Episode 56 - Steve Rush: Be Grateful For What You Do Have

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Today Steve is the founder of ‘5 Star Vintage’, an online clothing store that sells some of the hottest vintage pieces. For being just 23 years young, he’s learned quite a bit along the journey.

His parents got divorced when he was just 8 years old and he spent half of his time in Palmdale, CA and the other in Acton, CA. This taught him an important lesson early on which was to adapt to situations he was placed in because there was nothing he could really do about it.

Back when he was in high school he was interested in clothing and began flipping brands like Jordans, Bape, Supreme and even Johnny Cupcakes as a way to put money in his pocket. When he became interested in rocking vintage wear and could not afford the prices people were selling their products for, he decided to launch his own venture.

Since he was a kid basketball had always been one of his main passions and he eventually was recruited to play for Regis College, a small private school outside of Boston. Not getting much playing time, being realistic with himself about the long play of his basketball career and seeing the business was beginning to grow he dropped out of college after his freshmen year and never looked back.

He credits the strategy for growth of his business over the years has been from staying consistent, providing high quality products for reasonable prices and allowing his customers to be the salesman for the brand as he makes sures the customer experience is top notch.

In this episode Steve discusses why time management is important, not giving up even when things aren’t going to plan, studying customer’s wants and needs to provide everything they’re looking for, putting in the work is the only way to bring our vision to life, what it takes to build the right team around you, traveling and becoming more emphatic for people, what his definition of a hustler is and the 3 things that help remind us to be grateful for the life we have.

One the main takeaways from this episode is being grateful for what we do have. Towards the end of the podcast Steve talks about his “Big 3” that remind him he does live a good life; having hot food, hot shower and a bed to sleep in. If he has all three of them then there is nothing he can complain about. We all go through different points in our life where we feel as if “the whole world is going to end” because thing aren’t going to plan. Sometimes all we need to do is close our eyes and breathe and remind ourselves that things could always be much worse.

Podcast Outline (Time Markers For Audio Version)

  • Who is Steve Rush today?

    • 23 years young, owner of 5 Star Vintage

  • Time management is one of his best traits

    • If you’re on time everything else follows

  • Grew up on the east side of Palmdale, CA (5:45)

    • Lived at the end of a cul-de-sac in his neighborhood which was a safe + good environment to be raised in

    • Half a million people, suburban desert that gets hot in the summer, cold at night. Also a huge sports town, started producing NFL level athletes  

  • Parents got divorced when Steve was eight years old (11:45)

    • Tricky for him because he was unsure of what was really happening and why he was placed in this situation

    • Spent half of his week with his father in Palmdale, the other half in Acton, CA right down the road

      • Palmdale was a mix of cultures (Black, Hispanic, White etc) and Acton was mostly White

  • Learning to adapt was a lesson he learned that stuck with him (17:58)

    • Parents were divorced, was at a new school and he realized that all he could do was make best with the situations that he was placed in

  • Started getting serious with basketball by 4th/5th grade and that was something that kept him focused (19:00)

    • Enjoyed dirtbiking, biking, paintball and anything that the neighborhood kids were into

  • Got recruited to play basketball at Regis College in Weston, MA, right outside of Boston, MA (25:25)

    • Grew up a Boston Celtic fan and they were looking for a shooter position so he figured it was a good opportunity

    • The city had the coaches, the school, a place with a lot going on and somewhere he’d have plenty of opportunity to grow his new business venture

  • Started losing interests in being part of the basketball program because he wasn’t playing at all, also was losing focus on his actual school work

    • Coach told him to take a week off and when he returned he had a completely different mindset  

    • Recognized he had committed to program and he was not going to allow himself to just give up (30:20)

  • Launched his clothing company 5 Star Vintage when he was in high school looking for a way to make money (32:20)

    • Started off flipping Jordan shoes, Bape & Supreme Shirts and anything he could make money on

    • Went to thrift stores and started flipping vintage Polo Ralph Lauren clothes on his store. Huge cult following and there was money to be made.

  • Wanted to name the business something that was top grade and came up with ‘5 Star Vintage’

  • Something Steve knows now that he wishes he knew in the beginning was staying committed and being on top of everything (44:50)

    • With the internet you need to be in front of people everyday because people forget about you and you need to post consistently

  • His strategy for growth over the past couple years has been very natural and organic (48:10)

    • Utilizing all the free social media platforms to his advantage (Instagram, Twitter etc)

    • Built it from word of mouth, customers engagement, having contests and having people tag their friends in his posts

    • People who’re talking about the brand means more than him trying to sell people on it

  • Buying inventory for his website he buys what he knows is going to sell but is also gear that he would rock himself (53:40)

    • Depending on the time of the year, different products sell more than others

  • Steve sells his products below what other competitors are selling similar products for

    • When he first got interested in buying vintage products he could not afford it and this was one of his first inspirations to start his own store (57:45)

  • Running the business for 5+ years now it has become part of his life

    • Getting to the point where he’d like to bring someone in to help run it but afraid because he’s a control freak and likes overseeing every part of the business (Buying product, posting images, shipping etc)

    • Building the right team takes time and people will make mistakes in the beginning. With time, they’ll only get better with their position (64:55)

  • Wants to get to a point where he owns nothing but controls everything

    • Still sells products but isn’t attached to all the “physical” products

  • Huge fan of comedy, has messed around with his own comedy podcast and has done standup a handful of times (71:30)

    • Loves the vulnerability of it and everything is in the “now” moment

  • The definition of a “hustler” is someone that does whatever is needed to make ends meet

    • As long as it does not directly hurt someone or is taking from someone unwillingly

  • Traveling has helped Steve become more empathetic for people (78:30)

    • We may think we know how people live but we really don’t understand until we see it for ourselves

  • If you have a hot shower, hot food and a bed to sleep in your life is good (82:30)

    • Some people in this world don’t have any of these

  • Ask Bobbbaaaay 1 question

    • How did you get the name of “Bobbbaaaay” with the spelling of it?

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

    • Parrot on his shoulder, cute woman, big dog next to his foot, Chicago Bulls NBA ring, adopt a kid at some point, background is in Aspen, Colorado with him wearing a furry hat

  • Where to find Steve & 5 Star Vintage on social media

    • 5 Star Vintage

      • Instagram/Twitter: @5StarVintage

      • Website: 5starvintage.com

  • 2-3 pieces of advice for someone trying to find their passion/purpose (91:25)

    • Trial and error of the things that you’re interested in. If you like something keep working with it, if you hate it stay away

    • Find something that helps people that you enjoy doing and that’s how you find your purpose

      • Going out of your to make people feel good