I like to think I wear my culture on my sleeve everyday, because it’s tattooed there. I’m a blend of Hawaiian and Filipino heritage with a ¼ dash of Spanish. Growing up with a large family in Southeast San Diego, my life changed dramatically when my parents split up in sixth grade. I learned the significance of friends and family, held them closely but never forgot it was a tough world out there.
This mentality stuck with me for as long as I can remember. During high school I was a wrestler and discovered that a slight shift of weight was the difference between winning or being pinned. I learned to do whatever it took to stay off my back, on my feet with my head to the sky. I took pride in my background yet quickly learned to recognize the slight distinctions and tints of meaning that separate and unite cultures. I’ve always been fascinated the different layers of culture and respect the relevance they bring to interaction. Being immersed in distinct worlds I tuned into the nuances of color, traditions, proverbs, food and relationships.
Cultural insight is essential when you build a brand. You have to be aware of the complexity of subtle differences to steer clear of assumptions and stereotypes. Globalization has blurred the distinctions among cultures but strong brands keenly never forget the nuances.
At a young age, Aristotle’s theory of the Golden Mean fascinated me, and I’ve always used it as a model for my lifestyle. The desirable middle between two extremes; a balance is what I am after.