We had the good fortune of connecting with Ty McBride and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ty, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had just been fired from my position as the Creative Director of Solestruck.com, and while I did not disagree with my termination, I decided that, at that point, I was tired of building other people’s brands, visions and dreams. I had just finished two long stints for two companies whom I worked very intimately for. After leaving that job, I decided, I needed to give it a go on my own, despite not fully being ready, not having enough start up funds, and being terrified. Here I am six years later….still under-funded, still not 100% ready, and still terrified.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The shoe industry, especially at the mid-tier, is a very strange place, a destination all it’s own. Blazing a trail on my own terms, as a queer owned brand, in this sphere, is something I am very proud of. I worked many years for Jeffrey Campbell, whom many know as a global shoe icon. I started my true learning under Jeff and during my time there. INTENTIONALLY BLANK was born from something I saw missing in the market: minimal shoes with an edge. Wearable pieces created for women on the go, those who value personal style, and use it as a vehicle of expression. I am still learning, and am open to the process, which is one thing that I think keeps me going. I am also insanely cheap—that is also a big part of it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am currently bi-coastal, splitting my time between Los Angeles, and Hudson NY. You cannot find two more uniquely different places. If my best friend came to visit me in Hudson, I would start off by offering a picnic on the grounds of the historic Olana House, a landmark home and state park with sweeping views of the Hudson Valley. Shopping on iconic WARREN ST. is a must, including a stop at my store at 238 WARREN. Dinner can only be had at Lil’ Deb’s Oasis…the best of the best. Hudson is a special place, the leaves, the sweeping vistas, and the magic of the locals. If you came to see me in Los Angeles, and the world were functional, we would start a Saturday at Beverly Hot Springs–my favorite thing to do, and place to soak in LA. I love the ROSEBOWL Flea Market, and try to plan my trips around it. I love casual dining, and LA does that best—my pick? SPERANZA, a semi-hidden gem with the best food, a cute staff, and the chance at a nice celeb sighting over squid ink pasta.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My road to success is paved by my network and my team. I work with a very small team of very dedicated people. I collaborate with people whom I have known for years, and I owe them everything for their continued dedication and support. Gilbert Moran is my longest term employee—he has seen me at highs and lows, and celebrated lots of success by my side. He is an essential ingredient to this brand. Anna Branch is a consultant who has been with us for many years, and she and I worked together at a previous job. Her dedication to what we do here is insane, and I am very fortunate.
photos; Shelley Buche, and Hope Glassel