Yes, I am "Captain" Jack, the CEO of Beauty Nation. So who am I? Now that's a question I really don't have an answer to. It's one of life's mystery. However, I can say that I am Korean, born and raised in a small-town middle America known as Indiana of all places. The house was very small, the neighbors were a family of musicians and I befriended one of them and I believe his name was Solomon. To this day, I believe they were the Jackson 5. Solomon was my first friend and I hope he forgives me for taking a broom to his head. Don't worry, it wasn't the stick end but the bristle side. That was long ago and I still don't remember why.
My father worked many jobs while my mother took care of us at home. At one point, she worked part-time to make ends meet. I think I was like 4 or 5. Hence, the reason why I don't remember much. I should remember but I don't. I remember my father started his first business as a Taekwondo instructor but that failed as soon as it opened up. Fast forward 10 years later, my parents now owned at the time one of a hand full of beauty supplies in the nation. As I recall, my uncle got into the business first and got the whole family involved somehow. I never heard the full story but I do give him credit for sharing with my parents the "American Dream."
The Dream started circa 1985 in a small town called Muskegon, MI. Life was certainly different from Indiana as I recall we had a much bigger home. A bigger home such as we had our own bedrooms. Life was good. I believe Child Labor laws did not exist at that time as I recall working at my family's store doing what I can do. Most of the time, it was breaking down empty boxes for the trash bin. My parents could barely speak English but somehow were able to grow the business. If you were to talk to my father today, you could tell he speaks in the dialect of his patrons. Not bad for the old man but kind of cool. Five years later we ended up in Memphis, TN.
I enjoyed Michigan, but I can honestly say my memories are in Memphis. Not only did my parents upgrade to a bigger home, they now had 4 stores at the time. Every summer I would help out the family business by making stock deliveries to each store every week. At the time, I was only 14 and had a special driver's license that was called a Hardship license. You were to only drive from home to school and back. Yeah right... I was breaking the law and earning a bigger allowance which you could call a wage. The only regret I had in my teens was attending a private all-boys prep school. Zero engagement with the opposite sex! And look at me today. I work with women all day. In fact, I am practically the only male in the store most of the time! I'm not saying this in a bad way but be careful what you wish for.
As I grew up to be a young adult at the ripe age of 18 and attending a couple of semesters of college and dropping out, my family decided to put me in the restaurant business. I was moving to Atlanta and working at my parent's investment. I'd have to say, I learned so much about myself in this order: a sou chef to bartender, a bartender to cook, and cook to dishwasher and dishwasher to manager. Little did I know that I was prepping myself to be the captain of my family's business. Hence, you got to know everything!
The restaurant had lasted 10 years but in the 5th year, I was let go by my Father. And no I do not hate him for that. I actually feel lucky that I was fired. If I weren't fired, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to think for myself and survive on my own in this world. For the first time, I started working for someone other than my father.
To this day, I believe that if it weren't for my father firing me, I wouldn't be here today knowing what I know now. You see, the times I had alone, taught me how to think on my own and make decisions and face the consequences. The experience taught me one important aspect of life and that it is simply, communication. This was the missing puzzle piece that I have found (I'm not the best communicator but I try!) As the years have gone by, the experience I had was put to the test as I transitioned to being the Captain on this beautiful ship I call the Beauty Nation.
Many ask me: why do you call yourself the Captain? Well, many people love calling themselves CEO, president, owner, etc.... if there's a title, you name it, people want it. But I wanted the moniker Captain Jack because in business (and this is my opinion alone,) a CEO, Owner, President means nothing but a glorified way of saying, yeah I am someone and I have ownership and I have power. Sorry to sound a little hateful, but to me, a Captain is much more well suited. You see, the Captain ensures the well being and safety of his Guests and Crew. It's his responsibility to take care of everyone and not solely focused on MONEY, POWER, & PRESTIGE. That said... I am Captain Jack: Fearless, goofy at times, relentless, determined, humbled, compassionate, & blessed to be in this moment to share this brief synopsis of who I am.
If you've read and come this far... come aboard and let's take a journey as we get to know what this SHIP has to offer! It's not just a business but a community I like to call the Beauty Nation!