What is your name and what do you do?
Alex Tyree. I’m a marketer. I help create ads/commercials for Spike Lee’s boutique creative shop Spike DDB. I also direct the marketing for a family owned hat line – Popz Topz.
Where are you from and how has being from there affected you?
Born and raised in Ohio, now living in Brooklyn by way of Chicago, I’m still a Midwesterner to my core and many of those values stick with me; honesty, friendliness and in some ways laid back.
As a child what did you want to be and why?
When I was little I thought I would either be an NBA star or a preacher… growing up in the golden age of the NBA (The Jordan years) I’m sure every little kid felt that way. Hearing the NBA on NBC theme song “Roundball Rock” still brings me chills to this day. But wanting to be a preacher is much more unique to my childhood experience. Raised Pentecostal and pretty much under a pew, I come from a long generation of pastors/preachers, musicians, and choir singers. My childhood heroes were a balance of Michael Jordan, Penny Hardaway, Fred Hammond and church Bishops lol.
What does an average day look like for you?
Well, it’s hard to say any day is average, but days could consist of client meetings, being on-site for a production, creative reviews, status meetings with Spike, spending time on research or planning. I spend my evenings or some weekends on growing Popz Topz.
What has helped your business get to where you at now?
Part naïve acts of faith, part not being afraid to be different. When the hat line, Popz Topz, first got started there were plenty people that laughed, at the styles or name. Since then we’ve seen a number copy cats, and the gigglers quiet now.
What has been a tangible hack or a short cut that has helped you get to where you are at now?
See the opportunity in sideways steps, life’s pathway is not meant to be linear. If you’re somewhere you don’t want to be, don’t be afraid to begin anew in areas of passion. Your efforts in the areas you are most passionate about are far greater, don’t waste energy on something don’t love for too long. And get involved with people and organizations that can help/challenge you along the way, for me that was the Marcus Graham Project.
Random: What is a goal you want to accomplish by the end of the year?
Learn to swim. None of my parents or siblings ever learned, but my late grandfather probably prolonged his life 20 years by becoming an avid swimmer.
What is next for yourself?
Right now I’m just enjoying the process, that’s my focus. But expecting some big wins this fall and winter quarter!