We had the good fortune of connecting with Jon Narcisso and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jon, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk, in my opinion, is one of the top three things you need as a creative. There has never been a moment during my process where I haven’t had to factor in taking a risk. From day one I have always had the bet on yourself mentality. So taking a risk was essentially my only option. As creators, it goes through our minds constantly how our work will be perceived by our audience. But staying true to yourself and being confident in what you create – things usually work out.
Risk taking has been the fundamental piece throughout my entire life. How I describe it is having a fearless mentality. I’ve always been comfortable with myself. I believed that freed me from anything that was holding me back and has allowed me to do everything I set my mind to.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The Jon Narcisso brand was created and built off of quality, boldness and confidence. I’ve paralleled those ideas to my design process by being specific in which types of straw grades I select. I’ve always wanted to bridge the classic build with a modern approach. We’ve never been afraid of trying new things but, remaining true to our identity.
I got to where I am today by being consistent, determined and being open to learning. The process of getting where I am now included me always being aware that I didn’t know anything. This road was not easy at all. There were so many obstacles as well as realizations that I was literally starting from nothing. Hat making is like a “secret society”. I didn’t have any blueprints or mentors to show me how to learn the craft. I had to step outside of my comfort zone and travel to learn how authentic Panama hats are made. During my research I discovered that true, handcrafted Panama hats were sourced and woven in Ecuador. I knew I wanted to create beautiful, quality straw hats but, I wasn’t sure how to do it. From there, I emptied out my savings and booked a flight. Thats where the journey truly started.
I’ve learned that discipline is intentional. Growth within your business has to start with the growth of yourself. You have to remain curious in every aspect of the creative process. You can’t rule anything out.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Edwin Mills in Old Town Pasadena The District DTLA
Loqui in Culver City
The Broad Museum DTLA
And the beach, of course.
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 would love to dedicate my shoutout to my family. Specifically, my sister Nailah who has been my number one supporter since I had the idea in 2011.
I would also love to give a special recognition to my wife. She is my backbone and has provided constant encouragement and support throughout the journey of my business.
There are a couple people that I’ve met throughout my career that I consider friends, colleagues and brothers. I’ve learned so much from them and admire each of their creativity individually. Geoff Duran, Manuel Jackson (Manny J), Dan Antonio, Rob Tate, and Marlon Denon. All of these gentlemen have made a huge contribution towards my creative perspective. They’ve given me everything from encouraging words, time spent and an outlet to vent when I’m doubting myself.
Facebook: Jon Narcisso Luxury Headwear
Other: Jon Narcisso Hat Company Showroom 1055 E. Colorado Boulevard, Suite #5146 Pasadena, CA 91106