Bobby Hundreds, Entrepreneur
Bobby Hundreds, The Hundreds – Interview
Bobby Hundreds has achieved the ultimate dream. He makes his living doing exactly what he loves, and it’s his genuine passion and attention to detail that has propelled The Hundreds brand into legendary status.
The Hundreds began in 2003 as a “lifestyle project,” with a clothing line and a website that covered everything from surfing and skateboarding to music and fashion. Over a decade later the Los Angeles-based brand has grown into a global multi-million dollar empire with an enormous online following, print magazines and brick and mortar storefronts.
Just because he’s incredibly successful doesn’t mean Bobby Hundreds is slowing down anytime soon. After all, why slow down when your day job is your dream job?
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
A cartoonist. I didn’t know that twenty years later, newspaper comics would dry up and traditional animation would succumb to CGI, but I loved to draw cartoons as far back as I can remember holding a crayon.
I also wanted to be invisible so I could spy on… nevermind.
You’re riding in an elevator with Martin Scorsese, how would you describe The Hundreds to him?
I would have trouble talking about myself to an accomplished man like Scorsese. I think I’d fill that space with questions for him instead.
What do you LOVE?
I love to read and surf and I love my family. I live a decidedly public life because of my online presence, so these are my private, personal spoils that stay off the grid and are just for me.
I love learning about people. They are endlessly fascinating to me, the most complex and interesting stories on the planet. The more I discover about others, the more I learn about myself.
What is your process like?
There are many different facets to my creative life. On any given day, I’m designing, photographing, writing or editing. Most days I am dreaming and directing. Every path requires its own process, but they all start with a strong idea. Sometimes I need to be alone; I’ll forge ideas sitting out on the waves at daybreak or locked away in my home studio with a sketchbook.
Other times, the ideas flow if I can meet someone else’s mind – for example, if I’m pacing back and forth in a room with my team, throwing concepts at them, gauging reactions, and expounding further. Or if I’m sharing a bottle of wine with some close friends and talking about anything but work. I’ll be rambling on about nothing in particular and walk face-first into a new idea. Outta nowhere.
What is something you had to learn the hard way?
That there’s a difference between staff and friends. It’s an important distinction that a mature business owner should understand, and it’s not necessarily a negative. It’s just the order of things.
What is one thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?
That I’ve been happily married for 8 years now with 2 beautiful boys. I think the surprising thing is that someone would marry me and that I can make handsome children.
What are you grateful for?
Oh, I’m thankful for my health and my family’s happiness. Most of all, I’m truly grateful that the world gave us a chance with The Hundreds and supported our project and believed in it. I owe you a drink.
How do you define success?
I don’t consider success as a destination as much as it is the entirety of the journey and the adventure. In that sense, I’ve been successful since day one of my career. The reason why I continue on is because I love it and can’t not. To have created something that makes myself and so many others happy, I think that’s success.
What’s the most bizarre thing that has ever happened to you?
Shingles. Not cool.
Why has The Hundreds been so successful?
Foremost, there is such a passion for what we do. Passion is contagious and as long as that passion is effectively communicated, it can catch on like wildfire. Secondly, I think we are genuine and honest about what we do and who we are. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we take our work very much so. And I think our community appreciates that. Thirdly, I think Ben and I share a rare and powerful partnership that goes beyond best friendship and brotherhood. We couldn’t have done it without the other’s support, accountability, empathy, and humility. Fourth, magic.
We live in a pretty complicated time, politically, environmentally, socially… How do you think we can make the world a better place?
Compassion. It is most important, yet because of the Internet, this is the era where compassion is most absent. And I feel like we’re suffering the consequences of that, whether it’s senseless mass murder, polarity in politics, or even hate comments.
Take the time to get to know each other. And strive for selflessness. That’s what I tell myself, anyways.
Photo by: Duane Fernandez
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