Created by David Ben David (AKA, DBD) in 2010, Sprayground exploded into the scene and was at the forefront of the backpack movement. Growing up in the Bronx painting, skating, and surfing, DBD was always on the go and would pack his whole life in his backpack. It only made sense years later to start an art-inspired backpack line.
After graduating with a degree in graphic design from the School of Visual Arts, David Ben David launched Sprayground in 2010. The name – a nod to the street art scene from which he hails. His first bag design – “Hello My Name Is” became an instant success and sold out very quickly and before he knew it – every celebrity, athlete, musician, started wearing his bags.
Since then, DBD has been making tidal waves in the fashion industry and even made his first appearance at New York Fashion Week in 2019, where Rich the Kid was a guest model in the show.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us today! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Please introduce yourself to our readers by sharing your story.
David Ben David: Thank you for having me – My name is David Ben David and I’m the founder, CEO, and Creative Director of Sprayground – the world’s most interesting fashion brand!
2020-2021 was unlike any other year. What is your favorite item you’ve bought in the past months and why?
David Ben David: I have a bunch of kids and they seem to spend and enjoy all my money, not me. (laughs) I did finally get a chance to buy myself a new gold necklace. I like jewelry. And a new custom surfboard, I like custom artwork to hang around the house.
Life is like a box of chocolates…What unexpected surprises did life grant you that contributed to your success?
David Ben David: I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I am extremely grateful for all of the opportunities that life has provided me, both good and bad. One thing that I can’t get over is the amount of love that the brand has received from our community of fans – when people tag us on social media while wearing one of our pieces, or when people show off their Sprayground collections, it makes me so happy. Building an accepting, loving, and supportive community has contributed a lot to our success.
Tell us about the job. Is there any exciting project you’re currently working on?
David Ben David: We’re working on some exciting new collections that we can’t wait for everyone to see, and we’re also expanding our product lines. We launched our first gaming chairs this year, which sold out in minutes, and our apparel collections have been a huge hit. I love being an innovator and thinking outside the box, so stay tuned for what’s next!
Sir Richard Branson famously stated that “Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” As a CEO/leader how do you feel about this philosophy and if you agree with it, how do you implement that in your company? Conversely, if you disagree, explain why and how do you do things differently?
David Ben David: I like to treat my team like family because they are the ones who make Sprayground so successful; without their hard work, creativity, and dedication, we would not be where we are today. I have trust in the people who work with me. I encourage them to take a day off work to celebrate a birthday or simply spend time with family or friends. I even have yearly contests with my designers that wins them 2 tickets and a hotel anywhere they want to go. As leaders, we must ensure that our employees are feeling their best and that their mental health is taken care of.
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down, in many cases, it pushed the employees and the consumers to critical stress points. How did you lead your team through these difficult times and maintain a good reputation?
David Ben David: Everyone was affected by the pandemic, but I try to see the bright side, and it’s been wonderful to be able to learn new things and be creative while working from home. We had to learn to work remotely during quarantine because we couldn’t work with the team face to face, touch samples, or be in the office, but we conquered it! We released a collection with over 150 unique designs, which proved to be our most successful to date. I like to think that under the right conditions, pressure can turn ideas into diamonds. It all comes down to having good organization, keeping an open mind, and trusting your team, in my opinion.
I have been building the brand while traveling since day one; so for eleven years I’ve built an experience in communicating and managing from a distance, so when we really had to work from a distance it was already easy for me to adapt. It was only difficult because it was forced but we all pushed through and found our balance.
The COVID pandemic raised a lot of polarizing politically charged issues. According to ‘The Harris Poll’, 75% of Americans said that they would avoid taking a position on political issues if they were CEOs. We would love to know your thoughts about this. Is it better to take a political position or to avoid it completely When it comes to being a great CEO/Leader, do you have one name that comes to mind, please share with us how they influence the CEO you are today? What lessons did they teach you over the years?
David Ben David: As a person, I really don’t care about politics or do I get involved, let alone do I care about anyone’s opinions about politics. I’m an artist, not a politician. I care about creating a platform for artists like me that want to be heard through our creative vision.
You have been very generous with your time and knowledge. Our readers would also love to know, What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? and what is the advice you give the most often to new team members?
David Ben David: One piece of advice is to treat others with kindness and compassion. I would always read those two words at a temple where I used to go as a child and they stuck with me. I like to share that with my team. I believe the world would be a better place if people applied that to their lives.
Thank you so much for your time but before we say goodbye, we do have one more unusual question. If you ask yourself any question what would it be and how would you answer it?
David Ben David: Why do hot dogs come packaged in 10 pieces and hot dog buns come packaged in 8 pieces? Legit – it does! That’s a perfect example of miscommunication in an industry (laughs).
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank David Ben David for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with David Ben David or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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