Interview with Emilio Guido
Interview by Shelby Robin
To start us off, can you tell me a little bit about yourself? I am studying business management, but I tend to shy away from the numbers part of business, and I like to go more into the creative side of business. Starting businesses, that kind of stuff. I am involved in NUTV, the entertainment division, so video production. Fashion, designing, things like that!
Speaking of fashion, how was your company, Age of Information, founded? About two years ago I started Age of Information. I had a company before, called Free Mind Clothing, when I was a sophomore in high school, and it was much simpler. I would just make designs in powerpoint and it was simple sayings like “Free Minds Never Sleep,” “Stay Humble Stay Hungry.” Very simple stuff but it had a message and a meaning behind what I was trying to do. And so that kind of stuck with me and carried over into Age of Information. But to answer your question, I knew I wanted to start something new so Summer ‘16 I had a lineup of designs that I was just going to drop out of nowhere and then it went from there.
Tell us about what Age of Information is, what products are you selling? Mostly, as of now, I have hats, t-shirts, longsleeves. Very simple at the moment. I have a design in the process of becoming a hoodie. I have done winter hats as well, in the past, I will probably do that again and put “Still Counting My Blessings” on it, so stay tuned.
How did you come up with the name, Age of Information, and is there any meaning behind it? Its funny, the story, because I kept trying to force names out of myself. I would keep a list of a bunch of names. And then, of course, how most things happen, it just comes to you randomly. I wanted to pick a name that if I made a t-shirt, and just put the company name on it, I wanted something that would stand out, or someone would see it and it would stick out. I thought Age of Information would be cool to plainly see on a t-shirt. The main reason I choose Age of Information is because I wanted something that spoke to our generation. We have access to all kinds of information, the question is what we do with that information, whether we use it for good or bad. That was what I was thinking behind the name.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs? A lot of inspiration comes from lyrics in music. Things that stick out to me. I might take a lyric, and then have a visual representation of it. I still very much like to use sayings, as I did with Free Mind Clothing. Sayings that resemble some kind of way of life. Like the “Never Sellin’ Out” and “Still Counting My Blessings” designs.
Do you get inspiration from any other fashion brands or merchandise? My stuff right now is very simple, the actual garment, the t-shirt is very simple. And the designs, not really. I hear the lyrics for example and the design/image pops up in my mind. The only inspiration from another design I can think of came from a company called “Sketchy Tank.” I had seen one of their designs, and 20 minutes after I came up with the “Never Sellin’ Out” design, so they closely inspired that. I also admire Japanese fashion, it is very fashion forward. There is this company called Neighborhood, and they blend modern technology with motorcycle culture, which is very interesting.
What are any challenges you have faces in running your own company? At one point I was in two stores, they were probably about a 7 minute walk away from each other. One of the stores I had been in for about 2-3 months, the other store I had just gotten into. Store A, was a whole in a wall kind of shop that only students in the area knew about it. Store B was on a main street, my clothes were properly displayed in the window. and my cut was better. But when Store A found out i was in Store B they were unhappy. The only reason the owner said he took my product was because they were unique to his store, but that was never part of our agreement. The owner proceeded to tell me that he wanted two specific designs to be at his story only. I couldn’t agree to do that because the two he wanted were my best selling items. So I ended up taking my stuff out of there and putting my stuff into Store B.
After about 3 weeks, I had done pretty well selling there, and it came to the time I needed to go get my check for the month, as we agreed originally. But for an entire week, the owner kept dodging me and lying, not willing to pay me. At some point I just had to take my clothes out of that store. Practically in a month I went from being in two stores, to zero.
Have you learned anything from these challenges that you will take on when you make future business decisions? Trying to find the owner that I click with, that there is some kind of gelling vibe between myself and the owner. I thought that was what I felt at one of the stores. But I can’t really afford to be picky since I’m a small time company. But I just have to be disciplined and smart with any all my decisions moving forward.