Russell: I was living in Manhattan and no fucking way could I get a warehouse where I could build inventory, build products, and be loud. So, we partnered up. None of us had an electronic background or any experience, but we started Frankensteining some products together. I don’t even know how the first few worked, frankly, but they did. We made some products, put them out there, and then people start asking, “Cool, how much is that?” I say, “$600” Ka-ching! We got a business! It went from one product to ten products to twenty products. I would bring a bunch of inventory from Atlanta out to Manhattan. I lived in SoHo and I’d walk around in the daytime trying not be the obnoxious, egregious dude playing music out loud. It’s such a fine line to walk because either you’re the asshole playing music out loud or its like, ‘Oh, that’s dope.’ So, I would walk around in SoHo playing Tribe Called Quest. Everyone in New York bops their head to that.
Boye: With the speakers?
Russell: Yep. I love music. I love hip hop. I felt it. So, yeah, I’d just walk around SoHo. One day this guy ran up on me and he’s looking fly as hell. He’s got a dope suit, and two girls on his arm. He goes, “Hey, I like that. How much? I’ll give you a $1,000 and my passport if you let me use that for the day.”
Boye: Woah! His passport?
Russell: Yeah, he wanted to borrow it. I’d take his passport and when he was done we’d exchange. But, I was like, ‘No, no, no. I want to go where you’re going. Keep your money, keep your passport. Where are we going?’ So he’s like, “Alright come on, we’ll go to my rooftop.” Next thing you know, we’re all having a good time, we’re playing music. He’s like, yeah man I work at the Gansevoort Hotel. And I’m like, ‘Cool man. You know, these would be great there.’ He says, “Yeah, they would. You know what, I’ll be in touch.” The next day he copies me on an email to the owner of Gansevoort. He’s like, “Hey, really liked meeting you. Can you come to the Gansevoort tomorrow. I’d really like you to pitch your product to the owner.” I’m like ‘Tomorrow?’ And he’s like, “Dude, make a deck.” (laughter)