Masood is the owner / creator of Vibe Tribe. He runs the company while juggling the work of pursuing a degree at Northern Arizona University.
Who are you?
"Masood Shah! Owner of Vibe Tribe."
How would you describe yourself to someone?
"I’d probably describe myself as a 21 year old kid who has a passion to spread positivity and change as many lives as possible, for the better. I guess I see myself as a business owner, but truthfully none of this feels like a business. I have so much fun doing what I do with this company that it rarely feels like the cut and dry work that comes along with a business. Im really just a college student going through the same trials and tribulations as most, just trying to stay on a good path and hopefully encourage others to do the same."
How did you get started with the idea to create your own company?
"I’ve honestly always pictured myself owning my own company. I just have never seen myself sitting at a standard '9-5' working to contribute to someone else’s dreams. I wanted to follow my own dreams and work for myself.
The idea for this company really all started one night in my dorm room during my freshman year of college. I have always had a passion for the clothing industry and even had a little make-shift clothing line in high school with another buddy of mine for a little while. But once I got to college I really started to miss creating and working on clothing. I realized that college is such a perfect time to spread ideas because you're surrounded by so many kids that are down to support."
What made you choose the name ‘Vibe Tribe’ and what does it mean / stand for?
"I really wanted to create a clothing company that was different than your buddies average 'DIY clothing line.' No disrespect to anyone out there trying to start their own company, I 100% encourage. I just really wanted to create something with meaning and purpose behind it. I played around with a lot names when I first got started. My original idea was ‘The Good Vibe Tribe’ which was inspired from my buddy Chase’s Twitter bio. But I decided I wanted to keep it short and sweet which led to the finalized name, Vibe Tribe.
The name essentially stands for a community of individuals, which can be anyone and everyone, that are doing positive things that make them feel happy and spreading love along the way. Vibe Tribe was created in hopes of creating a community that appreciates positive vibes with an appreciation for some positive clothing as well."
Can you explain a little about who Chase is and what he means to this company?
"Definitely. Chase was my neighbor and best friend pretty much from age 3 to 18. He was one of the most important people in my life and one of my biggest mentors in our later years. When I first came up with the idea for Vibe Tribe, my mindset was looking at it as more of a hobby. Chase was the one that really sat me down one day and told me how important and powerful this company could be. He really opened my eyes to the potential of Vibe Tribe and had so much confidence that we would succeed and have a huge impact on people’s lives. During the summer of 2015, Chase was my right hand man with every little bit of help I needed. He was constantly pushing me to think bigger and better and I truly believe without that encouragement, I probably wouldn't still be working on all of this.
Unfortunately, Chase had been dealing with a lot of depression and as much as he wouldn't like to show it, I knew things were wrong that summer. I remember him telling me that working on Vibe Tribe was the best outlet for him to forget about the things he was dealing with in his head. After that summer I moved back out to school and got an unfortunate call in September that Chase had taken his life. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever been faced with, but I have been using his dreams and vision for this company to help me continue and push forward."
Are there any dark days or periods of time where you fall back into a slump or lack motivation to continue doing what you do?
"Honestly, sometimes yes. I still struggle with the death of my best friend. But I try to remind myself that things happened the way they did because of a lesson I needed to be taught. Sometimes things get overwhelming, especially still being a college student, but I try and stay as organized as possible and not allow things to get too much."
How do you focus on remaining positive during those times?
"I try and stay positive by reminding myself that bumps in the road shouldn't stop you from your destination and goals. When I’m feeling down or bumming out about things, I always try and look at the situation in a long term view. I try to ask myself, ‘is this going to be an issue 6 months from now?’ or even a month?’ And 9 times out of the 10 the answer is no. Things will and do get better, the bumps in the road are simply small life lessons that we are given for a reason, usually to help us grow. At least thats how I look at things. I actually don't know anything, that’s just how I try and remind myself to stay positive when things get rough."
In a more broad sense, what does positivity look like to you?
"Positivity looks like doing things in your life that make you feel good and accepting the troubles that are tossed at you. To me, positivity is a mindset that is realistic and understanding that obviously everyday isn't perfect. There are going to be days that are difficult and times where you might feel like giving up. But the difference between getting stuck in that and following a positive path is allowing yourself to feel the hard times, but not letting them consume you. You have to know that a bad day doesn't have to mean a bad life. You can either allow the hard times to take over your mental well being, or you can choose to use those times as lessons and move forward knowing that your days will get brighter and things will align accordingly with what kind of energy you put out to the world. Thats what positivity looks like to me."
If you could go back and give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
"I think my biggest piece of advice that I’d give to my younger self is to let go of pointless fear. There is so much that I feel like you fear as you are growing up, whether its caring about what others think of you or fear of trying something new that interests you but is unconventional or not the norm. None of that matters. That is one thing I've been learning over the years, the things I used to trip about that seemed like such a huge deal are really so insignificant. I would tell my younger self to not hold back and do whatever makes you happy - who cares what people think because in reality those people you're tripping about are probably so caught up worrying about their own fears and insecurities that they don't even notice. And even if they do, who cares."
What makes you happy to be alive?
"So many things. This question is so simple, but it really makes you think hard about all of the beautiful things we have to live for. Waking up and being able to breathe, and walk, and taste things. Just the fact that I am able to turn on music and hear it through my working ears is enough to make me happy to be alive. I used to get so caught up and stressed out to the point where I would feel like nothing could make me happy. But as I've grown a bit older I have realized everything can be a reason to be happy to be alive. Literally everything. As cliché and corny as that may sound, I truly mean it. Walking my dog, creating art, writing, road trips with friends, the first breeze that hits after rolling down the window in my car on a sunny day, hearing stories of peoples lives, talking to strangers. So many simple things that remind me how much life has in store; and even when things get dark and life isn't perfect, I try to remind myself of these little things that can actually be huge things when I really stop and become fully present to enjoy them."
Is there any additional message you would like to share?
There is so much I want to share but I'll try and keep it brief. I once read this statement somewhere that said something along the lines of ‘imagine you own $100,000 and someone steals $10 from you. Are you going to break down and let that loss of $10 consume you and make you give up? No you're not, you're going to take it with a grain of salt and move forward.” That always stuck with me because I feel like it perfectly explains the troubles that we might face in our lives. We have thousands of reasons to be happy and live life in a positive way, just because a small bump in the long ‘road of life’ occurs, doesn't mean we should let it consume us and take over our mental well being. I really want people to understand that happiness and positivity really is all about perspective. After losing my best friend to suicide I felt like happiness was never obtainable for me again. I truly felt that way. But I realized that its all about how you respond to hardships that allow you to start living happily again. There are people in this world that have been through far worse than me. Things I cant even imagine, and yet some of those people are still happy and positive individuals. When life hands you darkness, it is up to you on how you will let it effect you. Although it may be easier at times to sit in that darkness and let it consume you, you have got to put in the effort to come out of it and shift your perspective. You can either get broken down by depression or anger, or you can let these events act as lessons and grow from it. Happiness can truly be a choice if you allow it to be. Much love."