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Meet Brian Awitan of Thick as Thieves Global in Clear Lake

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Awitan.

Brian, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
As early as I can remember, I grew up loving to shop. On weekends, it was ritual to spend Saturdays or Sundays at The Galleria. While my two brothers went off with my father to electronic or gadget stores, I would follow my mother and sister into every high-end store as their runner for sizes back to the dressing rooms. Little did I know, thru osmosis, I was gaining an education in shape, color, composition, textiles and gossip – which still serve me to this very day.

Throughout high school and college, I worked in record stores and skateboard shops. By my mid 20’s, I was buying and selling for my favorite store in Austin, By George. Having a taste of the retail side of the apparel business, I began a long love affair with the wholesale sales side of the business. In the 25 years since, I have been lucky enough to have worked with many brands; Mossimo, Theory, Diesel, Original Penguin, Nautica, Tommy Bahama, Levi Strauss. Fifteen of those years were spent corporately, developing the skill sets required for a long-term career.

The last ten years has been utilizing those nurtured relationships and applying the business acumen of that corporate life. Large and small, from inception launches to reshaping, I leverage my network amassed and tap my pedigree for independent freelance work. While I still consult with many apparel brands, I have expanded my scope to include music, motorsports and hospitality. With the connectivity of today’s world and the convergence of media, I have been lucky to apply my skills to other industry where I continue to push my personal growth and align with emerging culture.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When I look back, my experience has been gradual and organic. I have been blessed to have had the right mentors along the way. Part serendipity and part my incurable curiosity and voracious enthusiasms. I think the mutual recognition and values of the business relationships shared has been reflective of my career trajectory. Whenever you start out, you think you know everything but you don’t really feel it. It’s that gap that is the gap you need to close and the only thing that does that is time. Time served, as there is no shortcut. You have to keep your head down, eyes wide, ears big and mind open. The struggle is to do just that, all aforementioned; because in the beginning stages, your mouth gets in the way by telling every thought that comes to mind. There is a cadence and rhythm that has to be developed and with time, discipline and patience you are rewarded the dignity and distinction.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about thick as thieves global – what should we know?
I am purely freelance and consult with many different businesses. With the current velocity of how people engage in goods and services, the fast-pace, just-add-water, disposable culture we live in – I still provide the craft that is needed to build relationships, share the network, enhance connectivity and deliver a human experience, I am old enough (49) AND lucky enough to have engaged in business with a pre-internet brain. There are nuances to understanding how culture connects, being sensitive to where movement is, to be still enough (despite the frenetic landscape we work in) to sense vibrations of emerging thoughts and ideas. I pride myself on having a keen sense of these cultural shifts and therefore can direct my clients towards or away from (based on the desired end game) for the measured result of what success looks like. Being an avid consumer of food and clothing, I am never not engaged with what is next, but have the advantage of age, wisdom and time of threading provenance and helping my clients understand the landscape to further enlighten and serve their end constituency.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Balancing both IQ and EQ. emotional intelligence will be a luxury item of our future. In addition to possessing proficiency and business acumen, basic sense-making, social intelligence, adaptive thinking and cross-cultural competency is vital. I also specialize in new-media literacy. My aforementioned pre-internet brain can synthesize current data and abstract concepts to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms to craft persuasive communication.

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