Meet our Customer of the Week, Kyle Lawrence, the CEO and Founder of The Smile Life
The/Studio: Introduce yourself. Tell our readers a little bit about who you are!
Kyle: My name is Kyle Lawrence. I grew up in Southern California. I grew up enjoying the outdoors, going to the beach, surfing, playing volleyball and other activities with friends. Growing up in the local surf culture, I had the privilege to be a part and represent smaller start-up brands. I quickly began to enjoy fashion, menswear, and surf culture from spending time in this industry in my younger years. In addition, Growing up the grandson of a local Men’s and Women’s clothing boutique owner only increased my knowledge and influenced me to want to learn more. I remember in Junior High and High School drawing surf brand logos all over my binder and also began to start drawing a few of my own. As I entered high school and started to get busy with competitive surfing and volleyball, my focus moved towards school and athletics. I went on to play volleyball at Ohio State University and won a National Championship in 2011. At the Ohio State University, I studied Hospitality Management/Business. Giving back has always given me joy and I’ve always had entrepreneurial goals, So I started a philanthropic brand called The Smile Life in the fall of 2014.
The/Studio: What does your business do?
Kyle: The Smile Life is a philanthropic lifestyle clothing brand. We sell quality hats & tees, and we donate 5% of every sale towards providing people in need with clean water, toothbrushes and tooth paste.
The/Studio: What have you learned since starting your business?
Kyle: I have learned:
– Be patient
– Be Clear
– The effort you put in is what you’ll get out of it
The/Studio: What about your business are you most proud of?
Kyle: I’m proud when I give a clean smile to someone in need and the customer who buys the hat or tee.
The/Studio: What are some of the greatest challenges you face with your business?
Kyle: My greatest challenge is making sure I prioritize my work and not always do what is fun or easy.
The/Studio: Where do you see your business in 10 years?
Kyle: In 10 years, I want to be a national household clothing brand name. I want to expand our philanthropic outreach into multiple continents.
The/Studio: What type of legacy do you want to leave?
Kyle: I want people to know The Smile Life as a brand that inspired people to live life to the fullest, enjoy the outdoors and influence consumers to not only buy clothing for how it looks but by the impact it has on people in need.
The/Studio: What is the story behind the custom product that you produced with The/Studio?
Kyle: With Studio, We produced custom patches that you see on our Captain Hat. We also designed custom labels that line all of our hats that say “I have helped give a clean smile to someone in need.” We hope that this label gives an emotional attachment between our customer and the hat and the impact the hat has on other people’s lives.
The/Studio: Do you have any promotions you would like to offer our community?
Kyle: I would like to extend 15% discount to all readers.
The/Studio: Do you have any upcoming events that our community members can attend?
Kyle: We are launching a Kickstarter campaign by the end of summer. We will also be having pop-up shops in the Southern California area during the summer. We are also planning an event with The/Studio that we are very excited about! Please follow our instagram @the_smilelife for updates on new product and events.
Thank you very much, Kyle for sharing your story with us. You sure put a smile on our faces!