Episode 37 - Andrew Morgan: Paying Attention to Detail and Creating High Quality Products

This was the last podcast from my recent trip to the West coast and I was pumped that Andrew was willing to do it. I had never met him prior to the recording of this, but over the years I had seen his previous brand, Exito Clothing, get a lot of buzz in Western Massachusetts (where we both are from) to now his more recent self-titled brand “Andrew Morgan”

Walking into his apartment in Long Beach, California was amazing for the simple fact that he has transformed his living space into where he works as well. He is able to leave his house in the morning to drop off his fiancee at work and by the time he walks back in the door - he’s ready to ‘clock in.’ We were surrounded by machines- I couldn’t tell you what they are or how they work- but one thing was for sure, this was someone who was investing every dollar into his craft. Showing the love and dedication he has towards it.  

Andrew walks me through his entire journey from being a sponsored rider of scooters, launching his first business at 16 when he was a metal manufacturing student at his vocational high school, launching his first clothing brand Exito, taking three trips to the west coast before final settling in his current spot, and what he has learned along the way with his passion for manufacturing and producing his own line.

One of the main takeaways: Be patient and do NOT rush yourself. Go the extra mile to ensure you’re happy with the final product/outcome of whatever it is that you do, so that down the road you won’t be able to look back and feel like you should’ve given something more time/energy.

Podcast Outline

  • Who is Andrew Morgan today and how young is he?

    • 23 years young, creative focused now on low volume, high quality manufacturing

    • Inspired by his father who did 3 million his first year of business with 8 employees

  • Growing up in Florence, MA

    • Wasn’t rich but grew up in a very well kept neighborhood

    • Always wore what he felt comfortable in and didn’t think twice about it

  • 8th Grade started riding scooters heavily

    • Was capable of doing backflips and traveled to Barcelona for the sport

    • Felt like the perfect in between of skateboarding and bmx

  • Went to a vocational high school for metal manufacturing and started “System Scooters”

    • Was 16 when he launched the business

    • Started making parts in school for free and was making 100% profit selling the bars for $70 a piece

  • Dropped out of high school in the beginning of his senior year

  • Stopped the business after becoming sponsored and was flown out to San Diego, CA for a competition

    • Had just turned 18 and didn’t want to leave Cali

    • Sponsorship required to put out a video part every month, how they got paid

      • Hadn’t been putting them out for months, was working in his father's factory and wasn’t in a good place, offered to fly him out to Emeryville, CA and have him work in the office of Fuzion Scooters

  • After three months started getting homesick and left back to the east coast

    • People running the company had nothing to do with the sport (13:00)

  • Got back and launched Exito Clothing

    • Stood for ‘Success’ in spanish, key to success with the logo being a key hole

    • Printed and sold 50 shirts right off rip so he knew he was onto something, influenced by Diamond Supply and Benny Golds

    • Got his first collection into a local skate shop, Credo, products sold quickly (16:30)

  • Raced Motocross and all the badass sports but chose scootering because it was different, new and hadn’t been done

    • Built confidence in himself from scootering (17:45)

  • Packed his bags with 2 friends and went back West to LA

    • Had Exito in stores back home, had stopped riding scooters to put all his time/energy into the brand

    • Put out a small collection but was living off of his savings account

    • Went home for a month, then came back out for almost a year with his buddy and girlfriend

  • Ended up back East for 2 years and started making higher quality products on a sewing machine

    • Was focused on the street street wear industry for a while then switched to his new brand under his name ‘Andrew Morgan’

    • Transformed his basement into his bedroom/studio to work on products  

  • The ‘Andrew Morgan’ brand

    • Last collection he put out wasn’t really in his lane and something he learned from

    • Guy from Boston bought bulk of it and shortly stopped marketing it after that

    • Taking his time with new line and making sure he is patient and 100% happy with it (45:30)

    • Needs someone who ‘gets it’ and is on the same page as him

  • Importance of reinvesting money into yourself (49:00)

    • All the money he makes goes right back into the business

    • Started off with a trunk full of stuff and now has an apartment full of equipment to get his work done

    • Eventually wants to have a factory to produce products

  • The first trip to LA was funded by his tattooing hustle

    • Had people coming into his basement daily and used it to get money for a solid five years

    • Got tatted up once he turned 18 and then started looking into it, got his own equipment and started

    • Would do anything just to not have to work for someone else (56:15)

  • What makes Andrew different than most is his need to keep everything clean and precise (OCD)

    • Helps with holding himself accountable to producing amazing products from every aspect of it

    • Took almost 12 hours to produce his last pair of pants (65:30)

  • If he could sit down with anyone in this world it would be Will Smith

    • Everything that he says is empowering and the ways he studies the universe

  • Ask Bobbbaaay 1 question

    • Where do you see yourself in 4 years with the podcast?

  • Picture frame on the wall 10 years from now, what/who do we see?

    • Married to his wife, in a house, with his garage for his studio and ramps in his backyard for his scooter

  • Where to find Andrew on social media

    • Instagram: @AndrewMorgan__

    • Shop Instagram: @Shop.Morgan

    • @Creativetwentyfour

  • 2-3 pieces of advice for someone trying to find their passion/purpose

    • If you don’t know, don’t rush it

    • Why would you waste your time doing anything you don't love if you only have one life

    • Never be afraid to say no