We had the good fortune of connecting with Drew Shaw and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Drew, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
The single most important decision that I made other than deciding to work for myself is a decision that I make every day – “keep going!” It is a very difficult and scary decision to bet on yourself and decide to pursue something that you are passionate about. It takes discipline, tenacity, and a little bit of crazy to decide to keep going despite the doubts and fears that arise in the process. You’ll hear many business people sell their “secret to success.” But there isn’t one. Success only comes when you stick around long enough to see it.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The brand I want to highlight is Voyce Threads because it is the first venture I started that required me to learn an entirely new skill set and industry. Voyce Threads is a socially conscious lifestyle brand that brings awareness to important causes by designing unique apparel, like mismatched socks, that tells the inspiring story of our nonprofit partners. Our mission is to empower others to have conversations about the issues that matter most and harness the power of generosity to help create a more equitable, thriving community. We have community and sustainability at the core of everything we do. We use eco-friendly yarns like recycled cotton and recycled polyester, our manufacturer is a zero-waste factory in North Carolina. In addition to doing what is better for the environment, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of our products is donated to our nonprofit partners.
The original idea for the company came from a children’s book, “Rosewood Circle: The First Day.” That same whimsical, child-like spirit exists within the brand. Voyce Threads lives at the intersection of community and fashion – allowing people to show others what they care about in a unique way. The path to creating a social venture was not easy. Establishing supply chains, building a website, and optimizing messaging through social media are just a few challenges we had to face. The solution to every problem has always been “people.” Strong relationships has helped the company become more sustainable, more efficient, and more impactful for our nonprofit partners and community.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
1. Hike at Piestewa Peak 2. Brunch at Snooze
3. Visit Wonderspaces or the Musical Instrument Museum
4. Lunch at Little Miss BBQ
5. Watch the sunset at Hole in the Rock at Papago Park
6. Dinner at Larder + The Delta
7. Hang out at Hanny’s
8. Walk around Tempe Town Lake
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shout out to all of the people who have chosen to support my journey while walking in their own journey. Life can sometimes make us feel like we are walking alone and it takes special people to step into someone else’s story. Thank you to every mentor, friend, partner, and supporter who has ever believed in what I am doing.
Photo credit: Mike Schmidt and Umberto Lukama