- Sun Clips
Photos: Mike Selsky
Words: Adam Johnston
We live in specialized times, in mature markets, in soft saturation. Ours is a world of fragmented tastes, proliferating subcultures, all the flavors of the rainbow. If there is a demographic, there is a product, an identity, a business model. Why seek the universal when you are offered the personal?
Amongst the color and the noise brands make gestures and features to differentiate themselves, to stand out amongst the grocery store shelves, Netflix queues and Amazon wishlists. These concepts are crafted to create a sense of perceived value, a visual or aural or haptic cue that suggests a reason why this shoe or that beer is better. But there is a difference between perceived value and value. In our work we meet many people from many backgrounds, each with their own skills to share and stories to tell. We spend our days and some of our nights with them, leaving our lovers to boil pasta, take out the dog, pick up the kids. At times the work becomes almost an afterthought, the cause second to camaraderie; time in the trenches, high fives in the dugout, toasts to friendship and fortune. We often find fulfillment less by how we spend our days than who we spend them with. We are not always building pyramids or fighting a righteous war.
Ultimately it’s about who you work with. They matter. They make your life better, or worse. And only those who choose the right people to work with will be able to do the work they want. Meaning begets meaning, and gives the things in your life value.
How does your location influence your brand? Our location influences us tremendously. Los Angeles is the second largest urban region in the United States. It’s a melting pot of different ethnicities, interests and things to do. At House Beer, we are constantly inspired by everything that LA encompasses: the beach, art, music, fashion, sports, and culture. With a city that is so diverse in so many ways, it reminds us how important it is for our brand to be simple, yet something that is relatable to everyone.
How are you managing your growth? A professor of mine used to say, “How do you eat an elephant?” The response was “one bite at a time.” If you try and examine the magnitude of the task at hand, especially when trying to turn an idea into an actual product you can sell, I think more often than not that task may become too daunting for many people. That said, we have been managing our growth the same way we have been managing everything else; one bite at a time. Taking care of each task and making sure that we are dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s when we do it. Like all new businesses, at times we feel like our wheels are spinning a million miles an hour and we don’t know which way is up. But since we have built the infrastructure to handle such growth, we just put our heads down, keep working and know that we’ve prepared for the future the best way we can.
What are you looking to in the future? We are looking to grow and expand into other markets. Right now House Beer can only be found in the Greater Los Angeles area. By the end of the year we are looking to be in all of California, Nevada and Arizona. Why do you come to work every day? I come to work everyday because I truly believe in and love what I’m doing. I have the chance to build a business while making a product I’m really proud of. In the end, I make and sell beer, I work in Venice, and I get to work with two of my brothers and a few of my best friends. I couldn’t ask for a better situation.