After returning from my tour in Iraq (04 to 05) with the Army I wanted to create a vehicle that would serve inspire and uplift others. After some thought I came up with the idea to create a lifestyle apparel company that everyone could wear. No matter who you are or what your profession or passion is you can be Driven in your pursuit of it.
At the time I formed this concept I was traveling as a Contracted Instructor for the Department of Defense training soldiers in intelligence operations.
With Driven I really wanted to create a brand that was unlike so many others that just slap a few skulls on a tee. I wanted Driven’s designs to have a meaning and themes behind them that others can relate to. When you look at Driven’s tees on the website you can read the stories behind them and hopefully can connect with them and feel empowered by Driven’s message of never giving up.
Driven’s military signature tees are unique as they are designed specifically for the four different branches of the military and are a way for those in uniform to show their pride in the service they provide for our great country.
I also designed The Soul Knows No Bounds Tee for the Buddy Cruise Organization that helps promote education about Down Syndrome of which Driven is giving portions of the proceeds from that tee shirt to this organization.
Driven has also partnered up with bodybuilding.com (who carries Driven in all three of their warehouses) to give proceeds of Driven sales on bodybuilding.com’s website to the Hire Heroes USA Organization (which helps vets returning from war gain employment).
What are you working on right now?
I am currently working with The Backstage Artist Lounge which is a great company that connects brands with headlining bands backstage and Driven is currently being worn by Otherwise, Godsmack, Three Days Grace, Hollywood Undead and Five Finger Death Punch to name a few.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I spend a lot of time working on creating new designs, new marketing strategies as well as conference calls regarding partnerships with other companies.
3 trends that excite you?
1. The entrepreneur spirit that we are seeing today. With the changes in the economy it is exciting to see the creative marketing and ideas that these changes are creating.
2. Technology. It is so amazing to see what we can do on our phones, computers and other electronic devices today and it is only going to get more amazing.
3. MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) This sport is exciting and still very new.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The best way I can compare it is like how a songwriter comes up with a song. Past experiences, current events, feelings that I have. All these help me in creating my designs.
What inspires you?
I get inspiration from a lot of things. Inspiring stories of people past and present. Music is also a big inspiration as well. I am also inspired by my own challenges and pains and trials in life.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
You know, I have made a lot of mistakes along the way but at the same time the mistakes that I have made have taught me lessons that I couldn’t have learned any other way. I fully believe in the statement by Wayne Gretzky when he said “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” If you are afraid to do something because you might make mistakes then you will never know success.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Hookit.com. This is a great tool for companies to connect with others that can help give exposure to your company.
What do you read every day, and why?
The Book of Mormon. I have found great strength and inspiration within my faith that has helped me be a better father, husband, neighbor and person.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
Well definitely the above mentioned book. But also I have been reading a book on our Constitution called the Majesty of Gods Law which tells of our founding fathers and their faith and belief in God and how that helped frame the Constitution.
What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
My iPhone and Macbook Air. I do everything from these two devices.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Christina Martin. She is the founder and CEO of the Backstage Artist Lounge and has an incredible story!
When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Oh man. I have to admit that I am a laugher and find comedy in almost anything. I think the last time I laughed out loud was when my 4 year old daughter Indie was misbehaving and I told her I was going to throw her out the window (kidding of course) and she looked at me with a serious look and said “well do it then!” I couldn’t hold it in and was actually quit proud. I want my girls to be strong woman.
What is the best professional advice you could give to anyone that is in business?
I would say to be honest in all your dealings. You will never go wrong with being honest and dealing with others in an honest manner. You will find that you will have peace of mind and no regrets.
What are some of your favorite quotes?
“That which we persist in becomes easier, not that the nature of the thing has changed but your power to do so has increased.”
“Anger is a gift when you use it to stand on higher ground and push against the hand that holds you down.”
“When the people fear the government, there’s tyranny; when the government fears the people, there’s freedom.”
Facebook: Driven Inc.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.