Episode 142 - Peiman Raf : Make The World A More Optimistic Place

Peiman Raf Thumbnail.jpg

Peiman Raf is the Co-Founder of Madhappy, an optimistic lifestyle brand. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 2016, he became an Investment Banking Analyst for Jefferies Financial Group in NYC. Just 3 months into his position and not feeling himself, he took a leave of absence to return home to Los Angeles, CA to see doctors about what he was going through. Feeling better and in a much clearer headspace, he decided to leave his position completely and stay in LA. 

Wanting to create a brand around optimism while shining light on mental health in a positive way, Peiman, his brother Noah Raf and friends Joshua Sitt and Mason Spector came together to create Madhappy. Starting with just a hoodie, hat and t-shirt, they have evolved into offering head to toe apparel. Their Classic line is minimal, comfy and curated to be worn for multiple occasions. Since launch in April of 2017, they’ve hosted 9 pop-up events in New York, Miami, Aspen and Los Angeles. Whether it’s panels at their pop-up events, hosting mediation courses or curating positivity in their content, they’re the local optimistic group.

In this episode Peiman discusses the importance of moving on and starting a new chapter, the reality that everyone experiences some form of mental health, why it’s okay to put down the phone and disconnect, having a competitive mindset to do whatever it takes and why we should all strive to make the world a more optimistic place.

Podcast Outline (Time Markers For Audio Version Only)

  • Day to day routines that help keep Peiman mentally stable: Keep the morning to himself, meditating, working out in the morning, sauna, breakfast then get to work (5:20)

  • Born in Florence, Italy and moves to Beverly Hills, CA when he’s 6 (10:20)

    • Both parents are originally from Iran but met in Italy

    • Being Persian, family is a big part of their culture 

    • Father was an architect, Mother was an interior designer 

  • Had a close relationship with his brother Noah Raf growing up (Peiman is 2 years older) (18:25)

    • Both were into basketball growing up

    • Peiman was more focused on school, Noah drifted towards creative endeavors 

  • Attended the University of Michigan, majored in Business (23:40)

    • Not getting into Stamford, wanting a great business school and loving sports he chose Michigan 

    • Loving tech and being interested in financial capital, he interned for Jefferies during his junior year summer 

  • Graduates, moves to NYC to work full-time as an Investment Banking Analyst for Jefferies (30:15)

    • Feeling sick / not himself and only 2-3 months on the job, takes a leave from his job and goes back to LA

    • In a better headspace and scared to relapse the same issues, he decides to resign from the position 

  • Do What’s Best For You (35:35)

  • Noah Raf, Peimans brother started a clothing in high school - US By Mason & Noah (37:15)

    • Got a taste of creating / being involved with fashion

    • Become an intern for Ugo Mozie, a famous stylist who worked with Justin Bieber, Travis Scott 

    • Traveled & styled for 5 Seconds of Summer 

  • Peiman, Noah, Mason & Joshua come together to start Madhappy, an optimist lifestyle brand (40:45)

    • The vision was to create a brand around optimism while incorporating mental health  

  • We Saw Early On That People Want Something That’s Different (44:00)

  • Launched April 2017 with a launch party in West Hollywood, CA (45:15)

    • Wanted to create an experience that people wouldn’t forget, that wasn’t asking for people to buy the product

  • The Madhappy Mission Statement (50:10)

  • Celebrities rocking the Madhappy brand: 2 Chainz, The Weeknd, The Chainsmokers, Cardi B & J.J. Watt (52:35)

    • Case by case, tried to get it to the right people 

  • All products are cut & sewed in Downtown LA. Sustainable + organic cotton (55:15)

    • Even if the products are minimal, every piece has a little flair of Madhappy to it

  • Has hosted 9 pop-up events across the country: Los Angeles, New York, Miami & Aspen (57:40)

    • Each are special/unique to their own city

  • Eight person team operating at Madhappys Headquarters in the Arts District of Downtown LA  (62:05)

    • Peiman handles business / operations

  • March of 2019, Madhappy raised $1.5 Million in seed funding from (63:25)

    • Investors included Founder(s) of Sweetgreen, MeUndies, Alfred Coffee & more 

    • Not only gave them money to play with but a team of people who’ve been in their shoes before 

  • Utilizing Madhappy as a platform to spread optimism around mental health (66:20)

    • Provide resources / tools through their website 

  • As Soon As Your Health Goes, That’s Your Only Problem (68:50) 

  • Everyone Experiences Mental Health (70:40)

  • Incorporating Mental Health into Madhappy (79:00)

    • Every pop-up event, there is at least 1 event focused on MH. Ex: panels 

    • Hosting a 3 day meditation course 

    • Curating positivity + optimism through their socials, blogs, platforms

    • Possible podcast in the future

  •  Long-term where Peiman would like to see Madhappy (83:05)

    • Creating as big as a platform as possible

    • Continue to push in clothing / other areas as well

    • Bring it worldwide 

  • One of the most valuable lessons Peiman has learned recently: trying to disconnect from the phone/internet more often (87:45)

  • Greatest strength - having a competitive energy / being highly curious (92:30)

  • Support Makes Me Madhappy (96:10)

  • Peiman’s purpose is trying to have a positive impact as many people as possible (98:10)

  • Ask Bobbay any 1 question: When was your first time dealing with mental health? (99:50)

  • Where to find Peiman + Madhappy on social

  • Best advice for finding a passion/purpose (110:10)

    • Be willing to try a lot of things. Find the thing that excites you

    • Take a small risk and test

    • Reach out to people. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know 

    • Once you’re doing what you want to be doing, it takes time