Let’s start off with some introductions:
Meet Bradley Adams
Hometown: Rocky Hill, CT
Major/Minor: Finance, Entrepreneurship, & Analytics
Favorite ice cream: Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia
Favorite sports team: New England Patriots
Fun fact: I drank the best beer in the world at the oldest bar in Belgium
Meet James Imrie
Hometown: Andover, MA
Major/Minor: Marketing & Entrepreneurship, Minor in Psychology
Favorite ice cream: Coffee Oreo
Favorite sports team: Don’t really watch sports
Fun fact: I was born in South Africa and immigrated to the U.S. when I was 3
HC: How did you get the idea to start Gratitude Guys?
JI: When Bradley pitched the idea to me I was really enthusiastic about the concept. I had been looking for a holistic project to work on where I could basically start from scratch building a brand. I also loved the concept behind it. Admittedly, I had lost sight of all the things in my life to be grateful for because I was too focused on the future.
BA: I was doing a lot of research on different positive habits of top performers. One that really stood out to me was performing an act of gratitude every day. My mother had just gifted our family bracelets that she made by hand which happened to have 30 beads in it (one for every day of the month). I used it to develop my own gratitude habits, marking something I was grateful for with every bead. It then dawned on me that this would make a great project to develop.
HC: How long have you two been friends?
JI: Although he was not my orientation leader, I remember meeting Bradley at orientation and instantly thinking, “I need to be friends with this guy”.
BA: We first officially met on Learn weekend when I was a sophomore and James was a Freshman. We hit it off when we discovered we were both interested in cars and entrepreneurship.
HC: Is it hard working with your friends? How is it to balance the work and friend relationships?
JI: It is easy to tell your friend that they are being an idiot, which happens a lot both ways. Sometimes it feels less like working on a project and more like hanging out.
BA: It is definitely easier than you think. Being friends allows us to be completely honest with each other and receive honest feedback. It is easy to tell a friend they are screwing up. What was interesting was introducing Marissa into the mix because then we had friends and girlfriends on the team.
HC: What is the process like for every order?
JI/BA: Every order that comes in is made and packaged by hand. Bryant students who order on the website (thegratitudeguys.com), and elect to pay in cash can have the product delivered right to their dorm room.
HC: What’s the next step for The Gratitude Guys?
JI/BA: We have a few short term products in the works with some bigger concepts coming in the future.
HC: With your first million dollars, what would you spend it on?
JI/BA: We would expand our product line and build a factory to employ people and spread the gratitude!
HC: Who’s your dream model for the company?
JI/BA: Iskra Lawrence, but we are always looking for people to model our products, so send us a DM!
HC: Who is your biggest inspiration?
JI: My father. He started with nothing and worked tirelessly to build a stable life for our family in this country.
BA: I would say my family as a whole. They all add a different element that pushes me to do more. Everything I do, I do for them.
HC: If you could collaborate with one company, who would it be?
JI/BA: One company we would really like to collaborate with is Intelligent Change Inc. They are a company with a similar mission to us, and work to create journals that help users develop positive habits. The founders, Alex and Mimi, live the philosophy we practice at the Gratitude Guys, and we think we could collaborate well on a product.
HC: What do you believe is the biggest struggle for a startup company you have faced thus far?
JI/BA: Where to put our efforts. We are a small team with our own separate jobs, but we have to focus on areas of expansion at the same time. Allocating our time accordingly can be a struggle.
HC: What would be your biggest piece of advice for an aspiring entrepreneur?
JI/BA: Just go for it! We spent too much time planning what we were going to do. Our best learning came from actually making and selling the product.
HC: Bradley, what will you miss most about Bryant?
BA: The people more than anything. The connections I made here are beyond anything I ever expected. Because of Bryant I have met friends, advisors, mentors, and business partners. My conversations with people like Ms. P, Mr. Anderson, Harry, Sean, and Dirk have added more to my education than any textbook.
HC: James, what are some of your senior year bucket list goals?
JI: 1. Get one of my photographs on the Roto Banner
2. Break 500 likes on Instagram (@jimriespics)
3. Leave this institution a better place than when I arrived
HC: Any other inspirations for the fans?
JI/BA: Stay Grateful!