Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Five Quotes from a Twenty-something Entrepreneur

On the first day of my internship, I told Addy, one of the founders of Kapten & Son, that his name was also a nickname for a drug. He chuckled.

There are three founders of Kapten & Son. When Kapten decided to focus on the US as its primary growth market, Addy picked up his life and moved to New York City. He started an office with a team of three in Williamsburg, exponentially growing Kapten in the United States with retailers such as Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Nordstrom in just three years. Addy is an blonde-haired, blue-eyed, energetic character that brings an intensity with him. He balances Kapten with his personal life, making sure to leave the office at 6PM on Wednesdays to play basketball but frequently is the last person to leave. He does not believe in trying, only doing, and rejects it when people come to him with failures. I truly believe that there is nothing that he cannot do.

Addy embodies the ETA mindset that Babson students have and has sat down with me several times to do a check in on my project and also drop some knowledge. Here are five (out of many) pieces of life advice that I have taken away from my interactions with Addy:

1. Everyone has a self-fulfilling prophecy.
This one is self explanatory. Addy always told me that if I believe that I can do it and if I say that it is going to happen, then it will.

2. Success shouldn’t let you relax. It should light a fire under your butt! If it works, work harder.
Addy’s big on improvement. Nothing is ever completely perfect – there is always progress that can be made.

3. Perfect is not when you cannot add any more, it is when you cannot take out any more.
This was said as I was finishing up a project that required some design skills. In my eyes, it looked fine but Addy told me that simplicity is best. Looking back, it was a giant mess!

4. Do not compare you to others. Compare you to yourself.
This is an important one. In an environment like Babson, I find myself always constantly in a race with my peers – whether it be internship, grades, or involvement. Addy helped me learn that improvement is not relative and you should always let yourself set the bar – not others.

5. The next month is always the most important month.
I believe that this is the most important piece of advice. Every week, the team at Kapten & Son has a KPI meeting where we discuss strategies, status of projects, and numbers. In June, Addy told the team that the most important month was going to be July. In July, Addy told the team that the most important month was going to be August. This mindset helps you always plan and work your hardest so there is never any time to relax (see number 3).

Meeting Addy has been one of the best parts of my internship. I’ve been inspired, mentored, and I am so lucky to always have him as a valuable resource in the future. Addy, if you’re reading this, hi!