The last time we talked to Bee Nguyen, he was busy planning for the Grammys, the NBA All-Star weekend in LA, and gearing up for an apparel trade show season. Well, I guess that’s what he gets for being CEO of lifestyle consulting agency Grand Tactics, partner to nightlife promotions company The Collective, and co-founder of Hot Air Brand. He actually has more projects coming in, and unlike some people who’d get too overwhelmed and then complain about doing too many stuff, this tastemaker only feels more blessed than ever.
Can you describe to us what a normal day is like?
My days honestly vary from day to day but, for the most part, I generally start my days off by taking my kid to school, then hitting the gym, then [checking] out my RSS feeder, then it’s either hop on a conference call and/or take a meeting or two. I can honestly say that I truly love what I do, my entrepreneurial spirit has kept me from working a regular 9-5 job now for almost a decade, and it has definitely been a wild ride.
You’ve been pretty busy. How do you still find time going out and having fun?
A good part of my work revolves around the nightlife scene, as I am involved with a few of the weekly nightclubs that go on in Hollywood, so finding time to have fun and going out has been morphed into work. I honestly now am trying to find time to just relax at the crib with my wife and kid; given that work is oftentimes a 16-hour day from the office to the club, it becomes daunting at times.
Let’s talk about Grand Tactics—any interesting projects?
Grand Tactics is my umbrella corporation for all that I do. I run all of my consulting business through it, and, yes, we have some really exciting projects in the works. Not to get into specifics, as I don’t wanna jinx anything before the ink is dry. Let’s just say that I have a couple TV projects I am packaging (one of which I am partners on with writer/director Danny Lee & HBO’s Entourage producer Rob Weiss), a few more brands that I may be consulting for, and all while maintaining my existing client roster that includes LVMH’s Belvedere Vodka.
Hot Air Brand is your clothing line and is catered towards the sport of hot air balloon. Do you personally participate in this sport?
Yes, I have actually been on a hot air balloon ride, but have yet to own my own balloon.
You’re launching a new brand for Terry Kennedy called Fly Society. How did this come about?
I have actually known Terry for several years now. We worked together when I was consulting a rim company, Zenetti wheels, where Terry was a sponsored skater for the team. And so when I was approached by TK’s brand manager/friend Nino Scalia about the opportunity to raise funds to start Fly Society, it was a “no brainer.” Also, the fact that Terry had a reality show airing on BET also helped make it very attractive for us to get behind the launch of Fly Society as it was going to get the brand additional national exposure; I then brought the [opportunity] to my biz partner Duke, and the rest was history.
What can we expect from it?
You can expect to see a core line of apparel that will appeal to not only the skate community, but to folks that can appreciate the Fly Society lifestyle: fly, fresh, flashy.
A lot of kids are trying to have their own clothing line. What piece of advice can you give them when it comes to trying to make it out there?
My best piece of advice is to make sure that you can go and raise the capital you need to start a line. You ultimately need to find a partner that can back you on your production as that is going to be the bulk of your costs. I also believe it is imperative for you to know what it takes to become a designer, have the production knowledge and resources beyond just knowing how to dabble in CS5.
Bee’s 5 secrets to success:
1. As cliché as it sounds, nothing beats good old fashion hard work.
2. Respect and nurture your relationships… Business boils down to having the right relationships.
3. Know your consumer; know who your target demographic is.
4. Stay humble.
5. Never stop learning, learn your craft, learn your business, learn what works and what doesn’t, don’t be afraid to fail, cause otherwise you won’t ever win.
Introduction by HitGirl
Interview by Loris Peña
Photos courtesy of Lazo, Bee Nguyen, and limitemagazine