We had the good fortune of connecting with Bret Englander and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bret, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Work ethic, creativity, appetite for risk, and authenticity are key factors behind our growth and success. For a brand or individual product to succeed, there are so many different things that need to align correctly. How many songs have been one small hook away from becoming a hit? I think about this a lot and feel really fortunate to have been able to work with our team to create a brand and products that people appreciate.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Cerno is a design and manufacturing company that specializes in making modern light fixtures. I started the company with two of my best friends from childhood Daniel Wacholder and Nick Sheridan. Friendship, trust, and belief in one another are at the core of what we have accomplished.
We started the company 12 years ago. It’s easy to romanticize about the early days now, but it was really challenging, with lots of highs and lows. We worked 6 days a week and long hours for the first 5 years straight. Relationships were strained, we were beyond exhausted, each milestone helped us stay inspired to reach the next one.
Cerno is a team effort, we feel thankful to do what we love with a group of cool and talented people.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are few nook and cranny beaches that cannot be named but would be on the top of the list. The ocean is such an important part of my life that a lot of time would be spent at the beach.
I am from Laguna Beach and you cannot give a friend a tour of Laguna and not take them to the Saloon and Sand Piper (aka The Dirty Bird)
A fun show at The Greek or Hollywood Bowl would be great.
Maury’s bagels in Silver Lake is the perfect late breakfast/early lunch to allow for a long day touring around.
I have not surfed Malibu in years, but that sounds fun and then take a drive up the PCH to some of the less populated zones.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents had a business that was equal parts creative and analytical. Having exposure to this was invaluable, I saw that you could be an artist and a business person without having to be all or nothing. Although Cerno is very different from their business, their support and mentorship definitely were a driving force behind giving me the confidence to know it’s possible. My business partners are super intelligent and teach me new things all the time. My fiance, Taylor, is very smart, kind, and supportive, she listens to me and gives amazing advice that works its way into a lot of my business decisions. There are so many more people that deserve credit. I feel beyond fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of kind, intelligent and supportive friends and family.