We could also use a little more light and positivity right now wouldn’t you agree?
Brandon Roy is the founder, creative genius, and the “Chief-of-Joy” of Happy Tears. With a title like that, you can rest assured he’s in the business of spreading joy every day, no matter what is happening in the world. Previously a marketing manager at L’Oréal, Brandon made the leap into entrepreneurship in 2018 and never looked back. We sat down with him to learn how he’s staying positive right now, and for his tips on breaking into the retail and apparel industry.
The best piece of advice I ever received: There’s no such thing as ‘losing’ in life. You either win or you learn!
Someone I look up to is: Miss O’! (aka Oprah Winfrey) — she inspires me to look at life through a lens of curiosity, seeking to know better and do better every single day.
The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is: I’ll turn on a Spotify playlist I made called ‘Feel Good, Sunny and Airy!’
I couldn’t do what I do without: Trusting the process. There are so many things that I used to see as roadblocks, reasons to slow down, or shut down — all things that really just circled back to fear. The most liberating thing in my life has been recognizing that everything is an opportunity to learn or grow; it has minimized all of my fears and lead to me embarking on my entrepreneurial journey.
What does your job entail? For people who don’t understand, can you explain your job in simple terms.
My job is all about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable! As an entrepreneur, I wear many hats — one day I could be a designer, the next a stylist, a finance manager, content creator or supply chain manager! The only consistent thing that I am is a learner. I’ve spent two years plunging into new things and staying committed to finding the answers to make things move.
I also teach spin classes 4 times per week at a spin studio in Montreal called Spin Énergie, which has been SO MUCH FUN. It’s so easy to get stuck behind a computer, and keeping balanced with some endorphin-inducing sweat sessions is the best. In my classes, you can expect some Top 40 bops, nostalgic throwbacks remixed, and a dash or two of sparkle.
What made you want to start HappyTears?
Growing up, I spent a lot of time battling my mental health, lacking the language and the practical tools to navigate everything that I was thinking and feeling. I wondered: did I miss a class growing up? When was registration for School of Life 101?! And then, I fell into the world of self-development and spirituality when I started to open up about my struggles. It felt like I had finally connected to the tools that I was always looking for — the words, perspectives, and mindset shifts — that could get me through anything in life.
Nobody should ever feel as helpless as I did at that point in time, and I wanted to channel my pain into a colourful, positive, and judgment-free space to initiate conversations about life’s big questions. Whether it’s mindset hacks or colourful daypacks, Happy Tears exists to share and create tools that help people live more mindfully — more happily!
How can I get into this career? What are the steps?
If you have an idea that you believe in, take the leap! Coming from a business school background, we often spoke about scalability and having a million-dollar idea. What I wish someone had also told me is that I could wake up each day doing something that I loved for sometimes only 100 people and that’s meaningful and enough all-in-itself.
While I have big dreams for my brand and its reach, I’m aware that any great brand that exists has stemmed from a singular thought, and then a series of small actions that eventually accumulated over time to build what it is today. It’s about knowing where you want to go but finding the fulfillment in those everyday small steps. Sure, you can aim to hit that $1M sales objective, but before you know it, you’ll reach that milestone and then ask: what’s next? Make sure that you’re extracting your joy from every single day.
What type of person or personality is suited for what you do?
Personable, Self-motivated, Resourceful and Relentlessly Curious!
Can you share 3 tips for being successful in this career?
Master your Mindset — If you can master your mindset to grow through the highs and lows, the peaks and valleys, you can and will do absolutely anything. Journaling is a strong practice to start taking stock.
Check-in with Yourself — On a regular basis, you should be asking: do I enjoy what I’m working on? It’s so important to take note of the hats that you enjoy wearing and those that you don’t. As a young entrepreneur, you won’t have as much flexibility to choose what you do; however, when the time comes where you have the resources to outsource some of those hats, you’ll be more confident to do so if you have this awareness and ultimately, you’ll be much happier honing what you enjoy and excel at.
Surround yourself with your people — In all of the happiness research I’ve read through, it was no surprise that I found out that happier people were more successful in their personal and professional lives. I also found out that the #1 factor differentiating happy people from unhappy people was their social connections. And so, surrounding yourself and investing in strong relationships has a payoff on both your happiness and success in life. I often get asked: well, where do I start in building these relationships if I don’t have them, especially in a digital world? The science says that the best place to start is through a common interest! In practice, I joined an Introduction to Contemporary Dance Class last winter and built a beautiful friendship out of it — it works!
Tell us a secret about your job.
I’m a pretty open book, in general, but I will say that being a solo entrepreneur can get very lonely! I do my best to get out of my house and park my butt in a café to feel surrounded by people, and I’ll sometimes even chat them up. But something positive that grew out of this loneliness was building co-creation into the design process at Happy Tears. I regularly utilize polls, surveys and questions to collect design requests and feedback. It has been so nice to have these meaningful exchanges to keep me company, and it has also just a lot more fun!
Anything exciting coming up?
Yes! We launched our first accessory — the hello happy! daypack — on Kickstarter on the 18th of March and we successfully funded in the first two days! Our mission is global, and Kickstarter was a great way for us to create a colourful ripple of positivity not only in our backyard but throughout the world.
The campaign is running until April 17th; up until then, anyone can get in on our first production run! We’re hoping to colour our world with more positivity. 🙂
How are you staying positive right now?
I’m back home in Northern, Ontario, surrounding myself with family, FaceTiming with friends every day, and dipping back into traditional art that I did as a young Brandon! I’m very grateful to have my family over this period, and I make efforts to connect with people in my life who I know don’t have as many people around.
Happy Tears has also been a wonderful outlet for keeping positive. I’ve been working on a Happy Newsfeed group on Facebook to give people an outlet for positive news in a sea of anxiety-triggering newsfeeds. The world needs positivity now more than ever and I’ve been so full of motivation to serve up content that fills this need.
If anyone feels alone, I highly encourage reaching out to your local health professional and the mental health services available to you.
We are in this together, and we will heal together. 🙂