Name: Jonathan Bodrick
Profession: Retailer, stylist, lifestyle guru
One Word That Describes You: Authentic
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
Being named one of Black Enterprise’s 100 Men of Distinction is truly an honor for me. Black Enterprise has a long history of being a voice for black entrepreneurs, so being recognized by this prestigious publication is a high note for me and my career.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
Owning a brick-and-mortar business anywhere comes with its own set of challenges, but I truly believe being a small business owner in New York City is a challenge unto itself. I previously had issues with the owners of my last space, after occupying it for 10 years. Although the space was in a prime location with heavy foot-traffic, I made the hard decision to sever ties with them and move to a different location, when a resolution could not be reached. Fortunately, I was able to find a new home within my price range and my loyal customers were more than happy to follow.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
The most important quality I look for in my relationship is HONESTY. This is probably the only quality worth having. When someone is truly honest with you about who they are and their intentions, good or bad, it’s up to you to decide what your actions will be going forward. When someone lies to you they’re just manipulating you.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
I’m currently working with the Studio Museum at Harlem curating a trunk show. I’m also still managing my brand B.O.R.N., styling clients, as well as working with a few charitable organizations.
What is the best advice you ever received?
The best advice I ever received was from my brother, who always felt I limited my expectations. His advice was to “think big.” I’ve lived my life by those words ever since.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Find out what your strengths are and figure out the best ways to put them to good use. As simple as it sounds, you’d be surprised how often most people aren’t aware of where their true talents lie. So, don’t be afraid to consult with someone you trust for their feedback.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
Since you can never have too much information, before I go into anything, I do my research. This means reading up on pertinent literature, Internet searches (Google is your friend), and asking around. Books are great, but sometimes a one-on-one with someone in the know goes a long way as well. But, one should never be a substitute for the other. I also pray!
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation? Share a story about your best vacation.
While I was working on B.O.R.N. to Style, I was invited to participate in Bermuda’s Fashion Week event. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with the island. While it was technically a working vacation, being surrounded by those beautiful, serene beaches and an expanse of the bluest water I’ve seen in my life made it feel more like a vacation than work. I make it a priority to return every year.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Although I’ve never been, I’ve heard great things about Bora Bora. Growing up in New York, I have been surrounded by the hustle and bustle of city life and all it entails. The idea of living on an island seemingly far away from civilization and relaxing in a bungalow on stilts would be the closest thing to paradise I can envision.
Anything else you’d like to say?
The greatest thing I’ve learned so far is that you must always be your authentic self. I always like to approach every situation as if I’m a student, because I always feel I’m learning something new every day. When you feel like you know everything, that’s when life stops.
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