We had the good fortune of connecting with Zack Metcalf and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zack, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Hello everyone! Zack Metcalf, Co-Founder & Chief Hawaiian Officer of MNKY Hawaiian shirts! Wow has it been a journey to say the least, from the moment that we had the idea at a small apartment in San Francisco, to now a 2nd line of 10 MNKY shirts launching this summer and a great team to back us up! I think a few of the most important factors behind our success has been 1.) continuous learning, 2.) constant drive and 3.) word of mouth marketing from our customers when they wear our modern MNKY Hawaiian Shirts! Continuous Learning – When we had the idea about starting MNKY, Billy, our Co-Founder and I were working in the Pharmaceutical & Investment Banking industry at the time. With little to no knowledge about how to start an apparel brand, the first questions we had for ourselves were… Well, what is next? Do we start an LLC? Do we find a designer? Do we find a factory? What do we send to the factory once we want the shirts created? So many thoughts went through our minds about next steps and where we should start. The continuous learning has never stopped! Over the years there hasn’t been a week where we haven’t learned something new which has strengthened our mission to modernize the Hawaiian Shirt. Constant Drive – This journey to modernize the Hawaiian Shirt and create the best product possible has not been easy. We have had some amazing times, some challenging times and we are still pushing through the COVID pandemic. With all of these experiences, our incredible team has maintained a constant drive to persevere and keep the momentum going. The only way that we will fail is if we give up, which is not going to happen! Word of Mouth Marketing – If you ask any of our MNKY tribe members (AKA people that have purchased a MNKY Shirt) and ask them about their experience in our shirts, most of them will say that it is 1.) their new favorite shirt 2.) the shirt they receive more compliments on than any other shirt, 3.) the shirt they feel the most confident in, 4.) the most tailored shirt they own… and the list goes on! With so many happy customers, our tribe continues to spread the word about MNKY. Our biggest advice to all of your entrepreneurs out there, don’t just create a product that people are going to like, create a product that your customers will LOVE and tell the world about!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My career has been a very unique journey to say the least. Back in college I was studying to be an Accountant (So happy I did not continue on that path, Ha!). I was going through the big 4 accounting interviews, had a 5 year plan, had an end goal to be a partner, and all of that came crashing down when I did not get an internship my junior year at UCSB (Go Gauchos!). To say I was bummed would have been a huge understatement. Well with every failure comes opportunity. Two days after being denied that internship I went into a study abroad office to sign papers and move to Australia for a 6 month exchange program. That one decision led me to live in 3 countries (Spain, Germany, Guam) for 4 years and travel to over 35 countries during that process. My mindset about the world, different opportunities for entrepreneurship and work/life balance completely changed. Upon my arrival back to California I transitioned into a business development role for a startup pharmaceutical technology company which continued my journey of entrepreneurship to help grow something from the start. Three years later, MNKY was born which looking back now completely makes sense. Ever since I was a kid, I would steal hawaiian shirts from my dad’s closet which were always baggy and boxy. Then when we had the idea to modernize them and create a shirt that you can wear to a beach sesh or a board meeting, we knew we had something! I look back at these experiences and always joke about how when I was 21, if somebody would have told me that in my early 30’s I would have shied away from the accounting route, would have lived in 5 countries to date, would have worked in the pharmaceutical industry and then started a Hawaiian Shirt Business… I would have laughed out loud! Life is a trip and sometimes you have to just roll with the punches and see where you end up.Through these incredible experiences I have learned so much about life, what is important and how your growth can come in the most unique scenarios. My advice to you all no matter what part of your journey you are in: You have one chance at this life so live well. Be Happy. Be inspirational. Be joyful. Have a dream and go after it. Stop the excuses. Travel often. Fail, but learn through the process. Make lasting relationships. Be the friend you expect of others. Make a difference in this world. Be the change you want to see. Fall in love. Never stop learning. Make this life the life you want to have and don’t stop until you achieve it!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had a few friends coming into the city, by biggest advice would be to do things that the locals do! Miami has an incredible Latin culture with so many types of people. restaurants, bars, clubs and beaches that there are endless things to do! Places that are a must see include: Wynwood Walls, Little Havana, Miami Desogn District, South Beach and if you have flexibility to come through out th eyear make sure you check out Art Basel or Ultra Music Festival! – Amazing city with great night life, great clubs and great restaurants! Restaurants that are a must eat include: Coyo Taco, Crazy About You, Komodo, CVI.CHE 105, Doggi’s Arepa Bar, Milly’s Empanada Factory Nighlift/Clubs to check out: Club Space Miami, Treehouse, E11even, El Patio, Whiskey Neat, No 3 Social, Smoke Wynwood
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
On behalf of the MNKY team, we would like to thank our family, our friends and all of the MNKY tribe that has supported us along this amazing journey! Also, Tim Ferriss for your incredible book, The Four Hour Work Week. We would not have started this business if both of us hadn’t have read your book!
Photo Credit: Gabriella Mintz @mintzervisuals