George Laboda, a visionary, has created an exceptional space for modern men called Gents Lounge. It's where you can get lost exploring, learning, and becoming fascinated by things you would've never come across otherwise. George takes a natural and spontaneous approach to sharing with his audience, and is always guided by his own passion for a subject matter. Read on about his past, present, and future plans...
What did you want to do when you were young? What was your earliest ambition?
When I was young I wanted to be an architect. Well, I think my parents planted that idea in my head because I was always building things out of legos. I don't design buildings today, but I think the idea of creating something new and interesting always stuck with me.
Where did you grow up and what was it like?
I grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania. It's a small town about two hours away from 3 cities you've probably heard of (Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Buffalo). I may never go back there but honestly, I don't think I would want to grow up anywhere else. It was easy living. People actually talked to their neighbors, no one locked their doors, and you literally couldn't go anywhere without seeing a friend or someone you knew. Looking back I'm not sure if that last one was actually a good thing haha.
What did you study in school and what was your first job out of college?
I went to Cal State Long Beach and studied film and media arts. Out of college I got extremely lucky and landed a job editing a TV show called Tech Toys 360 that was on Discovery for 3 seasons. I was just interning there in college and the guy who had signed on to edit the show backed out so they gave me a chance to put the show together. Needless to say, I don't think I have ever been more stressed in my life during that first season but they kept me on for two more seasons so I guess I didn't mess up too bad.
What prompted you to move from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles?
After high school, I decided I wanted to go to film school. (My mom wouldn't let me be a ceramics major... Yea, I wanted to be a professional potter. BTW thanks Mom for talking me out of that one!) When you think movies you don't really think midwest Pennsylvania, so I decided to make the move out west.
When did you launch Gent’s Lounge, and how did the idea of starting it spark? What did you hope would bring to your audience?
Gent's Lounge launched in March of 2014 with the goal of helping guys become better guys in all aspects of their life. I was about 25 when I came up with the idea. There had been somethings I had learned on my own at this point that I wished someone would have helped show me the way. Guys being guys, we really don't like to ask for help, directions, or admit that we don't know something. I decided I was going to make an easy accessible platform that gave guys the answers to questions they never even thought to ask. And that's how Gent's Lounge was born.
You showcase a lot of amazing videos, how-to’s, and tips for men. How did you start creating content in the beginning for Gent’s Lounge and how has it evolved throughout time?
In the beginning, everything was really basic, we really didn't know what was going to work and what wasn't. We just talked about what we knew best, tie knots, types of shoes, basic tailoring, etiquette etc... I think it's good we started like that because it gave our audience the chance to learn with us. Over time we have made friends with a lot of amazing talented people that have shared their expertise with us and allowed us to bring their knowledge to our audience.
Where do you look for inspiration - either for yourself or for Gent’s Lounge?
Inspiration is everywhere for us. It's food, it's Art, it's our fellow creators and brands out there. Our goal is to never stop learning. When I started Gent's Lounge I already had a passion for learning new things, but now it's not just about me. We have a whole audience that is hungry for knowledge and that's such an amazing feeling. It's not just about putting outfits together, it's about becoming a better person.
In what areas might you wish to expand Gent’s Lounge? Will we ever see a multilingual Gent’s Lounge website? Or a more extensive product line?
You hit the nail on the head! We are looking to roll out some new product for the holiday season. As far as a multilingual website, that might be a year or two down the road!
What do you still wish to discover more of or wish to learn more about?
I get on these kicks. Two years ago I wanted to learn about all about whiskey. Last year it was cigars. This year I am really into furniture and design.
What is your dream for your career?
As long as I can make a living creating things I'll be happy.
Is there a best piece of advice from someone that you go back to all the time?
If you're the smartest person in the room it's time to find a new room.
Food of choice: Fried Chicken
Your next vacation spot: Cancun
Whisky, wine, or scotch: Whiskey
All-time favorite car: Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
Top 3 The Goods products you can’t live without: The Surface, The Hit, The Shade