By Alison Bailin Batz / Photo by Claudia Johnstone
Damion Lupo is equal parts success story and cautionary tale.
He started his first business at 11 years old. By 20, he launched a makeshift bookstore in his dorm, which – while a success – got him kicked out of school. In total, he attended four colleges, kicking himself out of the other three.
“I went to school because I was supposed to,” says Lupo, who physically ran from his final attempt after disagreeing with an entire class about the economy.
Once he focused on building businesses versus cramming in coursework, Lupo amassed a $20 million net worth before age 30, primarily via real estate.
“But it was never enough,” Lupo says. “Never enough money, cars, houses, anything.”
Lupo’s life came to an abrupt halt during the real estate crash. Destroyed overnight, Lupo’s anxiety over losing everything in a matter of weeks landed him at Mayo Clinic.
“Stress really can kill. I thought I was dying, when it was actually all just stress wreaking havoc on everything,” says Lupo, who delved into yoga and martial arts to help lift him out of the darkness.
Lupo became a fifth-degree black belt in Aikido and a sensei, or teacher, of the discipline before founding Yokido (www.yokido.org), a fusion of yoga and Aikido, in 2013.
“It’s the practice of lethal kindness. Breath and presence – two of the keys to life – are required,” Lupo says. “In a way, developing Yokido was the ultimate healing process.”
Ever since, Lupo has published five books – on everything from investment advice to reinvention – and now owns several businesses. He also hosts Transformation Nation, a podcast on breaking people loose from money bondage and into financial freedom.
His mission? To impact 1 million people to live financially free and create a rich life by design instead of a poor life by default.
“I train people to build their money confidence by asking tough questions and offering fresh ideas to help them gain control over their financial and spiritual lives,” says Lupo, an in-demand national speaker on the topic whose sixth and seventh books – Unicornomics and The Money Mentor – are due to be published this year.
Learn more about Lupo’s books and podcasts at www.damionlupo.com.
By Brittany Maroney / Photo by Mark Morgan
Colin Jared had a habit of unwinding from his lucrative law career by playing basketball. He was known on the court for his trademark bandanas, and when he didn’t have one on hand, he’d cut up T-shirts and make his own.
“The idea didn’t start out as a business; I was just making headbands for myself,” Jared says. “Then people started to ask about buying them. MCA Headbands was born from my trademark basketball court style, but I had zero fashion industry experience. Let’s just say it’s been a process of learning by doing.”
Named for the acronym Multi-Colored Animal, Jared’s one-of-a-kind headbands – each created from repurposed T-shirts – are made for people who want to stand out from the crowd. They are available (and searchable online) in an array of colors and subjects, from animals to famous actors to colleges. The headbands are also an incredibly earth-friendly fashion option.
“Applying the concept of repurposing, with innovative yet simple design elements, we’re expanding the scope of sustainable fashion with headbands that are new and different,” Jared says. “Moreover, they’re a great way to give new life to that favorite graphic tee.”
MCA Headbands launched online in March 2016, with a pop-up shop at McDowell Mountain Music Festival around the same time. The fashion start-up quickly gained notoriety and was selected by Phoenix Fashion Week as one of four accessory designers to participate in its annual Emerging Designer Bootcamp, a program known for discovering top emerging fashion talent. In 2017, MCA Headbands was awarded Phoenix Fashion Week’s Accessory Designer of the Year.
The label also produces headbands featuring logos and graphics that brands, businesses, schools or events can use for promotional purposes. And, they take individual orders to repurpose T-shirts from personal collections, just like Jared did years before.
Recently, Jared left a career as a successful attorney to focus on his newfound foray into fashion.
“I’m stoked to be following my passion, and MCA is poised to become a new star player in the headband game – the sky is the limit!”
MCA Headbands are available at www.mcaheadbands.com, and their pop-up shop can be found at many local music festivals and artisan events.