Tyler Angelos Has Something To Prove with 115 Year-Old Family Company “Angelus Paint”
Tyler Angelos is a family man through and through. From his strong family business which spans over a century, to his strong family values which he applies both personally and professionally. Tyler is inventing and paving the way for new traditions to sprout through the Angelus Brand. Angelus has created some of the most extraordinary paints in the business, as well as ingenious new methods on how to use them like their Barbasol x Angelus Limited Edition Dye Kit! It’s no wonder they have amassed a cult-like following of almost 500k fans on social media of sneakerheads, artists, and customizers.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who you are, what you do, where you live now? My name is Tyler Angelos. I am 33 years old. I run Angelus Brand, and I live in Fullerton, California with my family.
In three words, how would you describe your company, Angelus Direct? Innovative, Educational, and Inclusive. I feel like anyone can watch our YouTube videos and know how to use our product properly. Something I feel like I do not see from many other brands. We try our best to make sure everyone feels like they can watch our videos and that they can do what they are seeing, and have a fun new hobby or even profession sometimes.
Can you tell us more about how you grew up? How did you get into the paint business? I grew up being raised by my grandparents. I believe I had a very standard middle-class life, or at least that’s what I always thought. We didn’t live extravagantly, and our vacations usually were going to the beach or camping at parks. The paint business was actually my family’s business. Our family has been doing shoe care since 1907. It started with shoe polish believe it or not, and now we are into so many different ventures – art being one of our bigger performers now. My grandparents got into it over 40 years ago at this point as a way to repair dress shoes and touch up stage gear for performing arts. It sort of became the industry standard for behind-the-scenes work naturally with very little marketing because it actually worked and was durable.
Why customized shoes? Can you tell us more about how this got started? So I actually started working for my family after having a few surgeries and dropping out of trying to be a firefighter, funny enough. I noticed there was a presence online of people using our products, but we had none really on social media. We had a website that wasn’t up to the current standards when I started.
First thing I did was fix the website and started socials on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. I honestly really didn’t know much when I started at all, didn’t have a college degree or anything when I learned it all, but I felt we had something there that could work well through these avenues.
What have been the hardest struggles both personally and professionally growing up into this business for you? Hardest struggles both professionally and personally is always realizing people come from different points in their life. Something small to you, may be big to someone else. Understanding how to talk to employees, family, and even friends can be difficult if you do not have empathy for how everyone is doing.
Running a business would be easy if it was just numbers on a sheet, but when you factor in having to coordinate over 45 people getting along while not becoming a completely sterile environment, it can be difficult. It is all about balance, and it can be tricky to get it right. I believe we do a great job at handling everything on a case by case basis and actually having empathy towards our employees and customers alike.
This being a family business, what would you say is the best thing about working with family? And what is the most difficult thing about working with family? The best thing about working with family is that we own the business. We are not a publicly owned company so what we want to do is really up to what we want to do. We have a lot of creative freedom.
Nothing is more freeing than being able to take on projects we actually want to do, and actually run the business as we see fit. It makes interactions with other companies natural, and we actually get to do deals based on how we want to versus someone else’s bottom line. Granted, it took years to get us to this point, but I do not think there is any other way I would like to run the place than how we do now. The worst thing about working with a family is always going to be the opinions that come with it. My grandfather, Paul Angelos, and I always discuss how talk is cheap and opinions are easy to come by.
This goes back to when I mentioned balance, and how difficult it can be. Everyone believes their opinion or idea might be the best, and, with family, that can be difficult. You do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but sometimes people need their job descriptions on what they do and not venture into other things which might not be the most suited to their strongest assets. That can be a difficult thing to discuss, as I am sure you can imagine, when talking about family, but overall it is a great feeling to get to share something which is so important to everyone.
What advice would you give other family-owned businesses? What is your secret to creating a thriving business and legacy? Being patient and understanding. That people want to feel heard. I know your ideas to you are the best things ever, and when you feel people aren’t listening or don’t get it, you just have to have some patience. You can be persistent while not being abrasive. So much of my success, I feel, comes down to understanding both sides of the coin. You need to look at not only the two sides, but even how other people outside of your conversation may view your points. Optics are everything, and, while it seems cut and dry to you, there are a lot of outside factors to consider. Family businesses don’t always go just for profit as a lot of people pour their lives into them, and it is what they associate their worth with. So just be patient with everyone.
Is there a family motto that has stuck with you, or even a personal motto that speaks to you both in life and in the workplace? Our old motto for the company is Honest and Hard Work.
During these times, we have seen a lot of businesses do very questionable business practices to make more money off a terrible situation. We had the options to as well, and have continuously declined while staying true to our business plans. If you stay honest and just do the work, you do not need to keep your stories straight as you will have not lied to anyone. It is a much more respectful and freeing life, I believe.
Any last words for our readers? What’s worked for me is staying true to myself, and that is what has worked best both in life and in work ultimately. This is how you can be strikingly different from other people is to be who you are. Don’t settle for mediocrity. I know it sounds cliché, but many of these sayings are cliché because they are simply tried and true.