I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself an entrepreneur. This term has been thrown around so much in the last 4 years that it’s beginning to lose the respect it once held. I consider myself an artist. I say this because my talents and skills initiate from a point of artistic creativity. Any project I decide to engulf myself into begins with a vision that’s extracted from my imagination.
Can you give us an example of your creative process?
Growing up I loved to draw and paint pictures inspired by other pieces of art that I admired. I would use my imagination to recreate the piece of work I praised, and then morph it into something similar, but far more superior than the original. This is my process for anything I have ever taken on in my adult life.
What was the first successful business you built using this method?
The Lazy Lampoon™ was my first breakthrough in the business world. I noticed that the market for e-cig pens was rapidly growing in 2019, and rather than figuring out how to create my own e-cig pen – I decided to invent an accessory that would act as a sidekick to these devices. I didn’t want to compete with the already established companies taking the community by storm, but instead become an ally to the big guys and new guys entering the marketplace. After researching accessory cases for these e-cig devices, I realized that there wasn’t a case that offered beneficial reinforcements, or an appealing appearance. This is where I began to get creative. I thought to myself… Why is it that people use these devices? Well, I discovered that the common answer found on online forums is to relieve stress. Then I took my research a step further and began digging for what the most common problem users with e-cig pens are facing… And the answer was that users would constantly lose these devices because of how slim they were. To keep the story short and simple – I decided to use animated figures made from stress balls (to assist in stress relief), and create a universal insertion slot in these figures so that hundreds of different e-cig pens would be compatible with the Lazy Lampoon™. I designed every piece to be bulky and colorful so that misplacing or losing the Lazy Lampoon™ would never be an issue.
How quickly did you see success with the Lazy Lampoon™?
Within 30 days I had over a million units manufactured, packaged, and distributed into 6 different countries. The Lazy Lampoon™ was an immediate success, and it was the beginning of my road to opportunity.
What kind of opportunities presented themselves to you after the success of the Lazy Lampoon™?
The Lazy Lampoon™ project provided me with the capital to launch what would soon become the highest streamed podcast in Houston, Texas, The Yacht Club. With this podcast I was able to get creative, and meet an array of personalities. Within 3 months I saw a massive amount of people from overseas begin to follow me on social media, and admire my fashion and artistic persona. Fashion conglomerates began scouting me in Spring of 2020 to sign deals with their corporations. At this exact time the Covid outbreak was just beginning, and I ended up starting an ecommerce business which was a better opportunity for me financially. Because I saw the numbers spike so quickly in this ecommerce business, I turned down 7 different fashion fueled contracts that would require me to travel overseas. Luckily enough, within a month of me turning down the opportunities in fashion, the pandemic began, and I knew I had made the right decision for myself. Because the success of this ecommerce business was so massive, I was able to obtain a contracted position as President of an INC 5000 company. I simultaneously still operate my other businesses, and continue to explore opportunities to expand my income stream.
I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface with you Ray, would you be open to doing a follow up interview in a year?
I most definitely would love to sit down with you in a year to see how much has changed. What I can say is that I recently inked a deal with a large fashion brand that I’ll be collaborating with in the next 4 months. I would recommend all readers to follow me on social media if they find this interview of interest to them.
Are you looking to be placed into the category of an Entrepreneur? Executive? Inventor? Or Fashion icon?
For the most part, you can consider me an artistic businessman, with many visions and dreams. My brand, The Artistic Initiative, is based on using creativity to clutch opportunity and take significant action to bring an idea into existence. I am who I am, and I’m incredibly grateful with the life the universe has gifted me. My fans, the press, and the world in general can label me as they wish, but I know what I am, and that is a human being.
That’s beautiful. Thank you so much for your time. How can you be followed for those who don’t know you yet?
The Yacht Club Podcast: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-the-yacht-club-53912648/