There’s a certain familiarity in the air every time summer rolls around. Whether it be the conscious tropes of weekend barbecues, music cranked to the highest decibel, or bathing suits that are practically lingerie at this point, there’s always a feeling of not only freedom but endless possibilities. Here at Noble, we’ve continued to ride the wave of passion and creativity, landing in a handful of stores across southern California along the way. One of which is a clothing boutique called Passport, owned by fellow entrepreneur Chris Limon. Taking a break from the busy yet satisfying daily grind of owning and operating his own business, Chris took the time to sit down and share a little bit about himself and his company for this month’s blog.
NOBLE: Tell us a little about yourself, where you grew up, and what you do for a living.
PASSPORT: (Christopher Limon, 25 years old, owner of Passport Freedom Co.) We opened our doors in November 2014. I grew up middle class, my mom and stepdad worked a lot so I spent most of my time with my grandparents that owned their own restaurant. My first job was waiting tables at their restaurant in Guadalupe called Victoria’s Restaurant, when I was only thirteen years old. Over the years I also worked at a bakeshop, a bank and was a server at the Santa Maria County Club. In 2011 I Started a brand called Klas Member. I would sew pockets onto t-shirts and sell them to family and friends. I eventually started setting up tables outside of bars so I could sell shirts to drunken people as they walked in and out. I wasn’t allowed inside since I wasn’t 21 yet.
NOBLE: Did you attend college?
PASSPORT: I only took four college classes, graphic design, speech, business and health. I believe College is for doctors or jobs that require you to have a degree. Owning a business does not require a degree.
NOBLE: When did you first decide to start a clothing boutique?
PASSPORT: Growing up having had worked for many small business’s I saw what it took to build a successful business. Being a part of a small business was so fulfilling and it’s something I wanted to do for myself. Working a corporate job like at the bank just felt empty and cold.
NOBLE: How did you come up with the name Passport for your store?
PASSPORT: When I worked for Union Bank it took two years for them to give me a raise! One day my boss took me into the conference room and told me my performance with the company was excellent. They ended up giving me a 10-CENT RAISE! I was shocked, angry and embarrassed. That same night I decided I was going to quit. I also decided I was going to open a clothing store and call it Passport. It was going to be my Passport to freedom.
NOBLE: What makes Passport different from other clothing boutiques?
PASSPORT: Passport has become well known in the industry by being diverse. We carry many different brands but also have unique services such as phone repair and a barbershop. We provide quality products along with quality services.
NOBLE: What do you love the most about running your company?
PASSPORT: I Love the joy Passport brings to others. I love that people love what I’ve created.
NOBLE: What are some of the biggest challenges of running it?
PASSPORT: Having had opened the store at such a young age and not really knowing much about business was a challenge within it self. One of the biggest challenges every entrepreneur faces is never giving up.
NOBLE: Most people don’t see the endless work and effort that goes into running a business. Shed some light on this topic and tell everyone a little bit of what actually goes on.
PASSPORT: Running a business is amazing but it has its ups and downs. When something doesn't get done, it’s on you. The business is always on you mind; it will keep you up at night. Don't even get me started on Uncle Sam, he won’t let you forget he's always there for you even when you don't need him. You are customer service, accountant, HR, janitor, and the heart of the company. As a business owner your actions can affect the entire business.
NOBLE: What does success mean to you?
PASSPORT: I believe there are two views to success. Those that view success by their bank account and those that view it by their accomplishments. I personally judge my success by my accomplishments.
NOBLE: Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
PASSPORT: In 3 years I see a lot of growth and stability
NOBLE: If you won a million dollars what would you do with it?
PASSPORT: Most people that win the lotto go bankrupt within a few years, I would continue to do what I'm doing and build on top of that. I wouldn't do anything dramatic to ruin what I have work so hard for thus far.
NOBLE: Do you have any words of motivation you can offer anyone thinking about starting their own brand or opening a store?
PASSPORT: On a Good days it’s a Good day. On a Bad Day it’s still a Good day. Never let the fear of failing hold you back, that’s just procrastination. When most elderly people are asked the question “What do you regret about you life?” Most respond with, “Not doing what I really wanted to do” don't be that person.
NOBLE: Anyone you would like to thank or shout-out?
PASSPORT: Noble for taking the time to know more about Passport. It’s a good day to have a good day!
In other news, fair season is quickly approaching and we will once again be present for the festivities so be on the lookout for our booth at the 2018 OC Fair! We’ll be there from July 13th – August 12th, and we look forward to seeing you all there!
Lastly we’ve begun prototyping a brand new model alongside starting production on some fresh new Director and Offset colorways! Stay tuned for the next Motivation Blog and lots of exciting developments coming soon!