We had the good fortune of connecting with Sean & Shannon Scott and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sean & Shannon, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
It’s an interesting question because Shannon and I both had great careers already. Shannon was VP of Marketing at Asics. I had stints at Nike, Asics, and Vans and was a founding member of TOMS. We had had some great experiences and had learned from some of the best. I won’t lie, we considered just retiring. But we both felt compelled to address some missed opportunities. We had unfinished business. There were three main motivations: – Overseas mass production is a serious problem. Not only is this model outdated, slow and inflexible but also the sustainability and human rights record of fashion mass production is criminal. Overseas mass production is designed to improve costs for companies; not for serving its customers better and certainly not for improving the lives of its workers and community. – Social impact in fashion is often focused on those in need in far away lands. We see plenty of need closer to home. We see people in need every day on our way to work in the Arts District. – There is an increasing need for businesses to connect to their communities. Despite technological advances in communication, there is global unrest (even well before 2020) and, despite being digitally connected, we feel more disconnected from each other. We felt a need to connect to our community. We wondered what would a business look like that addressed these ideas? COMUNITYmade was born directly from these discussions. We’re making great products close to our customers and we’re actively engaged with and contributing to our community.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My career path has been, um, uneven. I even did a TED talk about the upsides of getting fired. The most important thing I learned in my career journey was resilience- understanding that I could bounce back from any setback. Resilience and perseverance are obviously very important qualities in an entrepreneur. Shannon’s career path was more linear. She spent 26 years at ASICS, where she became VP of Marketing, in charge of the Americas, a $1B business. Shannon is a force. She’s the doer. I’m more the dreamer. This turns out to be a wonderfully successful combination. A kite needs a pilot or it will drift away and a pilot needs a kite to fly high. Together, the sky is the limit.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love cycling in LA, so let’s start with a ride. We can start from COMUNITYmade in the Arts District and get an awesome pour over at Blue Bottle Coffee next door. Ride to Griffith Park, up the valley side of Mt Hollywood. It’s closed to cars, the tarmac is crap, and it’s tree-covered the whole way. The descent to the Griffith Park Observatory has beautiful views of the Hollywood sign. Fill up our water bottles at the Observatory while taking in amazing views of the city. Head back along the LA River bike path with a detour to Guisado’s in Boyle Heights. Back in the Arts District, we could take a walk to whatever installation that Art at the Rendon as dreamed up this month. Then we’d have a walking tour of our favorite (and secret) street art alleyways. We can get a late lunch at Pizzanista or hang on for early dinner outside at our favorite de-stressor, Pour Haus Wine Bar where Lorena makes us feel at home. Since this is our ideal day and we can do whatever we want, the pandemic is gone and we have tickets to see Poolside, Thundercat, Kolars, and Los Lobos at the Hollywood Bowl. Before we depart for the show, we visit our friends at Spirit Guild (in the Arts District, of course) and pick up a bottle of their very special clementine-distilled gin and vodka, for the virus-free after party, which never ends.
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?
We are deeply inspired by people doing the humble yet life-changing work “in the trenches” in our community. We have an active and personal relationship with three amazing organizations here in LA: STREET POETS harnesses the healing power of poetry and music to save lives, create community and transform culture. Street Poets breaks the cycle of violence in the lives of at-risk and incarcerated youth by awakening them to their strengths, their gifts, and their plaice in the community. YOUTH MENTORING CONNECTION matches at-risk youth with caring adult mentors and placing that “match” within a structured group dynamic that provides the resources youth need to reach productive, conscious adulthood. They further seek to awaken society to the value and gifts of this overlooked population. THE PEOPLE CONCERN is one of Los Angeles County’s largest social services agencies, TPC provides a fully integrated system of care – including mental and medical health care, substance abuse services, and permanent supportive housing – tailored to the unique needs of homeless individuals, survivors of domestic violence, challenged youth, and others who have nowhere else to turn. We’re awed by these people everyday and all of us are better for the work they’re doing.
Linkedin: COMUNITYmade INC linkedin.com/company/17992841/