 53 of Saturn’s moons. 

What does success look like to you? 
Success is balance. A balance between work and life. When I am balanced between those two elements and engaged in both, it feels like success to me. 

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Has not happened yet. Apparently you have to sell a lot of shoes before they build a statue. 

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Make mistakes in public. Participate. Don’t wait for anything or anybody. Just get out and in the mix everything else will sort itself out. 

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why?
Los Angeles Pit Bull Rescue. 

What is Notable to you?
Authenticity paired with action. 

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?


Want more updates on the most Notable things happening so you know before your colleagues do? Get our exclusive newsletter here and follow us on Twitter for all the latest.