Randy Golenberg, 50, Solon
President, owner and CEO of Spark Your Brand, Inc. a marketing and advertising firm.
Your work requires creativity, is it in your blood?
Yes, I’ve always liked the arts. I have a double major in journalism and marketing. I spent one year at Drake University in Iowa and then I transferred and graduated from Ohio State University.
You help companies design and build their brand. Do you watch current colors and trends and relate them to the products, like the packaging you create?
Yes, I am always walking around Target, Lowe’s and Home Depot to see what’s going on. I look at what’s popular and what’s not in merchandising and packaging. I look to see what companies are investing in their products and how they’re presenting them.
What is your work attire?
I wear everything that I’ve brought today including fitness apparel. We are business casual and so are our clients. We don’t wear ties. I’m all about fitness and Spark Your Brand is about fitness for your brand.
How do you remain so fit?
I do some form of exercise every day. I’ve been boxing for seven years. I exercise at an old school gym in Bedford Heights called Kings Gym.
When did you start your business?
Spark Your Brand has been around for six years. I’ve been in this kind of business for 11, and before that I was in a family business for 14 years, three days and four hours!
How would you describe your style?
I wish that I was Mick Jagger or Jerry Garcia or whomever! When I worked for the family business, we wore jackets and ties. Now, I’ve adapted and wear what our customers are accustomed to seeing. Business casual has come a long way and I like to be comfortable. As an entrepreneur, I say that I’m comfortable with being uncomfortable and I’m comfortable with that.
What makes you uncomfortable?
Entrepreneurs are never sure where things are going and what is happening each day. Sometimes they have to focus and sometimes they need to un-focus. So my look just kind of happens and I wear what I like.
Where do you find fashion inspiration?
I get a lot from John Varvatos. He’s an inspirational designer. I like his look and what he’s done in fashion. For many years he worked for Ralph Lauren who’s not as trendy and is more straight line. Varvatos broke away from Lauren in the last 10 years and brought his Detroit, Midwest sense and desire to be a rocker himself, but couldn’t, into fashion for those of us who like a little edginess in our look.
What are your favorite accessories?
I like men’s bracelets like the bead and silver Varvatos bracelet I brought today. I like Goruck bags. They’re made extremely well and they’re not inexpensive. They company makes bags in the United States for the U.S. government and the public. I use a backpack as my briefcase and a travel bag for the gym. I’m not much of a watch guy anymore. As much as I am a structured person, I’m not structured about time.
Were you fashionable in high school?
I think I was. I was less trendy, more Ralph Lauren with the turtlenecks and button downs. I was preppy then. Now, I’m a little more edgy, a little bit rocker and a risk taker.
Fashion Flash: Randy Golenberg Randy Golenberg visits Fashion Flash
Tell us a secret about yourself?
I think shoes are really important. I see them as the foundation and everything starts with the foundation. Whether it’s your personality and what you do in life, to your fashion. I always look at a person’s shoes. Sometimes it can give you a good indication of whether he or she cares about themselves, about fashion, and can give a glimpse of their personality. It’s not about how much you spend; it’s about your personality.
What does your look say about you?
It says that I am conservative, yet willing to take risks. It says that I have a good focus and foundation.
Do you think Cleveland is becoming a good fashion city?
Phenomenal! Everything about Cleveland is changing. The shopping is much better and is changing, too.
Other than at the John Varvatos store and at J3, where do you like to shop and which designers do you like?
I like Nordstrom and Saks. As for designers, I also like Ralph Lauren and VK Nagrani.
How do you keep an eye on fashion?
Social media is really great. I’ll follow musicians and athletes and see how they dress. A lot of them are now wearing Varvatos. I use Instagram and Facebook the most.
Do you have any great fashion finds?
TJ Maxx and Marshall’s are great places to find good stuff. I found a Varvatos backpack at TJ Maxx. It retailed for about $2,000, I paid around $300.
Are there any cool trends that your trying out?
Yes, some of the old school stuff from the ’50s and ’60s is coming back like the patterns, colors and how garments are cut. I’d like to start looking at some of the resale shops for vintage. Cleveland has a great resale scene.
What’s your best fashion advice?
Just like at your work, take care of the details. Pay attention to your health, personal wellness and your fashion. Get rid of the things you don’t wear. Have confidence and show up. Fitness is so important; I promote it in my office.
If money were irrelevant, what fashion item would you acquire?
Maybe I would buy an Hermes belt, or better yet, I would go hang out for a week with John Varvatos. To watch him work, see how he thinks, what he does and how he takes care of himself. It would be cool to see how he works with people and how he comes up with designs.
Do you recommend any skincare products?
I use Swell soap, it’s made with sea buckthorn, it helps with aging and cleansing and gives a rebirth to the skin by getting rid of a lot of skin issues. I use it on my face, hair, to shave with, everywhere. I get it at Heinen’s or on the website. I also like Beessential Natural Body Care products. They make great products. I love the lip balm. They even own their own hives. It can be found online and at Market District, Mustard Seed and Whole Foods stores.
What do people know you for?
I think I’m known for the achievements I’ve made in giving back to my family and leaving an impression with my family and my kids and in my business and with my customers. We’re creating value in the market place for what we do. We are always looking to give back. I want to work for people who want to do for others, for those who want to show up first and leave last. It’s what I’m all about.
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Fashion Flash is always looking for Clevelanders with a fresh take on style. If you or someone you know has a great fashion sense click here for the submission form or email me at acarey@plaind