Every now and then – usually when we are caught up in the crazy whirlwind of work, social events, obligations and everything else that litters the precious hours of our days – something snaps us back to a very serious reality where we are left to wonder if the life we are living is the life that we’re meant for. There’s a force inside of us wanting to embrace a bigger future, motivating us to do better, to do more and to live the life we have always dreamed. Last week, I pushed for all of us to “follow our dreams” and to share our talents. This week, I’d like to introduce to you, someone I find very motivating. Ladies and Gentlemen of HelloGiggles, meet Mr. Benjamin Eren Bayram, creator and fashion designer of Beren Stitching Company.
After graduating from college, Benjamin attended law school and proceeded to take and pass the Bar exam in three states. But for as long as he could remember, Benjamin has been passionate about fashion and knew he would eventually make a career out of it. Now, three years later, he is the proud owner of his very own men’s clothing line, Beren. When I asked Benjamin if I can write a motivational piece about him, he replied in his modest nature, “Sure, but I haven’t made it yet.”
Dear Ben, just because you haven’t made it BIG doesn’t mean you haven’t made it all. If there is one thing I can assure you, having the heart to follow your dreams is inspiring in itself. Oh, and so is your beautiful face. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. You guys, Ben is so hot. I told him to send me pics for the article, but really, I wanted to exploit him.
Check out this Q&A session, followed by links! Tweet Benjamin!
ME: Who is involved in keeping the business running?
BEN: My best friend Doug is my business partner. I have an excellent designer who is based out of NYC who helps me to execute my ideas and a sales person from Germany who now lives in LA. I see eye to eye with my designer, we share a common vision and motivate one another’s creativity.
ME: Who motivated you?
BEN: Definitely my family. My dad’s family is very entrepreneurial so they were very helpful and supportive of my decision. A lot of my family lives in Turkey and they were able to connect me with a great manufacturer in Istanbul. Are you really going to hook me up with Erin?
ME: Yes. Describe the style your line exemplifies.
BEN: Beren can be described as high-end casual wear. We create pieces that every guy wears, that are well made. The idea is to “redo” the basics, provide a good fit and a good cut with immaculate yet smalls details whether it be heavy stitching or a raw edge. Our pieces create a value because they are not seasonal and can be worn night or day, layered or not. We do tees, thermals, cardigans, pants… Our materials are light and “west coast planet friendly”.
ME: What sets you apart from your competition?
BEN: We pay very close attention to detail, high end manufacturing and use only the highest quality materials and fabrics. Every single detail is carefully planned and executed. Small detail goes a long way.
ME: How do you intend for men to feel when wearing your label?
BEN: I want them to feel laid back and cool, but also like they have a little bit of style. Like, yeah, maybe I’m just wearing a thermal but it’s made well and a step up from an American Apparel t-shirt.
ME: What are your goals for your line?
BEN: To establish the identity, so people know that when they buy it, it’s good quality. To develop the brand and standard. The goal, ultimately, is to do it all – bags, accessories, shoes, a women’s line, open a store.
ME: Alright, Ben, what would you say has been your greatest achievement so far in your career?
BEN: There has been no greater achievement in my career so far than being able to go to different states, walk into a store and buy my clothes. When my first collection was ready, my designer told me not to expect any sales the first season, but I was dedicated and I was persistent and I believed in myself. Ultimately, my collection got picked up by about 10 stores.
ME: What advice would you give to someone with a dream that others might think is farfetched or unrealistic?
BEN: There’s a lot more haters in the world than lovers; ignore ’em. It’s probably easiest to stop and do something else; it’s tough and there are a lot of times where you wonder what the hell you’re doing… just stick with it. Nothing is easy. I know too many people who are not happy with what they do. I haven’t made it entirely, but I really like what I’m doing and the path that I’m going on. I know that timing is always important and it’s nice to get good breaks, but I also truly do believe it’s up to you if you make it or not in whatever you choose. There’s going to be tough times and things aren’t going to always be smooth… but uh, at the end of the day, it’s up to you. If you want to do it, then just do it.
ME: Great advice!
There ya have it, living proof that boys will be boys and goals and dreams – even those that seem so unattainable – can be completely realistic as long as you’re willing to work for them. The truth is, each of us is inspired by unique activities and we don’t always give ourselves permission or time to do what we love. So, you’ll follow your dreams, crush your dreams or stop dreaming all together. The choice, as always, is yours.
You can find Beren at these fine retailers:
New York: Rothman’s, National Jean Company (2 locations), Bird Birmingham, Michigan: Caruso Caruso Los Angeles: Lisa Kline San Francisco: Revolver, Voyager Boston: National Jean Company Seattle: Zebra Club