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Despite the fact that Brett Novek's athleisure line good hYOUman is, by all measures, a successful business endeavor (it's currently sold in over 1,000 stores including Planet Blue and Nordstrom), when the entrepreneur attended the University of Central Florida for marketing post-high school, he was admittedly uninspired by his studies.
Though Novek always had a strong interest in fashion, leadership, and being active, marketing—as he knew it at the time—didn't seem quite the right fit. Instead, after booking modeling jobs in Miami, he packed up and headed to LA in hopes of nailing a screen test for a daytime soap (anyone remember Passions?). He didn't get the gig, but over time—and through snagging campaigns for Target, LA Fitness, and Gillette—he settled into LA life.
Despite that success, Novek's path took an unexpected turn after his father's passing, and he was determined to start a business that not only would make his dad proud, but on a larger scale allowed himself and others to share their inspirational stories. Enter good hYOUman, his line of women's and men's (look out for an expanded collection of men's goods launching soon!) clothing which often boasts uplifting messages, collaborates with like-minded influencers, and gives back to the community through various philanthropies.
We got to learn a bit more about the man behind the brand as we sat down for a tasty green smoothie at Kreation Juice and chatted about his admirable fitness routine (EVERY. DAMN. DAY.) and the embarrassing moment that surprisingly solidified his future in fashion.
What are you drinking?
I'm drinking what I always drink here. So I come here once a week, it's my favorite place. I walk here and I get the Greentastic every time. It just has everything I think your body needs in one juice. I think you could maybe live your entire life off just this. Do you think that's possible? I'm serious, actually. So, I have this every time and then I get water with chlorophyll.
What's one grooming step you can't skip?
I used to never really do anything with my hair and my mom was always like, "Brett what are you doing?" I would just get out of the shower and live my day, but now I try to make it a point to do a little something with my hair. You know? Give it a little tszuj. So that's kind of my thing. I use Byrd, this new line launched maybe a year ago. This guy Chase started it—good guy—and I was like, he's a fellow entrepreneur, let me try this out. I love it, solid product.
Men's fashion trend that you just can't get into?
I can't do the over-the-top, really, really ripped jeans and a really, really long shirt. You know what I mean? I'll meet you halfway with a vintage wash pant and an elongated tee. But I saw some guy the other day and he could have just taken his pants off and had his shirt as a dress. It was literally below his knees. I love it, I respect it, I actually think it's cool. But it's not for me. I'm not cool enough for that.
Favorite place to get in a workout locally?
I go to Runyon, I don't know if that's cliché but it's so close and convenient. It never gets old, getting to the top of Runyon, looking at the Hollywood sign, taking in life and being grateful for living in LA. Right now it's closed, so I just do my morning routine at Easton Gym. It's a two minute walk from my house. I try and go there every morning and I don't do anything that crazy. I go in, I run a mile, and then I'll work out two muscle groups a day.
Ideal "cheat day"?
Oh cheat day? I like that day! There's always going to be Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie. I'll eat the whole pint in one sitting. Once I open it, I just finish it. I let it melt and I eat around the edges because that's where it melts the quickest. This is usually on a Sunday, and I'm just going all out. The Ben and Jerry's is at night and during the day I love a cheeseburger. Umami is right here and I'm obsessed with it. My favorite is the K-BBQ burger with kimchi. Umami and Ben and Jerry's—I need them in my life. And the other days I'm healthy.
Most memorable fashion faux pas?
I had a full-on mullet, a serious mullet and I loved every second of it. I was probably about 12 when I had it. The back of my hair was below my shoulders and the front was right above the eyebrows, and I didn't know any better. I was always into fashion, so I wore the Z Cavariccis. I once slept in them and with my Converses—it was a whole outfit that I bought that day. I was very young and I peed in my pants that night. That's when I knew I was into fashion, because I slept in a full-on outfit.
Where do you get inspired?
In LA everyone has their own style and is always hustling and is active, so I definitely get a lot inspiration for good hYOUman from the LA lifestyle but also when I travel back home to Florida, or I just went to Dallas—it's really cool to get inspiration from those places because you don't see it all the time. I try and see the different demographics: What are these people doing? Where are they going? What are they wearing? Another huge inspiration for me is from my dad and who he was, and I always focus on that. I think of what would make him proud. It's easy to forget those things, so I make daily reminders.
In terms of public figures or people in the media, who has been a major influencer in creating your brand?
Someone who I've always looked up to is [Toms founder] Blake Mycoskie. I think he seems like a really down-to-earth guy and I love what he's created. He's passionate and genuine, and he has a cool brand. A lot of businesses are starting to follow his 1-for-1 model, and it's becoming not just a fad, but the way the world is moving. People are learning so much and want transparency and honesty from a business or they'll call them out. A smaller company that's innovating and being real—like Toms did and is doing—they're going to prevail.