Take risks and never look back. — Life’s too short to reflect on “would’ve could’ves”… Make a decision stick to it and make it work. Whether it takes you 1 year or 20 years. I took the risk of leaving school and now I’m in a position better than any degree can offer me. Don’t look at an obstacle as a reason to stand still and not make a move, that’s a slave mentality.
I had the pleasure of interviewing John Carpenter. John studied the social media market and the various aspects of marketing that are involved within it to create a demand for himself over the years, whether it be for his music or his image. John is applying this knowledge and insight to his newest venture, Goose Country.
Thank you so much for joining us John! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I have a firm belief that there is no such thing as mistakes or coincidence. Everything happens for a reason, whether or not the reason makes sense at that point in time… The ultimate reason is always for your benefit once you realize it. I was always the kid who was smart enough to learn how to do anything and ambitious enough to make sure I excelled at most tasks. After leaving college to become an independent music artist, that would go onto modeling, acting, and owning Goose Country, I learned a lot about the industry and learned how to market and utilize social media to my advantage. With all those lessons and tools, I apply them to Goose Country to make our coats one of the most talked-about coats of the year.
Can you share your story of Grit and Success? First can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?
I was a 3 year undergrad studying biology when I left school. My mother, which is a single parent, was not happy about that plus we grew up poor my entire life. So to finally get an opportunity to turn things around with a college degree was great but then thrown away in her eyes. But I always felt I was put here to do great things on this earth and being a dentist did not fulfill that space in my idea. So I left to pursue my dreams of being a music artist. I loved making music and I knew I could excel creating music at a high scale. Growing up, I was a kid that made some poor choices that got me in a little bit of trouble at times. So once I left school, I vowed to myself that I would do things the right, honest way. I worked 2 jobs totaling 60–65 hours a week. I was a server at a fine-dining restaurant, and a Specialist at Apple. I trained at the gym 5 times a week and went to record at the studio 3 times a week minimum. I had an app on my phone that would monitor and document my sleep pattern. For 28 months, on average I only got 4 hours and 37 minutes a night of sleep. I knew the hardships of being physically, mentally, and creatively drained would only be temporary. Within a year, using social media I made myself noticeable to a label where I would go on to sign a 1-year distribution contract with them. After working with the label, I felt as if I could do what they were doing for me, myself. So, I parted ways with them and became independent. This now forced me to learn how to utilize my social media as a marketing tool to generate income. Eventually, I would go on to quit both of my jobs and were able to make my finances through social media by creating a demand for my image (modeling) and my artistry (music). The idea of Goose Country was soon planted. Knowing what I knew, I believed if we can make great quality jacket, I could create the demand and once the consumer wore the jacket, it would be lights out.
Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
My mother plays a big inspirational role in my drive. She was a single parent with me and my sister by the age of 19. My father left us and my grandmother eventually kicked us out of the house, leaving us homeless. My mother never stopped the grind. No matter how much support we had or didn’t have, she was determined to make things work for us. Being apart of those hard times and watching a woman triumph through those obstacles leaves an everlasting burning fire inside me that knows I can excel through ANY situation. My mother found a way to obtain 4 college degrees including her masters with little to no help at all. I still don’t this day don’t know how she did it but her journey has shed wisdom and strength on mine.
So, how are things going today? How did Grit lead to your eventual success?
Things are going great! I am a very optimistic person, haha. My house could be burning down and I would find the silver light in that dark cloud, ha! Going through everything I went through during my adolescence forces you to either be extremely positive or extremely negative. I choose the positive way because I’m still here and the way I look at a bad situation is “I’ve been through worse.” Also, one thing I learned is you manifest your fate in your life. So, if you stay positive, then positive outcomes will be your reward.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The funniest mistake I made? haha. Ohh man, if I had to call it a mistake, it would be when I met Casanova (the rapper) to give him a jacket that he asked for and wanted to promote. He was the first Celebrity to promote the brand at the time. Although I did have the jacket he wanted, I brought the wrong size. So I had to have our driver drive an hour back to NJ to pick up the right size jacket and then bring it back to the city. The good part about the “mistake” is he actually ended up seeing another jacket that he liked and he ended up promoting the brand.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
WE HAVE THE BEST QUALITY. Hands down. When we made the jackets, our first initial thought was how can we beat our competitors? We went out and bought our competitors jackets and studied their quality to ensure that we would invest in better quality despite the fact that our costs would be higher. And the cherry on top is that our style is unlike our competitors, ha!
