Create A Culture That Reflects Great Values (Like Krewe Eyewear)

Silicon Valley, the bellwether of the right place to be, is filled with bright, creative types.

It's the place to be.


Just a minute.

Other places are gaining speed, selling themselves to prospective employees with unique cultures and, wait, this is important, locations known for quality of life.

There's Boulder Colorado, Austin Texas, and New Orleans Louisiana, to name a few.

Quick question: What would you add to this list?

Take NOLA for example. It's booming and becoming a go-to place for entrepreneurs.

Recently, I spoke with one entrepreneur who loves this mystical, steamy city. He understands the impact of combining people, place, and product.

Think about it like a three-legged stool: people, place, product.

No wobble.

Meet Stirling Barrett, founder and creative director of Krewe, a company specializing in small batch production of quality and unique sunglasses. The kind of sunglasses celebrities like Beyonce, Gigi Hadid, and Selena Gomez wear to keep from having to squint on sunny days.

I asked Stirling about the "why" behind his story of a start-up in NOLA, when it could have been anywhere.

"The name of the company says a great deal about blending culture and product. You see, Krewe is also the name of an organization that puts on parades for Carnival season, most famous one being associated with the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It defines a diverse group that comes together to parade and celebrate. The spirit of Krewe Eyewear invokes this spirit of creative collaboration."

Stirling, born in NOLA, grew up feeling the beating heart of the city filled with fun and flair. That's what he envisioned for his company, a start-up in 2013 based on a dream and a promise.

"After Katrina" he said, "New Orleans was in disarray and I wanted to do something." It took time for me to figure out the perfect product. I was a photographer and my work behind the camera, always looking through a lens, inspired me."

What could be more perfect than trendy sunglasses for his hot and sunny city.

The idea began to take shape and Stirling smiles, "When creativity hits, I've learned to get out of its way."

Krewe was born.

The culture of New Orleans is as much a part of the product as the fabulous eyewear itself.

The values of the company include the "let the good times roll" mentality so obvious when you walk around town.

The three-legged stool concept shows up again in the company culture:

1. Make sure you have fun.

2 Learn about yourself.

3. Be a smart creative.

Stirling, like his city, is filled with the passion of possibilities. "This is not an era to work for a pension, it's time to grow and experience. The desire, deep in the company culture, is to build something worth building and do something unique, filled with surprises."

Krewe is a great example of how forward thinking companies live at the interface of head and heart. When the analytical-self shakes hands with the emotional-self, magic happens, companies grow, and cities thrive.

If you are like Krewe and want to be interviewed let me know how you are making an impact.

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