1. Describe the company you work for and what it is that you do.
I am the Vice President and Co-Founder of Hood Clothing Inc. Hood Clothing Inc. is a brand inspired by the artwork of my father, Rene Gagnon. I had always been a strong supporter of my father’s artwork and when I graduated college in 2011, I wanted a way to combine my leadership and passion for fashion with his artwork to create a business. It was then that we launched this brand based off of his solo exhibition in 2009 entitled “Hood.” We used the original “fictitious” branding he created to launch a real clothing line. All of our designs in some way, shape, or form directly correspond to his artistic styling and vast collection of work. Currently, since moving to the West Coast my role has changed within the company and encompasses many aspects of the business. I oversee our employees at our warehouse in Massachusetts, the social media director, chief financial officer, photographer, as well as work with marketing firms to expand our business, network with potential wholesale buyers, link with current and future sponsors in Los Angeles and I continue to promote my father’s artwork as his agent. As you can see my role consists of many different aspects and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.
2. What accomplishments are you most proud of, thus far?
The accomplishments I am most proud of are our feature in the upcoming film, Tracers featuring Taylor Lautner, our ad and product review in the nationally recognized ‘The BluePrint Magazine’ which drops in the February 2014 issue and the beautifully directed and executed video done by Greene Films. Watch here.
3. What is one must have item Hood Clothing Inc. offers?
I believe if I had to choose “one” must have item it would be the Mint Mop Tag Leggings. Since all of our products are 100% Made In America, the quality far surpasses most products you can buy in stores. The leggings fit like a glove, extend above the hips, offer a complementary piece to many outfits and is by far our best selling item.
4. What or who inspires you?
I have several inspirations, first is my father and his artwork- it continues to amaze me and his creativity is never ending, he is the epitome of a true artist. Nicholas Tershay, owner of Diamond Supply is another major inspiration, he proves to me that with hard work and TIME anything can come to fruition and become a success. My yoga guides and spiritual mentors Yoav and Gali at Horizon also act as a major spiritual and mental inspiration, keeping me grounded and with open eyes. My hard work and dedication to this company is also inspired by my mother, who had me at 15, still went on to become a pharmacist and never failed me a day in her life despite her own personal struggles and hardship.
5. What keeps you motivated?
My team is what keep me motivated. In college, I was fortunate enough to develop strong friendships with several guys and when I graduated and began this business they not only took roles helping us decide beginning decisions but they are still currently the heartbeat of this business. They all graduated in different aspects of business and they continue to make this company grow and will continue to be at the forefront of all decisions going forward. Their continued efforts, strong opinions, and work ethic motivates me to work hard everyday to reach our ultimate success.
6. What is your favorite quote?
“If I knew why I did it, maybe I wouldn’t have done it.” – Rene Gagnon
7. What are you working on NOW?
I am currently working on training an employee at our warehouse, marketing to buyers my dad’s recent solo exhibition in Brooklyn, NYC [www.meckagallery.com] and meeting with a new marketing firm to discuss ways to expand our business nationally and internationally to our target consumers.
8. What are your ultimate goals?
My ultimate goal is to have a “fantasy factory” where my team oversees all operations and gets to work together hand in hand in developing and expanding our business. Short term, I would like to attend Agenda Show in Long Beach and NYC this year as well as obtain a minimum of ten new wholesale buyers in order for our quality, American made product to reach more consumers in their own neighborHOODS.
9. Since allure and cure embraces some guilty pleasure,
What is YOUR guilty pleasure?
I would like to say I have several guilty pleasures but for the sake of professionalism I would say that gourmet dessert is in my top three. Although I love making healthy foods I would have to say that making desserts/ consuming gourmet desserts is very high on my list of favorite things to do.
10 Do you have a fitness and/or health practice that is important to you?
Outside of running my company, I am also a nurse currently working in elementary schools in San Diego so health and fitness is a major part of my life. For the past six years I have been visiting Horizon Yoga Retreat in Santa Theresa, Costa Rica. It is here where I learned the practice of meditation, the deeper meaning of yoga and the pure meaning of health. I find peace and clarity when I practice yoga and mediation and I find that I am able to reset my mind and thinking patterns to have a better outlook. I am also a strong believer in the consumption of pure, raw foods in my daily life. It is not only the best way to heal your body, and mind but it leaves your spirit refreshed. My passion is to consistently create meals and smoothies that embody full flavor, tastes and health.
FOLLOW Samantha’s personal Instagram @sgagnon55 and Twitter