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Best tips I can give is to take risks and believe in yourself even when the tunnel is at its darkest.
Take your time, because life is not a race. The timing of your success journey is not dictated by someone else’s. So please don’t get discouraged.
Lastly, STAY OPEN MINDED! No matter how old you get or how much you may know, keep your mind open and you will be forever successful.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
There’s 2 people I will forever be grateful for that helped shaped my success: Carlos Arias (photographer) and Deep Bhatia (Best Friend/Business Partner). Carlos Arias was one of the top photographers in the tristate area when I first started modeling. At the time, I could not afford to work with him, but he saw my potential, as a person. So he made me a deal. He offered to shoot me for knowledge. What that meant is he would mail me a book and after I read each book, we would arrange a photoshoot. The books that I read started the insane hunger for knowledge and wisdom which would ultimately help me grow to the man I am today.
Deep Bhatia and I have the funniest but best story. We met at Apple. I was a worker and at the time he was buying multiple apple products for his business. I would assist him and then we became close friends. Deep was buying so many apple products that at some of the managers were questioning how. They actually thought we had some type of inside deal going on, haha! But we were just friends and hanging out with him helped the time past by, ha. 4 years later, he and I came together to take this Goose Country idea to the next level and so far we ha
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I’ve used my success to teach and give back all the knowledge and wisdom I’ve learned. I don’t feel like the wisdom should be hoarded. I try to give all the lessons I’ve learned to everyone that I come into contact with and have a conversation with. I pray that the changes I’ve made on myself help impact others and enlighten them to do the same or become even greater. The best way you can start to help change the world is by changing yourself. I stand by that statement and choose to lead by example.
Based on your experience, can you share 5 pieces of advice about how one can develop Grit? (Please share a story or example for each)
- Know your purpose. Keep in mind everything that you do is for that purpose. — Everything I do, I keep in mind that I’m doing this to end my mother’s struggle and then shed light on the world on how you can turn nothing into something. Keeping that in mind, keeps me going through the toughest times.
- Remain Limitless. Despite what people may say or think. Always know you can do ANYTHING. — Even when it seems doubtful to yourself, still always know, it can be done. There’s been many times I wanted to quit or thought everything I’m doing now was almost impossible. But I just tucked my head and powered through the storm of doubt and came up on top.
- Take risks and never look back. — Life’s too short to reflect on “would’ve could’ves”.. Make a decision stick to it and make it work. Whether it takes you 1 year or 20 years. I took the risk of leaving school and now I’m in a position better than any degree can offer me. Don’t look at an obstacle as a reason to stand still and not make a move, that’s a slave mentality.
- Accept your Losses. — You will not win every time. But you can accept any loss that you undergo and learn from them. Each loss is meant to train you to make you tougher. Each loss is meant to help you win a bigger battle. I lost the opportunity to work with my label due to disagreements on the ultimate vision. But that loss made me hungry to do everything myself and in the end, I ended up in the same position or better than what they could have put me in.
- Have faith. — Faith is everything. You have to believe and trust in yourself. Without faith there is no success. Whatever you do, believe in what you do. You may doubt it at times, but never stop doing it. Remember, everything is working in your favor. There is no such thing as mistakes.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would love to end homelessness. I think that no one deserves to be homeless. I have an idea of a nonprofit that I want to open to help the homeless. I know how it feels to be homeless and wish that upon no one, no matter what they may be going through.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Our company’s is only found on Instagram: @goosecountry
My personal instagram is: @rico_hundo