Episode 60 - Nathan Achorn: Start Today And Learn As You Go

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Nathan Achron first appeared on the podcast for Episode 2 where he discussed his childhood, executing a one-month pop-up shop and some of his early ventures in fashion.

In the spring of 2017 he graduated from FIT in New York City and moved back to his hometown Chicopee, MA where he runs his own personal studio operating two businesses. First being Chicopee Clothing Company which has the ability to manufacture almost any piece of clothing (jean jackets, pants, sweatshirts, bags, sweat pants, coats, hats etc) for clients. Secondly being Notion where he designs, cuts and sews his own clothes.

Recently he launched a YouTube channel under his name to give value to people who’re interested in learning the craft and hopes that it shows people the first step to getting to where he is today is starting. Nathan also hosts free classes at his studio space from time to time because he enjoys teaching people who’re interested in learning the craft. The end goal - to have the biggest factory in the world producing every piece of streetwear clothing in the industry.

In this episode he discusses wanting to create products that help people be who they’re, being inspired by companies like SpaceX, why we should keep a to do list on our notes app, being a creative is the same thing as being a problem solver, one trait he would gift everyone in the world, what he learned at Complex Con 2017 and leading by example.

Podcast Outline (Time Makers For Audio Version)  

  • Nathan first appeared on the podcast for Episode 2 which was released on September 7, 2016

  • Who is Nathan Achorn? (3:22)

    • Started making clothes 4 years ago. First started with screen printing for his brand “Achilles”

    • His mother taught him how to cut & sew. He realized quickly that he enjoyed it and was good at it.

  • What cutting & sewing is (4:27)

    • Using patterns to cut out the shapes of clothes you want to make and then using them to “build” the piece

  • Graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York in Spring 2017 (7:37)

    • The education gave him structure and from there he has taken bits and pieces of what he learned to incorporate into his own way of creating

  • People DM Nathan asking him what is the best way to start making clothes (12:04)

    • We don’t need the best equipment in the beginning we just need to give effort and try things out

    • Nate has tried a million things and then was able to find his love for fashion

  • Started a YouTube Channel to give value to people and show them what he is doing

    • Might not work but isn’t afraid to give it a try

  • The biggest issue a lot of people face is not being consistent (14:32)

    • You have to be progressing for years in order to really see ideas come to life

  • Splitting his time between two things: Notion & Chicopee Clothing Company (CCC) (16:32)

    • He wants to make products that help people be who they’re

    • Has created a backpack, jean jackets, pants, coats, sweatshirts, t-shirts etc.

  • Notion is his personal collection of clothes that he designs (22:07)

    • Releasing products one item at a time versus industry standard of releasing a “collection”

    • Wants to be in front of people as often as possible instead of every 6 months

  • Chicopee Clothing Company is his manufacturing side for clients (27:27)

    • Makes patterns (the blueprint) for the samples

    • Once brands are happy with the final sample, next step is to move onto production

      • Short term vision - hire employees to help with production in the next 8-10 months.

      • Long term vision - become the biggest US based clothing manufacturer in the country

  • Started offering free classes at his studio space to teach people how to cut & sew (29:55)

    • Wanted to make friends in the area and see who makes clothes / was interested in it

    • He enjoys teaching people and believes he is built for it

  • If there is one company Nathan pays attention to it’s SpaceX (34:17)

    • It’s the peak of what awesome things people can accomplish when they put their mind towards it

    • Space travel was once only a government funded program that is now being ran and operated by privately own companies

  • Watches YouTube videos / listens to podcast while he’s working to get inspiration (38:17)

    • Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon)

    • Gary Vaynerchuk (CEO of Vaynermedia)

    • Joe Rogan’s Podcast

    • Tries to hear a wide spectrum of people to get all different opinions. Gets inspired by seeing his own progress

  • Day - to - day schedule of Nathan Achorn (43:15)

    • Tries to get 8 hours of sleep

    • Gets up, eats breakfast, heads to his studio with a list of things to do and works all day

    • Having a big studio space gives him the flexibility to do a variety of things. Keeps a clear headspace and a spot where he can zone in on what he needs to do.

  • Do something because you love it not because “you have too” (45:12)

    • Finding that job or career that we have passion for is important. We only live once and there is no excuse that we should settle for something we don’t enjoy.

  • Being a “creative” is the same thing as being a problem solver (49:21)

    • Creating is a way for people to communicate their emotions

    • A photographer who wants to get paid to shoot photos needs to be “creative” and find a way to do it

  • Tries to make his product the best he can (51:57)

    • Wants to be one of the best people making clothing with their hands

    • If a product he has made isn’t to the customers expectation he will fix the issue and make sure they’re happy with the final product

    • Keeping an open door policy for clients and employees making sure there aren’t any issues

  • If he could gift everyone in the world one trait it be logic (57:27)

    • Being able to problem solve and assess situations / make changes based on the outcome

  • Biggest takeaway from Complex Con 2017 (59:20)

    • Always be prepared for any situation and carry business cards with you

    • Walking up to people and acquiring new clients just by striking up a conversation and bringing value to them versus asking them to do something for you

    • You don’t know how networking events can benefit you unless you put yourself into those environments and see what happens

  • Nathan Achorn’s purpose (67:56)

    • Asks himself what is his function as a human and how can he helps others along the way

    • Become as good as he possibly can and communicate that and hope it inspires others

    • More important for him to lead by example then to be a “cool” designer

  • Be realistic with yourself (70:56)

    • Understand what you’re doing, who you’re and where you’re

    • Be conscious of where you actually stand and assess from this how you will progress

  • Ask Bobbbaaaay 1 question (71:47)

    • How did it feel to have people recognize the podcast brand at Complex Con?

  • Show love to the people who support (78:12)

    • Answer DM’s, tweet people back, respond to comments on YouTube and reply to emails

    • Interact with them because they’re humans and they’re making a choice to support you

  • Picture frame on the wall 10 years from now, what/who do we see? (79:49)

    • Largest factory on the planet. Nathan standing in front of it with 5,000 employees behind him that’re sewing every piece of streetwear clothing on the market

  • Find Nathan on social media

  • 2-3 pieces of advice for someone trying to find their passion or purpose (81:43)

    • If you haven’t found the passion:

      • try everything you think you might be passionate with. Don’t just try it once but continue to work on it until you’ve realized it’s not for you.

      • Reach out to the people doing the thing you want to do and google the information you need

    • If you’ve found the passion:

      • Keep pushing yourself to several hundred hours of doing it and see if you still actually enjoy it

      • If you’re decent at it then work 10x harder and put in the work. Some people may love it and others might hate it

      • Do it as much as you can