Bernard Capulong—Co-founder & E-I-C of Everyday Carry
Bernard Capulong, a creative and entrepreneur based out of Brooklyn, NY. He’s the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Everyday Carry. The concept of Everyday Carry focuses on what items people find useful and essential enough to carry with them on a daily basis. The website covers related “EDC” gear and highlights reader-submitted photos of their everyday carry setups.
As a platform, EverydayCarry.com connects people from different parts of the world, with different jobs or interests, through the common denominator of the things they carry, use, and swear by. It also helps you find the gear you’ve always wanted, whether it’s through editorial features, our crowd-sourced product database, or by recommendation from members of the community. Everyone has a story, and everyone has a daily carry.
Current Favorite Spots to get work done?
My favorite and second home has to be Dweebs in Bushwick, Brooklyn. It’s a new spot in my neighborhood just a short walk away and it’s got everything I would want from a cafe to get to work in. It’s not too crowded, the owners are super cool (or dorky, but that’s part of the charm), the ambiance is very welcoming, the Wifi is fast enough for me, and the coffee and food are amazing quality at a value. I go even on weekends I don’t work just to enjoy it for the great cafe it is—but they’re cool about using laptops on the weekend too.
When I’m around midtown Manhattan after scoping trade shows or something near the convention center, I like Think Coffee in the Silver Towers courtyard. It’s tucked away between the towers so there isn’t much foot traffic, it’s nearby a great corner market, the Wifi is fast, there’s standing workspace, and it has this cold and bright aesthetic of glass and concrete that I enjoy.
In the LES, Whynot has plenty of seating, outlets, a cool midcentury decor, and nice vibes. The Wifi could be faster and more stable, but it’s a solid pick especially if you’re not super dependent on an Internet connection.
Why and how did you get into this venture?
I was interested in everyday carry as a hobby since I was a teenager and throughout college. As a biomedical engineering student aiming for med school as the next step, I had a lot on my plate between studying and working in a lab. I knew that having the right gear available would give me a bit of an edge, save me some time, and let me just perform better and be more productive.
Having these tools would help with that, but in my research for the perfect essentials I found that valuable information was super hard to come by. Answers were out there, but they were buried in enthusiast forum discussions, fragmented across different communities who focused on only one thing (one site for knives, one site for pens, one site for flashlights, and so on).
As a personal project, I posted the coolest gear I found and made note of what I’d learned from reading forums to the original Everyday Carry, on tumblr in 2009. This was right around when modern social media started, which helped present the content and information I’d been curating in a much more accessible, discoverable, and appealing way. I wanted more people to recognize everyday carry as a “thing.” And once they realized they had their own EDC, I wanted to help them find the gear that was best for them, without the headache I had to go through for my own.
Always remember that you can do anything. But you’ll need to be proactive..
How long have you been a working on it?
I’ve been working on it for 7 years now, counting its humble beginnings on Tumblr in ’09. It was only at the end of 2013 when my present co-founders reached out to me with a vision and gameplan for the EDC resource I had always hoped to build. I moved from LA to Miami Beach where my co-founders were for the early stages. We put our heads down and got to work, finally relaunching the site in November 2014 as a separate online platform.
Are you running EverydayCarry.com full time?
I work on it more than full time, even. As an entrepreneur in a young and growing online startup, it’s hard to shake being “always on.” Between the long hours during the workweek and the extra time on weekends I might take, maintaining work/life balance can be tough. But being able to pour those hours into something meaningful to me and building something of my own makes the sacrifice worth it.
What’s a typical day like for you?
I start each day by reviewing my responsibilities and personal to-dos I haven’t taken care of yet, then plan my day with prioritized tasks and block out time for them.
As the site’s editor, I have to coordinate and schedule content that goes up for the day, and see that upcoming projects are progressing at a good pace. I can’t do it all myself, so I manage and connect with my team of creatives and contributors to help direct new content and edit drafts.
I help out wherever I can and still actively write and produce content for the site myself. Sometimes that means I’ll need to direct, shoot, and process photos to go with articles, do some graphics in Photoshop, and format finalized drafts as posts for the web.
