Beside running one of the more timeless, clothing-focused Instagram accounts we know of, Chris Molnar is a guy that is constantly on the go—whisking his way through the fashion world and looking to put his company, Goodlife, and its modern-yet-nostalgic footprint on the map.
Knowing the man has heaps of present-day entrepreneurial knowledge, we gave him a shout for some tips and tricks on growing one’s business, weathering the turbulence of a crazy travel schedule, and what it really takes to out-hustle others in the 21st century.
What do you recognize as your first step to starting your company, Goodlife?
I designed our first logo in 1999, while home in NJ after my freshmen year of college. The name Goodlife was actually inspired by an amazing and SUPER RANDOM Smelly Tuna Snowboards t-shirt I bought in Redondo Beach when I was 17. It was a picture of a cool looking European dude and a hot blonde standing behind a 308 Ferrari. The girl was also holding the reigns of a white horse. They were in a lush field and all the t-shirt said was “…the good life”.
On making connections/relationship-building:
I have been in the fashion industry for 16 years. The only thing you have from day one is your reputation. It’s a small industry, and people remember your character and how you approach the business more than the product you are selling.
Favorite meal to keep you fresh on the go?
Salad. A lot of salad. The worst thing you can do is eat unhealthy or load up on carbs and feel tired. Also, a lot of espresso and bananas for energy.
On business and pleasure:
I’m not a spring chicken anymore, so my recovery time is pretty terrible. My speeds are 0mph or 100mph, so I have learned that if I have a lot to do the next day—whether traveling or in NYC—I might want to take it easy, or else I’m going to pay. I’m definitely a weekend warrior these days, if anything.
A photo posted by Goodlife (@goodlife_clothing) on
Worst business decision you’ve made + learned from?
Don’t compare yourself to other businesses. That goes for any industry: worry about your own brand and your own journey. Mistakes are meant to teach you a lesson that you shouldn’t make again. I used to beat myself up over mistakes…now I focus more on what is in front of us.
Describe your travel protocol.
Always take the first flight out—they are rarely delayed. If you can’t fit everything in a carry-on for 5 days or less, you’re packing too much. Find time to workout while you’re on the road, too…it’s a must.
One thing that never fails to inspire you?
Watching new styles, colors, branding, anything you envisioned come to life is an awesome feeling that never gets old. When I get a box of the next season’s samples delivered I’m like a kid opening presents at Christmas, seeing ideas come to life. It’s a feeling that’s hard to explain.
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