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Justin Schlappich: I want to be an influencer in Charlotte

Updated: Jan 22, 2019

Where are you from?

Born and raised in Charlotte, NC. I know, I’m a unicorn in this city.

What do you reflect on about your childhood?

My dad was from the country (Monroe) and my mom was from the city (Charlotte). So, wouldn’t you know it, they settled right in the middle in Matthews, NC. I grew up playing sports, hunting, and being active in the church. I was fortunate enough to have parents who instilled values in my life that - now as an adult - I appreciate way more than I ever did as a child. Not too many people my age have both sets of grandparents alive and married, as well as parents who are still married. I have to remind myself daily just how fortunate and blessed I’ve been thus far in life

What's your 9-5?

My background is in advertising: I interned/worked at BooneOakley for two years. I’m currently working for a company called Stephen Gould. We are an international packaging company. I absolutely love it. Most people don’t think about packaging as being a part of a brand’s story, but it’s equally important as the messaging. Packaging matters because it can help tell a story.

How did you dance your way into your profession?

Okay, I wish I could make a story up that was this cool, but here goes nothing. I was in a sales position with a company but was actively looking for a new job. I had been interviewing at different places and even received an offer to start a new career path. That week I went to Alive After 5 at Rooftop 210 in Charlotte; if you don’t know what that is, it’s an event catered towards young professionals to come out and network. I have type A personality and when there is live music BUT no one is dancing, I dance. I want people to feel free to not care so much about what people think, so I try to get the party started.

This particular time, I was able to get a young lady to dance with me and five minutes later, the area in front of the stage was full of people “Getting Down On It.” In the same moment, unbeknownst to me, my sister was in the crowd having a conversation with two of her friends. I must have caught their attention, because I later found out that they had seen me dancing and one of them said, “Hey who is that kid right there?!” My sister jumps in and says, “Hey, that’s my little brother!” My sister gave them my contact info and they reached out the next day. One of them told me that I needed to meet one of his coworkers because he’s looking for someone to come in a start working for him. He ended up being my new boss and I couldn’t have landed in a better place. I get to do what I’m passionate about while having the opportunity to make more money!

How does music play in your life?

I’m passionate about music. I’ve sang my entire life. I grew up singing in the church choir and I never thought I was any good, but as I continued to practice, I got better. All of my friends played instruments when I was younger and to this day, we jam out at least once a week. I love learning new songs and playing for people whenever I have a chance.

So what’s up with the socks?

I’m really not sure when I became so fascinated with crazy socks. I stumbled across a company called Soxy - which sends you five pairs of socks once a month - and it just kind of took off from there.

There was an article posted on Elite Daily, about a year ago, that talked about people who wear crazy socks: they are rebellious, intriguing, and successful. Whoever wrote that article deserves a round of applause. Kidding aside, for me, it’s just something I enjoy wearing. My socks don’t define who I am, but I believe it can show people I am confident! You can check more of my socks out on my Instagram!

Describe your outlook:

I am motivated to be an influencer in Charlotte, specifically. People tend to say, “I don’t care what people say/think about me.” And while you should never let other people’s opinions dictate your actions, I believe you should care about your reputation. I want to leave a positive impact in my life and create a legacy that people will remember. I want to put myself in situations that allow me to help others in need. Whether it be with finances or my time, I am motivated by having opportunities to invest in other people: especially in children who will become our future leaders.

I want to work hard so that I can provide for a family of my own one day. Money is great, but I don’t need to be rich. I want to make a difference for the next generation to come because that will give me better sense of purpose. Materialistic things will fade away and at the end of my life, I want to know that I did the best to ability and it had a positive impact on the people I encountered.

Favorite TV series?

I would have to say it’s this new show called WestWorld. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it, I would HIGHLY recommend it. I would try and give you a brief description, but it would confuse you.



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