As part of Nau’s quarterly interview series, we interview the people whose bold visions and rebellious spirits have directly inspired our own. Brian Ward’s values and uncompromising dedication to Sustainability, and big personality make him an ideal subject for our Fast Five interview. We talk to Brian about a range of topics, like listening to new music while traveling, leading with a vision, and missing buttered lobster rolls from his home on the east coast.
A transplant to Portland, Brian Ward, knows he’s found the perfect fit for himself as the retail store manager for Nau—a company that values sustainability and is as willing to UTW as him. Through Nau, Brian is doing his part to bring retail out of the fast fashion trend. “Our pieces are about timelessness and longevity,” he explains. “The whole point is to get consumers to buy pieces made to last in order to keep the product out of the landfill.” For example, Brian is an admirer of European and Japanese architecture because it’s built to last more than 150 years. When you build like this, you’re not just building for yourself, but for the benefit of many generations that will come after you. “Why would you put all your energy and time into something temporary?” he explains.
Brian believes Nau’s retail store is a chance for other people who believe in sustainability to shop the product and have a tactile experience. And as a flagship store, it’s just as important that Nau’s retail space is a part of the community, a hub for events, and a space that values a work/life balance for his employees.
What do you miss right now?
Provincetown Mass. I’m from the east coast and one of my favorite summer trips was spending a week on the edge of the continent, soaking in the late summer weather while eating a lobsters roll, the buttered kind not mayo. I currently have friends taking that trip and while I love seeing their smiling faces, it makes me wish I was with them creating memories. However, they tend to keep up the vacation banter through pictures and texts.
What’s one thing you’d never forget to bring on a trip?
Something to play music. I’m very music sensitive and when I travel, I tend to lock in those good memories with music I was listening to at that time. A small portable player is a must-have for hanging out in my hotel room or out on an adventure.
What are the three most beautiful words in the world to you?
Let’s do it. I’m an integrator by nature and there is nothing more satisfying as feeling others buy into what you’re asking. The sweet spot for me is when coworkers or friends hit a wall with a solution to a problem, and after much debate, I hear the words “Let’s do it” and I know were on to something great.
What are you currently listening to or reading?
My summer album love is torn between the new Bon Iver album and Miya Folick’s debut. Both have songs that jam, sooth, and say something to the world. When it comes to books, hard to say. I have a habit of reading things halfway through then putting them down. It takes me a while to make it through anything. Some things on the table right now are non-fiction writings about relationships, communication, and geography.
What does being sustainable mean for you?
Making choices with purpose is how I view sustainability. Leading with a vision is something I’m always working with and to have a vision you need long-term goals. To me, that means all the choices I make in the workplace or at home have to be made with purpose and intent of longevity.
Stop by our Portland store and say hello to Brian.