A Conversation with Brian Corella of The Maverick and Folk Barbershop
Get to know the man in our Chapter I: An Homage to our Past Editorial
“A journal where I can share my thoughts, processes, and ultimately, stories that will express the world of Café City Club” — I thought to myself in establishing this Substack page. But more than three weeks in after the launch of our first release, we’re just here, the second entry. Let’s make it count though.
This entry is an interview of the first individual featured in a Café City Club editorial, my good friend, Brian Corella. You may know him as the founder of men’s grooming brand, The Maverick, or a co-owner of Folk Barbershop, or a supporting actor in a local indie film. But the first time Brian and I connected was when he reached out to me in 2016. We stayed connected through supporting each other’s projects, and through working together in some since then. The success of Brian’s pursuits lies in his persistence, grit, and curiosity. Among many things, the one that I really find inspiring is the part of his story that he shared in the From Within film by KLTRD where he faced seemingly unsurmountable adversities and struggles before finding solace in building The Maverick.
Brian is a true testament of how life allows triumph amidst challenges, failures, and disadvantages. Read our short conversation below to know more about him.
Hey Brian, thanks for making time for this, for our readers, can you briefly introduce yourself?
I’m Brian Corella, a 30-year-old who is in the process of finding success in entrepreneurship.
Before finding entrepreneurship, was there any particular career you wanted to pursue?
Yes. I really wanted to be a Pilot. So much so that I even had a desire to join the Philippine Air Force. Haha!
What led you to pursue becoming an entrepreneur then?
A need to survive, I guess? I used to sell a lot of different items in college while also doing other types of gigs as my hustle to afford things I want for myself. But I never knew that the act of selling is actually a step to becoming an entrepreneur — it was all an organic process in my opinion.
I’m sure that in that process of selling and “hustling,” you eventually encountered the possibility of putting up your own business. When did that happen, and what made you create The Maverick?
First off, The Maverick products were really created as a solution to my personal hair problems. But in finding that there is a gap in the local market for a grooming brand like The Maverick, that’s when I decided to establish the business. I would love to be able to make The Maverick a brand that offers effective solutions to men’s personal care needs.
Since The Maverick is a men’s grooming brand, it’s no surprise that you’ve also established Folk Barbershop. How did that come about?
Me and my partners for Folk have been friends since college. The idea of putting up something with them has always been there — endless conversations of creating something for ourselves. When the opportunity arose to work with them we ended up with the idea of opening a barbershop because of our love of conversations. A barbershop can be a safe space and an incubator for our conversations, ideas, and pursuits, we thought.
Becoming an entrepreneur don’t always end in just making money, there’s always a deeper sense of purpose in trying to build concepts and businesses. What’s your goal as an entrepreneur and brand owner?
First and foremost, I want to be able to help people by providing jobs. Secondly, I’d like to help inspire others to also find success and independence in entrepreneurship — to pass the entrepreneurial spirit to more people. And lastly, I’d like to create a legacy of contributing to the betterment of the world that my children can continue.
If there’s one value that you cherish the most from your experiences, what would that be?
It would be “patience.” I’ve noticed that most of the time people are in a hurry to make it in life, but I believe that true respectable success takes time. The thing that people call “overnight success,” actually takes years to achieve.
What is the most fulfilling part of the path you chose in life?
This is difficult. But if I really had to choose, I think it’s the ability to control my own time. Most especially now that I have a son, I can’t express how much more time means to me.
Since Chapter I is an homage to my late brand, Chief, which was established in 2012, can you share the difference of your state from that year to today? What has changed, if there’s any?
In 2012, I was still in college. I would say at that time I was generally naive. I had a very shallow mindset unlike today where I’m more thoughtful. I also remember to be really outspoken before, but now I usually tend to keep everything to myself. And in terms of how I process things, I’m more keen on ideas that solve problems now.
If you can still remember, what were the things that you wished for in 2012 that you wanted to happen to your future self? Looking at where you are now in life, did those wishes happen?
I remember two specific memories. The first one is when I was in college and I aspired to be a person who will help drive change, if not create the change, I want. Considering that thought, I think I am at a point in my life where I am able to drive change, even in a scale smaller than what I have wished before — being able to provide a better life to people through jobs is definitely a version of driving change in my opinion.
The second one is when I promised myself that I will be able to afford better dates for my then girlfriend, now wife. The main reason for this is because of the experience not being able to provide her a proper lunch date. I clearly remember that time when she didn’t finish the food I bought at Ministop (convenience store) because she said she was already full. But after that, when we met with her mom in another restaurant, I was surprised to know that she was actually still hungry and just didn’t like the food earlier. It’s funny to remember now, but that moment actually pushed me to work harder and helped me a lot in establishing The Maverick. I’m proud to say that we haven’t gone to a Ministop date since then. Haha!
Lastly, what are you most thankful for in your past?
I am most thankful for the people I’ve met and the conversations I’ve had. I think they’re priceless because I believe that all people we encounter have roles to play in our lives. The saying in the entertainment industry that, “there are no small roles, a story is never complete without that random passerby,” is something I truly believe in.