Hook & Albert: An Exclusive Interview with Co-Founder Adam Schoenberg
Our team had the opportunity to interview Adam Schoenberg, Co-Founder of the fashion accessories brand Hook & Albert and Managing Partner of Detail Provisions Co. Read below to see what Adam has to say about distinguishing your brand, modern day entrepreneurship, and success.
BST: What is your background and how did it prepare you to be a founder?
AS: My background is pretty diverse. Prior to Hook & Albert, I spent a decade marketing, growing and managing various consumer-targeted businesses. I started my career building American Latino Syndication company, which was a acquired in 2007 by LA TV. With experience both in building and working for start-ups, I realized all of these companies had to start somewhere. In many cases, it started because someone, or a group of people, had an idea or problem they want to solve. A founder is someone who actually wants to make that change and decides to do something about it. Having been around these environments and seeing so many people execute on these ideas or problems, it was a natural next step for me. Hook & Albert was born because there was a problem we wanted to fix. My co-founder Cory Rosenberg and I realized there were no go-to accessories companies for men at the time. We wanted to build a brand that was only about the small, but important, things in fashion. While that was the original idea ten years ago, today we’re a global travel brand catering to today’s sprint traveler with a variety of functional, beautiful products. But we would not exist as we are today had we not been willing to solve a problem years ago.
BST: Can you describe what your first three months were like after starting Hook & Albert?
AS: After starting Hook & Albert, our first three months were very raw, uncomfortable, interesting, and scary. In the first month, I specifically remember the uncomfortable feeling of not knowing what to do next because there was simply so much to get done. I quickly realized it was important to organize my thoughts and take things one step at a time. Within the first three months, we also realized that because we had self-funded the business, that it needed more money. Cory and I both had to go back into our bank accounts and put more money into the business. If I had to summarize those first three months, it was figuring out what needed to get done in the most strategic way and making sure the business didn’t fail in the first six months of actually building it.
BST: It seems as if there is a new fashion accessories brand popping up every day. How does Hook & Albert distinguish itself in such a crowded space?
AS: This is very true. In fact, today in Shopify alone, there are over 600,000 different consumer brands, many of which fall under the accessories category. It is much easier to start a business today than it ever has been before. In order to distinguish ourselves, we don’t look at any of this. Ten years ago, we decided to build a brand. Not a brand in fashion or a brand that catered to accessories, but a consumer brand. We wanted to build a connection with our consumer and offer them a solution. Today, our goal remains the same. As we evolve, we continue to look at ways we can simplify our consumer’s journey. We make it our focus to execute to the best of our ability on our thesis, deliver the best products we can, and to market them authentically, rather than focusing on what other brand’s are doing. We’ve always designed and built our business on looking ahead. By staying focused on our consumer and our own success, we have been able to stay true to ourselves and therefore distinguish Hook & Albert in our space.
BST: What would you say are the three most important skills for a modern day entrepreneur to have?
AS: 1) Time Management 2) Decisiveness 3) Flexibility
BST: What has been your most exciting moment so far in terms of your company’s growth?
AS: Every year, we’re able to look back at a variety of metrics and KPIs to see how we’ve done. Every year, we’ve improved in some way, shape or form. Every single day that we get to execute on our dream and be creative is the best, most-fulfilling and exciting time. For us, it’s really the fact that, even after ten years, we’re still able to do what we love and execute on our original thesis.
BST: What does success mean to you?
AS: Early on, I probably would’ve answered this question with some sort of monetary-related response. Today, success to me means being able to do what I want. Every day I get to wake up and create. I get to build something. I get to work with incredible people who not only believe in and help shape Hook & Albert’s vision, but our business is also responsible for their livelihoods. For me, that’s the most incredible part of success.