Once we have the content ready, I oversee our content marketing efforts on social media and handle our newsletter campaigns.
My duties as an entrepreneur are more longterm and less predictable. I still have to think of the business side of running a media entity, from partnerships to branding to marketing to the website itself as a product.
As the company grows, I’m sure I can let go of some of these responsibilities. But in the meantime, I’m constantly challenged to be creative whether its producing content, designing features, or solving problems in the startup.
Does EDC have an office, or does the team work remotely? If so, what do you think are the pros & cons of having a remote team?
The team works mostly remotely, but most of Everyday Carry is set up in Miami Beach, Florida, where we were all located during early stages of building the new site. Since then, I’ve moved to New York City to cover more ground in expanding the business, and another co-founder works out of London. We have contributors from New York, California, and Manila, to name a few. Because Everyday Carry has an international readership and appeal, I think it’s important to try to have the team bring global perspectives to the table.
Working remotely offers so much flexibility in your productivity and opens up opportunities for making connections. For example, I think if I hadn’t been in New York City, I wouldn’t have been able to make valuable relationships with some important brands and publishers. Everyone’s out here. It also gives me freedom to work how I’m most productive, rather than trying to get everyone on the same schedule, sharing the same space.
Of course, not having a central office makes it difficult to coordinate and communicate at times. That’s why I think it’s critical to stay connected and transparent internally to get everyone on the same page working towards the right goals. You lose the luxury of being able to speak in depth about a complex problem with your colleague at the next desk over, or smaller issues might take longer to relay online.
What’s the toughest challenge you face (or faced) as an entrepreneur?
Some of the toughest challenges I’ve faced as a first-time founder were totally internal and psychological. You’re under tons of pressure from your friends, family, and peers to not just run a successful company (this is way harder than it sounds) but to keep improving and maintaining a positive outlook even when the odds stack up against you.
To manage the pressure, I’ve felt like I just need to work more and be more productive, but I quickly learned how nasty burning out can be. It’s hard to feel progress and optimistic when you’re the boss and nobody pats you on the back for all the sweat and tears you put in. After some hardships in the early days, I got through it after I eased up on myself. Taking the time to rest, exercise, eat, and treat yourself may seem like a waste of effort and resources because it doesn’t show immediate progress to your goals, but in the long run you’ll thank yourself for having that foresight and restraint.
Any other entrepreneur(s) you lookup to?
Are you working on any personal projects aside from Everyday Carry you’d like to share?
I co-host a podcast with my long-time friend and fellow creative Sidney Lo, called Proxy. On a weekly (or when-we-can) basis we touch on topical events and personal identity through the lens of millennials who grew up on the internet. You can listen on Soundcloud and subscribe on iTunes.
What’s your current EDC?
This is what I’ve been carrying on my person for the most part. I’ve sort of tricked out my phone since it’s my main device to stay connected with my team and product when I’m on the go. My main work machine is a 15” MacBook Pro retina, which can get pretty heavy. When I get my #WorkHardAnywhere on, I bring that along with a Baron Fig Confidant notebook, Zojirushi travel mug water bottle, a bunch of cables, titanium tools and pens, business cards, and mic’d up earphones for making calls. I square it away in one of my many bags, but my longtime favorite for city EDC is the DSPTCH Daypack. Here’s my full bag loadout from this past summer.
What advice would you give a novice entrepreneur?
Always remember that you can do anything. But you’ll need to be proactive to do it. If you have goals for yourself and where you want to be, research what it takes to get there and plan out realistic, actionable steps towards it. Don’t let fear of failure stop you. Everyone fails, what’s more important is that you use them to learn about yourself. The pursuit of self-improvement and personal development can really catch up to you, so remember to take a step back and review the progress you’ve made over time instead of obsessing over your tiny incremental day-to-day progress (or setbacks, which can seem monumental at the moment). You can do anything. Just figure out what you need to do, what you need to learn, what skills you need to develop, and just take that first step.
Best way to connect:
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