After my post 2 weeks ago, I decided I wanted to make a conscious effort to post things I thought would be encouraging to students and young designers. So while I want to post the rad ideas, design, and product development that Taylor Pemberton is producing, I more so want to focus on how and why he got where he has so early on in his career. So I figured talking to him was the best way to figure that out. We chatted for a bit about the two main projects he has in the works: Cavalier and Wantful.
ME: “When did you stop just turning in assignments to get grades and really start planning these big moves?”
TAYLOR: ”I was always pretty negligent of traditional school models and what was believed to be expected. I hated that there was a preconceived route that a student must follow when they enter the “real world.” That being said, my plans were always overly ambitious and somewhat short-sighted. I would find every excuse to tie in my self-driven aspirations to my necessary college curriculum, usually knocking out both while doing something I wanted. There was a time in October of 2010 where I went through a pretty rough patch of personal problems. Immediately, the following week, I started a project that would end up changing my path and focus for the rest of the year. That project was Cavalier.”
ME: “Your route isn’t the usual designer’s route. That being the “get a degree, get a job at a firm, maybe pick up some freelance clients” mentality.”
TAYLOR: “Yeah, absolutely. I was fortunate to rack up a fair amount of experience while still in college, so I figured out very quickly what I did and didn’t want. I’m trained traditionally as a designer, but was always driven by an overarching entrepreneurial drive. Whenever I’m in the process of concepting or creating, I also think about the economics and business constraints. I realized very quickly that my interests lie in the product industry, rather than a typical service industry route.”
ME: “So obviously these projects are just ramping up, but are they part of a bigger picture in your mind or are you focused on the “now” at this point?”
TAYLOR: “Right now, I’m taking things a day at a time while taking the usual precautions for future planning. I do have plans for 2012, and even 2013, but it’s impossible to predict what can happen or how things may shift. I’m really confident in Cavalier’s potential and I’m excited for everything to come to fruition. There’s still so much uncovered ground that I think we will touch on, but Cavalier is only the first of many future projects and businesses to come.”
ME: “Do you ever worry that you may miss out on something or lack some industry knowledge due to not having agency experience?”
TAYLOR: “Not at all. I try to take every issue as a learning experience. There’s a good quote by Yvon Chouinard that I follow quite closely. “I’ve met a lot of young people who ask me what books to read, or what films to watch. I think it’s a good way to start but there’s no substitute for just going there.” Also, I’m apart of a great team that is incredibly generous, efficient, and fills the gaps when one of us falls behind.”
ME: “So as of right now, you’re juggling these 2 companies at the same time. What does that look like?”
TAYLOR: “I currently head up Wantful’s New York City office, and also act as lead designer. Cavalier is currently a vendor partner and also will be offered through Wantful.”
ME: Dream Cavalier promotional concert. Ready. Go.
TAYLOR: “Johnny Cash, Patrick Watson, and White Denim—I’ll keep it rock related for now because this one’s for Ameriguh.”