Today we’d like to introduce you to Aubrey Lang.
Aubrey, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My journey began in Houston, Texas & continued in Carson, California – where I moved to at a very young age & was raised by a village. My father, grandmother, aunties & family friends have all played a pivotal role of my childhood. Growing up in an area associated with gang violence & systematic oppression, playing sports was my dad’s way of keeping me busy from getting in some trouble. Football & I had a real love/hate relationship. I was good, but I didn’t have a real passion for it. As a kid, I enjoyed playing video games & staying on the computer. However, try telling that to my hardworking blue-collar father.
Going into my freshman year of high school, I grew over the summer & became labeled as the families ‘meal ticket’. Everyone began to tell me ‘if I took the sport serious I could go places in life’. So I trained & had a great freshman year season. Once the season ended, I was blessed with opportunity to transfer from Narbonne High School to a private school that costs over $40,000 a year called Oaks Christian High School on a full-ride scholarship.
At first, I was a little skeptical & didn’t want to leave all of my teammates/friends back home. But, my family & I decided it was the best decision for my future. The transfer is similar to the hit Netflix series: All American, where a young African American boy goes from Crenshaw to Beverly Hills. In the beginning, I would get up at 5:00AM everyday for school to carpool from Compton to Westlake Village & then sit in 2-hour traffic from 6PM-8PM after football practice just to get back home then repeat it all over again for a full school year. My teammates noticed my struggle & allowed me to live with them while going to school – becoming my ‘Host Family’.
Now that I was closer to school, I was able to focus more on other activities other than just football. I began to take a digital design class that allowed me to really explore my hidden passion for art & design. Since I grew up being the kid who knew the newest technology & how it works, I saw this class & said let’s do it! Taking this class 2 years in a row was the best thing for me, my teacher showed us new features every week & provided us with full access to Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator. It was Love at first sight, I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life.
Just for a fun hobby – I began designing all the time & made numerous graphic designs/logos that never saw the light of day. Once I decided to start showing my friends, they said they loved my mockups and would want me to actually have it made for them – I thought maybe I should actually try & sell these. However, I still had football to worry about / train for – so, I just decided to wait until I graduated to think about that.
Once I graduated, I hung up my football cleats with no backup plan. I figured I wouldn’t make it to the NFL so why waste my time chasing a dream that would never come true. So at the age of 17, I decided to join a fire academy trying to do something ‘honorable’ like football so my family & friends didn’t look at me as a failure. But after my first year, I knew that career path wasn’t for me & decided to go to a local community college to pursue a business major. While my friends still chased their football dreams, I got my first job working at Buffalo Wild Wings to make some money & help my dad pay some bills.
With any extra money I had, I would pay for my designs to go on clothes cause it was cheaper than shopping at the mall. Especially because everyone shopped at the same stores, I knew I wouldn’t have on the same clothes other people had on when going out. After wearing my own clothes around & posting on social media – it began to pick up a buzz & people would ask me could they have one. So, I started a clothing company called PÜRE UNDRGRND, LLC. With my connections & knowledge obtained from mentors, I was able to get an investment to kickstart the brand. After a while running the company and going to school wasn’t working for me. I had to make a decision: go the safe route by going to college to get a degree or roll the dice by going all in on my future as an entrepreneur.
At the age of 19, I decided to gamble by dropping out of school & worked on taking my brand to the next level. Within the first year, the company reached many successful milestones like a ‘Pop-Up’ Store on Fairfax in LA, Exclusive Collaboration with Target vendor Elwood Clothing which sold out in 30 minutes, and received a product placement deal to be featured on show filmed by E! Network.
Everything’s going great right? Well, then I got sick with an autoimmune disease that caused full-body arthritis. My entire world changed, I went from trying to be Mr. Popular & moving so fast – to being bed rested & ashamed of myself. Losing all my momentum & confidence – I decided to focus on being more of a behind the scenes guy once I started gaining some of my health back. Using my design & branding skills to help other artists and creatives build their brands. I looked at it as a great opportunity to still be involved & build my portfolio but really it was my way of hiding behind other’s success to feel the void of my medical condition making me feel like a failure at such a young age.
Over time I regained my confidence & better control of my health. I began to see an increase of inquiries for my creative direction, website design, digital marketing & business development skills that I mastered over the years behind the scenes. Consistency & determination allowed me to gain years of experience by taking on many different freelance projects whenever I could. Paving the way for the development of my now 3rd LLC, Idle 2 Idol, a Website Design & SEO company. Which I work full-time as self-employed entrepreneur for at the age of 23.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Definitely has not been a smooth road, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age. I couched hopped from time to time to be closer to more business opportunities for myself. Worked many hours as a 9-5 then would have to come home to work another 10 hours for myself.
My peers all going to 4 years universities or playing college sports while I watched and looked like the kid with no future. Being told to pick up a trade or go back to school cause I couldn’t make it doing what I’m doing. You name it I went through it, I even met my mom for the first time when I was 18 years old. It hasn’t been the smoothest road for me but if it wasn’t for the struggles, I wouldn’t be where I am now.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Idle 2 Idol – what should we know?
I2I is a company that empowers entrepreneurs and transforms Idle dreams to Idol realities through digital services. Increasing our client’s sales & customer traffic with Website Design & SEO. Seeing ‘Powered by I2I’ is a stamp of approval for high-quality work means they are a member of a true legacy & family and are seeing real results. Unlike other agencies, we choose to not overcharge for the services because we value the long time partnerships more than the one-time transactions. There is strength and durability in the numbers not individual projects.
I am most proud of my company because it is launching a non-profit to teach young adults in underprivileged areas: how to create a business plan, introduce them to digital design, how to turn their passion into currency, financial literacy & life after sports. Becoming the bridge gap between the obvious difference of educational curriculum that is separated by an hour or so apart.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Hardwork, Dedication, Struggle, Chip on my shoulder, coming from nothing and wanting the world for my children & family back home.
- Websites: Starting at $1,500
- Standard Logos: Starting at $850
- Website: www.idle2idol.com
- Phone: 8182549226
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @aubreylanq & @i2i.co
- Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/idle2idol/
- Other: Google Business: https://g.co/kgs/oVQM2S