“If you want to get in the game, you best get to know the players.”- Me
I had a great visit with my friend Dick Pattison on Friday afternoon. Dick is co-founder and co-owner of Taylor Richards & Conger (TRC), the exquisite clothing store in Charlotte, NC. I did not know him a year ago. But on this Friday, we spent about an hour together and chatted about travel, style, and passion. From NYC to Italy and beyond, he gave me the inside scoop on what’s happening in the menswear world. It’s always good to meet someone that speaks your language.
Outside of family and friends, my language these days consists of 6 or 7 parts. Passions if you will. Travel, unique lifestyle ideas, sporting events, hats, golf, style, and food/drink. It’s how I experience the world, and it’s how I want to continue to experience the world. So about a year and a half ago, I told myself I better get to know some of the people in this world. You know, the players. And so I have.
I have always been interested in the best and the most respected. You know, things that in whatever category have stood the test of time. Stores around for 30 years. Restaurants for 60 years. So on. Has to be good. I’ve never been interested in trends, who is the richest or most popular. Meaningless. So I have been traveling near and far to go see these “best” things and people in person with one or two goals in mind. Pick their brains, and maybe make a connection. And I have.
As I have travelled, I have hit some of the most iconic and respected stadiums and sporting events. Played some legendary golf courses. Found some of the best hole in the wall restaurants ( I prefer this to 5 star places) for terrific food and drink. I’ve visited some of the finest clothing stores in the world, and visited 8 or 10 of the best hat shops in existence. But that’s not good enough for me. I want to introduce myself to the owner or head craftsperson. I want to have a conversation. I want to understand what makes the product or service so damn good. Sometimes it is simply a quick exchange, and sometimes I will make enough impact that we might exchange emails occasionally. And sometimes I make a bona fide new friend, like Dick Pattison above.
It is an intimidating proposition, even for someone who does not get intimidated easily, to go introduce yourself to one of the best. But if you truly share passions and there are no ulterior motives, you will connect. And your life will be so much more enriching. Mine has been.
I bought a couple of pieces from TRC on Friday including 2 ties from Kiton and 2 shirts from Hamilton and Eton. These names may mean nothing to you, but they represent some of the most finely crafted articles of clothing in the world. Crafted by the actual hands of some of the most talented artisans in the world. And I geek out on that kind of stuff. And I’ve finally found some others who do also. And it’s really good for the soul.
What do you geek out on? Where can you connect? It’s 2018. We live in our phones. But call me old fashioned, the best connection is still in person. A smile. A handshake. Passionate curiosity that you can feel. Whatever it is that makes you, individually, memorable.
Have a great week.- Benj
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