“Having Fun with the Zoolander Approach To Underwear Marketing”
A conversation with Dan Barry, founder of Marc Skid
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dan Barry, founder of Marc Skid, LLC, a cheeky, eco-friendly underwear brand owner with a passion for giving back. Made with the finest cotton, Organic Pima, and with a recycled water bottle in each waistband, Marc Skid underwear is dedicated to the betterment of the world and its people. The mission of the brand is to allow people to Make Their Marc on the World by donating four dollars per pair to 4-Star Charities dedicated to saving, feeding, and curing the world.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I was raised by civic-minded parents and surrounded by people who cared about their community. One such person is Sister Laurinda, my Mom’s best friend and founder of Pro-Papa Missions in Honduras. Post-college, during mission work, I was exposed to the true meaning of selflessness and giving back. After a 25-year career with Anheuser-Busch, I decided to strike out on my own and found Marc Skid in the belief that brands should be like people we admire, having a sense of humor, strong character, and a purposeful existence.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?
I became a first-time father at 51. Although I thought it would be a tough situation to be a first-time father and launch a start-up, it has been the opposite — with the ups and downs of starting a new business balanced out by the joy I receive when I look at my son and see his smile. His smiles and laughter remind me of the key lesson I learned in Honduras and stated to eloquently by Mark Twain: “The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.”
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
That an idea that originated over 25 years ago while having a few beers with a good friend and laughing how the “un Zoolander” approach to underwear marketing can actually become actualized as a brand.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I would say my friend John, who was the friend I was drinking with over 25 years ago, when we had the discussion about all things underwear, is the person to whom I owe the idea that has become Marc Skid. John was the first close friend with whom I knew I could discuss anything — and that led to a lot of interesting conversations, including ones about underwear! Another person would be my wife, Lauren, who has been supportive of my pursuing this dream.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
In our first 5 months, we’ve donated over $2,000 to 4-star charities dedicated to saving, feeding, and curing the world. In addition, even as a start-up small brand, Marc Skid is showing that things can be done in an eco-friendly way.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I launched my Start-Up” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
#1: Nothing will go according to your business plan.
#2: Multiply your estimated launch time by at least 2.
#3: The lack of process, procedures, and standards in the manufacturing industry.
#4: It takes personal fortitude to make things happen.
#5: Remind yourself that issues can become opportunities and opportunities, improvements.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)
I don’t know that he’ll see this, since he’s no longer with us, but Paul Newman because he was the original creator of brands that give back with his Newman’s Own products. Obviously, it would be an honor to meet someone like Oprah for whom I have much respect both as a businessperson and a human being. And a kind word from her could completely lead a brand to soar!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
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If you would like to see the entire “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” Series In Huffpost, ThriveGlobal, and Buzzfeed, click HERE.