We had the good fortune of connecting with Nancy Phoenix and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nancy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk can be bad or good. One of the biggest risks I took was to quit my first 9-5 jobs right out of college. At the time I didn’t even know what I wanted to do, I just knew for me working a 9-5 inside a cubicle for someone else was the equivalent to being in jail. That risk did not come without its downfall. I struggled to find jobs to keep me afloat so I took on every job I could take. In turn, it took its toll on my personal relationships and resulted in me moving back home with my parents. I became a graduate cliché. Taking this turn in life was difficult and sometimes embarrassing however, it forced me to figure out what I wanted to do. What truly would made me happy. It led me to start my business. Which sounds cool, but starting your own business has a completely new set of risks. Every decision you make is a make or break decision, and it all falls upon you whether it works or not. It tests your judgment, morals, values, and tolerance. I can say I’ve made many risks that were amazing and many that were straight dumb. Nevertheless, at the end of the day it is all a lesson. Entrepreneurship is a journey, it is self-discovery, and without risk there is no reward, as long as you stay in the game.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I honestly thought I could never be a designer. I don’t cut and sew. I’m not even that good at drawing. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t be a creative. As a Pisces I most definitely live in fairy tale land the majority of the time. Visions and ideas are constantly popping up into my head of what my next clothing item should look like or what kind of set I want for a shoot. I came up with the idea for Status Industry because I didn’t want to be the typical gym apparel brand. I wanted bold and edgy cuts that people could sport in the gyms and feel dope about themselves, and in turn elevate all aspects of their lives. That is my mission and purpose for designing. That is what gets me super excited to create. As a result, I began to consult with more brands to help them come up with what they wanted for their own company. I began to use my experience in product sourcing in Asia to help import quality products for small businesses. Which led me to start a couple more companies with my partners. This was not easy. Being my own boss was already hard but working with partners is a whole other ball game. It’s like being in a relationship. I had a lot of people reach out wanting to work together however; much like relationships a lot of them were not the one. That may sounds a bit arrogant nonetheless, as a businessperson it is very important whom you choose to work with. Many things come into play such as money, ego, power, decision-making, compromise etc. If you don’t align with them it is very difficult to move things forward. It takes time and patience to find a good partner, someone who runs with you and feeds off of you interdependently. What I learned was that first I needed to know exactly who I was and what I wanted, I needed to become authentic within myself. It wasn’t until then till I started manifesting the right type of partners in my life who were in alignment with my core values. When you know who you are and what you want, you began to create boundaries and a filter system to find the right people to have around you that will ultimately push you towards your goals of greatness. The support and understanding becomes seamless and things began to grow. There is mutual respect and trust that doesn’t compromise integrity especially when making decisions. That being so, being someone who is authentic with integrity is how I want to be remembered.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well you can’t visit Colorado for a week if you don’t go hiking or snowboarding in the mountains first and foremost. Then probably visit one of the hot springs either in Ouray or Steamboat. Another place I would take them is to a concert at Red Rocks of course, one of the world’s best amphitheaters. I get chills every time I attend a concert there doesn’t matter who’s playing. We would also brunch in the Highlands or on Broadway then have dinner at my friend’s sushi restaurant then go drink in the Rino district. If they came during the first week of the month we would definitely check out the art walk on Friday, and then go karaoke but only at one of the Korean spots in Aurora where you can have a private room and order endless Soju. I would also take them to Federal for some authentic Vietnamese food. And lastly to church at the Cathedral Basilica so we can be forgiven for all of our sins that were committed during the week.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to of course to my Mom and Dad and my huge loving family, I would be homeless if I didn’t have them as my backbone. My coach and mentor Greg Caldwell. He along with a special few others saved my soul during one of the darkest times of my life. Also, shoutout to my business partner Alexandria Grado who shares my vision and has encouraged and inspired me, and stood by my side to start our brand together. Robert McIntosh my partner in crime/business for always reminding me that vulnerability is where true strength and courage comes from. In addition, to one of my best friends Jennifer Gallegos for being here for me through life, relationships, business, my “crazy episodes”, and all of the above. I would be in a psych ward if it weren’t for her. And to all my boss entrepreneur friends who have continued to support and encourage me through all the ups and downs of life. Our lunch/brunch dates keep me sane. Last but certainly not least, huge shoutout to the Status Team. I definitely wouldn’t be who I am without all of you! I am truly grateful.
Other: www.theglamhouse.com/glash IG: @bygrado
Thomas Bailey @tommywiththeshot Vinny Ramirez @captivatevisions