Meet The Colorado Bro Who Quit His Corporate Job In NYC To Start Building A Hawaiian Shirt Empire
Back at the beginning of the summer, we told you about the Floral Friday revolution sweeping the nation this summer. Floral Hawaiian shirts are everywhere this summer, clearly one of the defining trends for Bros that you don’t have to be ashamed of. You look great, you feel comfortable, and they’re flattering-as-hell to your dad bod. What’s not to love?
One of the brands embracing the Floral Friday revolution is Kenny Flowers. Kenny is living the Bro dream — He left his soul-crushing 9-to-5 corporate in New York City to move to Bali and start building a Hawaiian shirt empire after figuring out how to print and manufacture super-soft party shirts.
Here’s how he did it. Go forth and pursue those entrepreneurial dreams of your own, Bros.
Kenny Flowers wants you to look fresh for #FloralFriday, so they’re offering BroBible readers a 10% discount on all orders. All you have to do is find your favorite shirt and insert the following code at checkout: BROBIBLE, BROBIBLE10, or FLORALFRIDAY.
How did you start Kenny Flowers? Tell us a little bit about how it got started?
When I went off to college, my dad gave me an old hand-me-down Hawaiian and it became my go-to shirt for good times. That floral, faded pink beauty went everywhere with me and I loved how I felt wearing it. There were a lot of good times, though, and sure enough people started to call me out for wearing the same shirt all the time.
One night, on a Boston Harbor sunset booze cruise with some friends, a buddy goes, “You always wear the same Hawaiian shirt, why not get some new ones?” I told him how I’d have a party shirt for every occasion if I could, but that it was hard to find shirts that look great and are fun to wear. A couple beers later, everything clicked. I’d quit my corporate job in NYC, move to Bali, where my grandma was already living, and set out to make the freshest, best-quality tropical shirts that everyone could have a great time in.
Then, bada bing, bada boom, I was on a flight to Bali to remix the classic Hawaiian shirt and Kenny Flowers began to blossom.
How did you decide to make this your full-time hustle?
I was a consultant at the time and let’s be honest: I didn’t know a single thing about how to start a clothing company. If I was going to jump in and do this thing right, doing it as a side hustle was never an option.
How do you design the shirts?
My design process involves talking to as many people as possible, putting a huge priority in understanding what they look for in a KF shirt, and where and when they’d wear one. Some guys are gearing up for wild music festival weekends and want shirts louder than the music. Others are looking to bring some fiesta into the office with some fresh shirts on Floral Friday. And some are looking for more subtle and clean designs to wear out in the city or on weekends in the Hamptons. Envisioning where and how guys will rock the shirts helps me out a lot in the design process.
The perfect example of KF’s design thinking is The Carolina Bloom. I know firsthand the energy that comes from beating Duke in basketball or even winning the NCAA, so I knew that fans would need something that had more pop than a basic polo yet kept the fun classy enough. Before I knew it, the seed for The Carolina Bloom was planted and guys soon had a shirt they could rock with khakis on gameday and to the beach on the weekends.
With that said, everyone has their own style and it’s up to you find the right shirt for whatever you’re getting into. I have a friend who is usually more reserved but The Napple is his “let’s go nuts” shirt, whereas my more frat-star friends tend to look to ones like The Island Hopper or Mr. Bloombastic to boogie. I try to make sure there’s something for everyone, and for every occasion.