This week we are excited to profile another amazing FGIDC member Spencer Hurd! Spencer is definitely someone to look out for in the men’s fashion scene in the DC Metro!
1. How did you land at your position?
I’ve been interested in fashion and more importantly, entrepreneurship, as long as I can remember. As a teenager, I always dreamt of having my own business. Despite this drive to be an entrepreneur, somehow, my professional pursuits were on a corporate trajectory. After finishing an MBA in 2009, I decided to take a position working for the US Government in Germany. While living overseas, my interest in fashion continued. I started attending fashion tradeshows in Florence, Italy, and deiced that if the opportunity ever presented itself, I would open a men’s apparel boutique. In the Spring on 2014, I moved back to the US and found myself in Washington, DC. Being back in the states brought the opportunity to pursue my business aspirations. I started looking for an available retail space and before I knew it, the stars aligned and Whiskey Ginger was born.
2. Where do you find your inspiration / motivation?
I’m inspired and motivated by the interaction I have with my customers. Frequently, I’ll have someone come back to the shop and tell me they received multiple compliments after wearing something they had purchased from Whiskey Ginger. That’s when I know I’ve been successful. It’s one thing to push my concept of what I think is cool, versus receiving affirmation from my customers that they in fact felt confident and cool. That type of customer interaction is really rewarding and motivates me to be even more meticulous in the collections I curate.
3. Why do you call the DC area home?
Growing up in the West, I consider myself more of a West Coast kid. While working overseas, I realized that at some point I would need to come “home”. And, as a Government employee, it just made sense to land in DC. I was offered a position with NASA and decided to accept. Honestly, during the first 6 months, I didn’t really like DC. It has a very unique culture that I didn’t feel I fit into. But, soon the city grew on me. For a relatively small city, you have access to world renowned arts and culture. I also really enjoy that the city is experiencing a cultural revolution. So many young professionals are moving back to the city center. It’s becoming slightly more fashionably diverse. It’s exciting to be a part of the transformation.
4. What in your career are you most proud of?
I’m not one to boast in my perceived accomplishments. If I were to look back, one of the things I’m most proud of is the fact that I actually turned my dreams into reality. I think everyone talks about starting a small business. It’s a lofty ideal. But, very few actually put the words into practice. It’s been so much work! But, I don’t regret it in the least and has been one of the biggest adventures of my life.
5. Tell us about a time you felt you had failed?
I fail on a small scale constantly. That’s part of learning and growing. I think what’s most important is that you learn from your mistakes, pick yourself up, and keep going. As a small business owner, there are so many challenges. The list is endless. Just do and don’t get too down on yourself when you stumble a bit.
6. What do you see as the biggest value of an FGI membership?
I love that FGI is so collaborative and connected. The workshops and the networking has been so beneficial. It’s also great to have the opportunity to talk to others who have faced similar challenges, are sharing a similar path, or hope to. Of all of the organizations I’ve been a part of since opening Whiskey Ginger, FGI has been the most beneficial. It has a lot to do with Whiskey Ginger being in the fashion industry, but it is also due to how awesome and supportive the members are.