I met Andrew in high school and while most of our discussions back then were centered around music or burrito choices while in line at our local burrito shop, I see now that the enthusiasm Andrew revealed when discussing either of those conversation topics was a clue to his ability to be a passionate entrepreneur.
Since that time, Andrew has traveled the world, owned a hostel in Guadalajara, become a father, and started Lower Park.
Lower Park is a clothing company promoting travel and while doing so, also promotes cultural awareness in the world of art and fashion. Andrew and his team make products using textiles sourced during worldwide travels, using unique and limited materials. Lower Park’s headquarters are out of the San Francisco Bay Area and Guadalajara, México serves as their production base.
What clues did you have about your natural tendencies that led you do be a Designer?
I always enjoyed to travel and I've always liked to wear hats. So when I started meeting people in Guadalajara Mexico who were producing fanny packs, hats & t shirts, I started asking around at local shops in downtown Guadalajara about who could produce hats with fabrics I bring. Luckily the first contact I received from a nice lady in a fabric store turned out to be the people who made our first push.
When did you decide to start your own business?
The first business I started apart from working as a freelance sound engineer was a Hostel in Guadalajara. I had some money saved up and knew I wanted to spend a year or so abroad. I started Lower Park recently from wanting to have a reason to continue traveling besides just sightseeing and partying and field recording audio.
What was the best piece of advice you were given as you were starting out?
I'm not sure. It's been hard starting up business' in Mexico because Spanish is my second language and I just started learning a few years ago. So sometimes you get into situations where you aren't 100% sure what the people are talking about, but you just go with the flow and try to get a feel for who you are working with and what experience they have and out here, if they are going to take your money and leave you with a half ass product. Which for me seems to be the common issue of making business in Mexico. But I plan mostly to sell in Europe and the States. I need a lot of advice on learning how to approach stores as a wholesaler.
What do you do behind the scenes?
Eat, hang out with my kid and girlfriend, make sure the hostel is running smoothly, make music, travel and sometimes work in audio projects.
What is your inspiration for your work?
Trying to push people to travel and wanting people to be more open minded about the world and different cultures around the world. I want to live in many countries around the world and keep it changing. That's why I left the states, I was bored of the corporate machine and felt like I didn't really know anything about anything else besides life in the USA. I want other people to see my success as an international entrepreneur and explore for themselves. Although my projects are on a really small scale compared to most.
What is your goal during this your design process?
I wouldn't call myself a designer, I just choose the fabrics for the hats while traveling to different countries. Sometimes you have a fabric that isn't your favorite, but after it's cut and sewn and everything it turns out to be a hat that a lot of people like.
What are a few things people don’t know about you?
I've visited almost 30 countries and spent over 5 years of my mid-late 20's traveling outside of the states.