For a long time I believed that if I worked at the BEST firm in New York and worked the LONGEST hours out of anyone there, and was "moving up" EVERY single day in my 9-5, then I would be the definition of success. Success to me was, for a good majority of my youth, achieving greatness in my professional pursuits. So, the second I graduated from college I moved to New York City, to work at one of the leading ad agencies - and was miserable almost immediately after starting there. Did I make a lot of amazing friends who helped the experience seem less painful? Yes. Was it bad all the time? No, but I wasn't fulfilled by any means.
I was working 100 hour weeks, not sleeping, trying to find a work / life balance, and it just wasn’t working for me. I didn’t know my “place” and I couldn't seem to find the thing that I was truly passionate about. I suddenly wasn't sure what I was working so hard for or if I was even making the right life choices anymore. I couldn’t believe that all this time, I thought I would find happiness the minute I set foot on New York concrete, and it wasn’t unfolding the way I had envisioned at all. I was not happy, I was not motivated, and I was straight up lost.
Then, when I least expected it, Lex, my best friend from childhood, approached me with a string of problems she was starting to encounter with her start-up EDM-inspired company, Bad Kids Clothing. Most of these problems were about dealing with partners and other entities that wanted to team up/be a part of Bad Kids, since Lex was working by herself at the time and couldn't figure out how to manage it all. Luckily, I saw these "problems" as potential opportunities, and what at first seemed like a simple consulting job turned into something much more very quickly.
When we first discussed the idea of becoming business partners, I was not sure where it would go. I knew there was potential, and I knew there was a possibility we could grow this tiny clothing company into something much larger - but there was quite a bit of apprehension. Coming from my very standard corporate world, start-up life was new to me, but at the time I was so miserable, I decided I was going to take advantage of any opportunity that presented itself. What happened next, I still sometimes cannot believe, but Bad Kids Clothing transformed from a simple apparel company, into a choice, a way of looking at the world: Bad Kids became the ultimate EDM lifestyle brand. In fact, it became my way of life completely. That’s when we introduced Bad Kids Collective.
So now, I’m sitting here today with two full time jobs: My corporate job and my Bad Kids job. I am still working 100 hour weeks, not sleeping and trying to find a work / life balance, but it all seems worth it this time around. And that is because of days like Sunday, February 23rd, AKA Bad Kids Brunch 5. It is because of the network we have formed. It is because of The Collective. It is because of you kids.
When we host parties like EDM Brunch, it is a time the team comes together and shows their true colors. We are, time and time again, put to the test. High tensions, lots of pressure, tons of work, countless hours and very little to no sleep; however, it all culminates in one amazing day where the pieces magically come together and our hard work pays off. It isn’t just the team that brings meaning to Bad Kids. It is our friends, family, followers, dedicated partners and supporters. These are the people who complete The Collective, because without you, we wouldn’t be here today.
Our mission at Bad Kids is to live in the moment, celebrate EDM, and to love life. It’s those times when I meet others that share the same outlook that I feel a sense of self. I don’t feel alone in this big crazy world and I feel like there is actually a meaning to it all. I feel like I have met an extension of my family. I feel like there are people I can celebrate life with, live in the moment with and look back 60 years from now and say to each other, “Man, we fucking lived. We lived hard, we lived good, and we lived our lives to the fullest.”
The Bad Kids mission was that spark that I was missing when I first got to New York: Bringing people together from different places, backgrounds, ethnicities, and preferences to celebrate something we are passionate about - Electronic Music Culture. Ultimately, we all want the same things out of life and these things are what fuels the fire at Bad Kids. For someone to say they had an amazing time at one of our events is all that we need to hear to keep us going. The work that we do and the time we put in serves to change the way people view their everyday lives. It’s to showcase a positive outlook and to connect individuals all over the world by leveraging our one passion - our love of EDM.
EDM connects us. It provides us with an outlet to express ourselves. It allows us to live, love, and believe in something. It motivates us. It changes us. It inspires us. It is US. At Bad Kids Collective, we want to continue providing amazing experiences that change your life forever when it comes to Electronic Music Culture. We want to continue to show you that our mission isn’t just a few inspiring words on a website - it’s the way we live our lives. This is now how I define success - spreading our message, this message, our generation’s message, to ensure that we are embracing life and all that it has to offer.
So, thank you - to the team, our partners, our friends, family and followers, for making Bad Kids Collective real. For giving us the opportunity to curate events such as EDM Brunch. For continuing to support us and ultimately allowing us to grow. For all that you have done for us, we will continue to give back to you. You always have a home here at the Collective, and we will keep providing you with life changing experiences every step of the way. You are a part of Bad Kids, a part of us, and without you there would be no wild and epic parties that leave you hung over and calling out of work on Mondays with a permanent smile on your face. Continue to support us the way you have been doing, and we promise that the wild adventure will not stop anytime soon.
Until next time, my friends, thank you for all that you do.
A special shout out to the following partners for making the one year anniversary of EDM Brunch come to life: