A little about yourself?
I am an entrepreneur who currently owns and runs the Marendo Group, a full service creative, branding and business development agency based in Los Angeles. Since I graduated college, I’ve done business in the fashion, entertainment, automotive, sports, and health/wellness fields. In my spare time, I’m an avid golfer and car enthusiast.
How did you get in the industry?
I had met a ton of people in fashion and entertainment through my previous clothing company Kallusive. After we sold the business, a lot of people/brands reached out to me to do consulting work to help them with their business. I quickly realized that my skill set applied to a wide variety of businesses outside of fashion as well. It kind of went from there and snowballed into what it is today, the Marendo Group.
Tell us a little about your company The Marendo Group?
We are a full service creative, branding, and business development agency. We serve as a launchpad for new and emerging businesses to get off the ground. We tailor our services to the needs of each individual client. Some want to be heavily involved in a lot of the business aspects while others want us to do everything. We offer just about every service business related including marketing plans/campaigns, social media, photo/video shoots and production, celebrity/influencer seeding and outreach, logo/branding, business development, operations, production, design, events, investments, capital funding to name a few. We have a large team and do just about everything.
How big is your team at Marendo group?
We have 53 employees, 18 of them are our core directors. The rest are used project to project.
Where the name comes from?
The Marendo Group is such a unique company with a wide range and diverse group of people that a normal name just wouldn’t fit. So I made a name up that no one has heard before.
What part of your job do you find the most challenging?
Finding enough time in the day to do everything!
How do you bring new brands into your organization?
A majority of our clients are through word of mouth or have heard of us through the grapevine. We also have a solid network of team members who introduce potential clients to us.
Are there busy and quiet periods during the year on your company?
Not really. Any period that is not “as busy” usually is spent trying to catch up on something. It’s a blessing though to be able to stay so busy.
Tell us about your successful streetwear brand Kallusive?
I started Kallusive with my best friend when we were fresh out of college. We had absolutely no knowledge of clothing, where to produce a garment, where to buy a button, how to even print on a t-shirt. We literally jumped in the deep end of the pool and learned how to swim! Thankfully it all worked out, and from maxing out every credit card and eating Cup Noodles everyday, we eventually grew to being sold in everywhere from Fred Segal to Metropark to PacSun. There were some crazy things we had to go through, but seeing the brand grow to what it became made all the sacrifices worth it.
Where did the idea for Kalluisve come from?
Kallusive was just another name I made up, it was first used as the name of a modified car crew I started in college. When we were done with the car show scene, the name meant so much to my best friend and myself that we made it the name of our clothing company as well. The idea for Kallusive was really to push the envelope graphically, while maintaining hidden and positive messages and themes throughout. The brand became a vehicle we used to inspire people through our messaging.
How did you start the business?
A dollar and a dream! No, but really my best friend and myself pooled all our money together. I’m talking literally all the money we had made, saved up, sold stocks, sold my car, every penny to our name. From there, I would wake up everyday and aggressively attack any area or facet of business that we needed to blow Kallusive up! The rest is history.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Jonas Bevacqua from LRG. He was a visionary who I think was able to see the power of clothing company beyond just the clothes. Listening and reading his interviews inspired me to start my own clothing company. Without him, I’m not sure I ever would have started Kallusive.
Who has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?
100% my mom. Everything I do is for her. She worked two jobs, and no matter how tired she was or how much her body ached, she always came home and cooked and cleaned and took care of my brother and myself. She is my hero, and making her proud is one of biggest factors as to why I work so hard to be successful.
Name one your strengths?
I would say my biggest strength is being a people person, being able to understand and relate to everybody and anybody. Whatever your background or upbringing is, I can usually relate and find a way for us to communicate effectively together.
One product you can’t live without?
Sadly… my cell phone! It’s a gift and a curse. I don’t know how I would even be able to do all my business without it, but at the same time, it makes it harder for me to get away from everything when I want to!
How do you spend your spare time?
Golf, golf, and more golf lol … Modifying cars, working out, and movies also.
Do you have a role model?
My mom. She is the most selfless person I know and she always puts others before herself.
Where did you go to school?
After high school, I spent a few years at PCC (Pasadena City College), then transferred to Cal Poly Pomona, where I graduated from.
What marketing strategies do you prefer to use?
Guerilla marketing and unconventional marketing strategies. I like to think outside the box, way outside the box!
What has been your most successful campaign in the past?
Our “Leave Your Mark” campaign for Kallusive.
How important is Social Media for your business?
Social media is not really a big deal for Marendo Group, but it is for a majority of our clients.
Where our readers can follow you?
What’s your favorite quote?
Do your best, forget the rest! – P90X
Food: Thai, Japanese, Italian
Music: Juicy by Notorious B.I.G. is my favorite song
Nickname: Big Skoop … someone gave me the nickname because they said I’m always like a big scoop of fun! There’s a “K” in there for Kallusive.
Favorite color: Black