We had the good fortune of connecting with Kenneth Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kenneth, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
I define success as growth. You often hear people define success with becoming rich or moving thousands of units. To us success is overcoming the hurdles of failure and continuing to chase progress no matter what obstacles are thrown at us. Every time we come across a problem or issue and get over it consistently with the same determination and motivation. Having launched this year we have switched screen printers about 4 times, embroidery shops 3 times, and due to the current epidemic had to stop production for 6 months. We didn’t let any of this defeat us, instead we pushed through and grew from it each time. That is how we define success.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think what sets my art apart from others is that it’s all inspired from my life and only I have experienced that. I like to take images or ideas i’ve seen growing up which ranges from pop culture cartoons or sports to my mom yelling at me and trying to teach me manners. It all mashes together in my pieces which I think my audience really enjoys because they can relate to something in my vast range of designs. I’m most proud of my current clothing line MANNERS. This brand is like no other. I know it sounds super cliche, but I’ve tried researching clothing brands that are not only up to date with the current fashion, but also have a positive message that inspires you to be the best person you can be. We try not only to inspire the youth, but all ages because manners has no age limit. If you look or even ask around 9/10 times anyone will agree that it’s a trait that is slowly fading away. The road to get here definitely wasn’t the easiest to say the least. I started a clothing line fresh out of high school (2009) and just decided to give it up last year. I did it all. Photoshoots, production, designs, modeled, promotions, social media, events. I learned that this is not a one man/woman job. But through all of that I learned what are better fabrics to use, what settings to use on a camera depending on the time of day, what time to post and proper hash tags to get more exposure, or even how to separate designs into layers to make it easier to print. I learned that nothing comes easy and with every hardship comes a valuable lesson that you could never put a price on. I’m a starving artist just like any other creative out there trying to make it, but i’m passionate in what I do and I believe in our vision to make this world a better place. Theres so much negativity and rudeness in this world as it is that theres no reason for you not to say excuse me or thank you. Theres no reason not to be polite and hold the door for someone, its those little things that can change someones whole day around and literally doesn’t cost you a dime. MANNERS is a real lifestyle brand that is trying to make the uncommon common again.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Welcome to Vegas baby!!! Haha, if anyone knows me the only things that interest me these days are art and food. I would definitely take them downtown to the art district on Fremont. Area 15 is a huge event complex with the craziest visuals and installments i’ve ever seen. If they’re into the whole nightlife scene I wouldn’t take them any place other than Drais nightclub. They have a celebrity performance almost every night they’re open and their set is usually always an hour long so you get that feel like your almost at a concert. I would also take them to some place a little more chill such as Citrus if they want a chill night for drinks and hookah. Vegas has some of the best ramen spots i’ve ever had so we would have to go to Ramen Kobo or Ramen Hashi. Other than that the strip has some of the nicest fine dining restaurants like STK or a personal favorite of mine is Best Friend. Being a local we try to stay away from the strip as much as possible to avoid the congested crowds and overpriced….everything!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Honestly we couldn’t have gotten this far without the support of our friends and family. They have definitely been the backbone in spreading the name and vision behind our brand. I can’t begin to explain how much I love it when I get a random message from someone I’ve never met telling me how much they respect what we stand for.