If there’s one thing any sneakerhead understands, it’s passion. After all, you don’t wait in line overnight in the freezing cold for a pair of the latest Air Jordans just out of casual interest. Passion is at the heart of sneaker culture, and at the heart of Highsnobiety. So, when we hear stories about passion, we like to talk about them – especially if that passion involves pursuing a new direction doing something you love.

Michael Dinh worked in highly competitive consumer electronics. That is, until he turned his back on the world of non-disclosure agreements and corporate secrecy to open his own bike shop. His story is one of several being celebrated by premium tequila makers Don Julio in what they’re calling The Collective – a place where the inspiring accounts of people who have followed their passion are shared in homage to the story of Don Julio Gonzalez and his personal mission to create the world’s first luxury tequila.

Michael’s big switch from gadgets to gears was as much about his desire to be creative as his love of cycling. “The thirst for a creative environment was always the guiding principle,” he explains of the move. Despite always knowing he had a huge amount of inventive potential somewhere deep down inside him, it wasn’t until he was in charge of his own destiny that he could put that to work.

Each of Michael’s cycle creations is the result of hours of attentive love and affection, and that’s what shows in the end product. Now he’s faced with the challenge of creating a brand and a reputation surrounding that craftsmanship: “We decided from day one that we were going to put our character and our passion [into] this business, so that when you walk through these doors, you would feel it,” he explains. “We had a new reputation to create for ourselves.” That’s certainly something he never had to worry about in his previous role…

Such tales strike an instantly familiar chord with us at Highsnob. So many of the brands we love and talk about every day are the direct result of people having the courage to follow their own path and do something they’re passionate about. And, likewise, it’s the ones who are truly passionate that succeed in creating a name people know and respect. The message at the heart of Michael’s story, and that of Don Juan Gonzalez, is fundamentally similar to the one preached by successful brand founders, store owners and clothing designers everywhere:

Follow your passion. Believe in what you’re doing. And, when the going gets tough, pour yourself a glass of tequila.


Make The Right Move™ – Please Enjoy Responsibly. DON JULIO Tequila. 40% Alc/Vol. ©2014 Imported by Diageo Americas, Norwalk, CT.

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