My name is Mikel Bengoa, owner and founder of Genesis Project. I am an entrepreneur, creator, and a human with a heart to change the world.
When I first created Genesis Project, I was in a place in my life that I felt I couldn't be me. So in need of a platform to express myself and be authentic, I created Genesis Project. It is my outlet of expression! Genesis means New Beginning, and that was exactly what I needed. I had recently lost my position as a leader in a company when it had gone under financially. I was left with nothing but myself. So why not grow a tree from one authentic little seed?
As I embarked on this journey I had realized that Genesis Project wasn't just for me. Genesis Project is my platform to lead by example and show other creatives, young and old, that it's possible to live in passion and make a career from it! I try to be as vulnerable as possible with my customers and fans. I want to show people the ups and the downs. There is a lot that goes into making a dream reality. I want to share what I learn with those around me.
My end goal is to mentor young creatives to build successful businesses around their passions.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Mikel. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I have always had a desire to create and a desire to bring happiness to others. At the age of 12, I started my first company, a mobile DJ service. I had apprenticed with a local mobile DJ one time and fell in love with it. I was in awe of the fact that I was contributing to these peoples happiness. The tunes I was mixing were allowing these people to dance, sing, laugh, smile. That was priceless to me. I knew at that moment that I was meant to empower others in some way.
Mikel, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Fashion Label?
I am very passionate about supporting others in living in their passions. If I see good in the world I want it to thrive; I want to be a part of it. I started my label Genesis Project as my way of supporting other creatives in their passion. When you put on one of my garments I want you to know and feel that you are powerful, that you can create whatever it is that your heart desires. I want you to know that I support you. You are powerful enough to turn your dreams into your reality.
Who is your inspiration in life Mikel? How do you keep inspired?
I'd say my biggest inspirations in life are my parents, family, and friends. My parents raised nearly 50 foster boys before having any children of their own. My parents are entrepreneurs and some of the hardest working, most passionate, and authentic people I know. Everyday I am inspired by the things they do to further themselves and my family towards success and happiness. Some of my siblings and friends are entrepreneurs as well. Just seeing their determination and hunger for a better world motivates me to add my piece of the puzzle.
We all make mistakes Mikel; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Fashion Label, you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
Personally, I don't believe there is such thing as good, bad, right or wrong. I believe that all things in life are just experiences. I can either learn from these experiences or I can be in resistance and let them happen again. A major thing I am learning about currently is event coordinating. For my next photo shoot and upcoming events, I will enrol someone to help coordinate.
Mikel , when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Fashion Label, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
My clients always come first. These are the people that are saying "Yo! I copped a tee! I believe in you and support you!" If it weren't for my clients, I wouldn't be where I am today. Customers are what make the business go round. I spend a lot of time responding to personal messages from my supporters and customers. I genuinely want to get to know them. I want to know what they are passionate about. Maybe they are making a difference in the world too! I want to collaborate with my customers. Once again, if I see good, I want to contribute and make it thrive.
Please tell us, Mikel, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Fashion Label?
Not too long ago I was offered to work with another local brand and possibly be stocked in their store as well as a potential slot in their runway show. I am still fairly new to this industry and am learning every day. While working with this company, I got the opportunity to learn about prioritizing. I was in the middle of production, launching my first line, marketing, making line sheets (learned what they were as I went), making new designs, and gave everything I could to collaborate with this veteran designer. I learned how to prioritize the different aspects of my business and systemized as many things as possible so that I could continue to be more efficient and take on bigger ventures.
Mikel, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
There are many times. I can't think of a specific example right now, but I do know the process that got me the best results. In a scenario like this, I humble myself to see the other person perspective. Why are they doing it that way? Maybe they have found a new technique? Seek to understand before you seek to be understood. I come from a place of wanting to add value to the other person, rather than a place of you are doing it wrong, and my way is right. I've noticed that when I am more open to people, they are more open to receiving what I have to offer.
Mikel, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Fashion Label. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
Honestly, my proudest accomplishment is my last photo shoot. I enrolled almost ten models, a photographer, and cinematographer to all come together on a fairly short notice. But most importantly I am proud of the connections we were able to make with each other. We had all come together to create something bigger than ourselves and share a positive message with our world. Everyone was happy, having fun, and living in passion.
Mikel, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I'd say the design process is the most creative for me. I have total freedom. Yes, it can be difficult, especially when I am teaching myself how to draft a pattern, use different industrial machines, source materials. But besides the fact that I am teaching myself this industry and that it can be scary, I get so excited about it because it is a completely new world, ready for me to discover its secrets! Curiosity drives me and makes my life much more exciting!
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Fashion Label?
Never give up. Be open and coachable at all times. Accept feedback and use it to craft an even better product. Keep your vision and your why in front of you every day.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes! I'd like to collaborate with models, creatives, stylists, brands, really anyone who is trying to make a positive impact on this world. I would like to have a stylist style a shoot or campaign with me.
Dakota Sakariason @dakotastrybrand
Casey Levins @casey.patrick.vs