This month’s Business of the month is (drumroll please)…… Sheridan Brand! We decided to share our story with you to give our readers a better idea of why we do what we do. We had the privilege of sitting down with Sheridan Brand co-founder, Brady Mclean. Brady, who is also a co-founder of both Flood Marketing and motorcycle brand, Go Fast Don’t Die, discussed why he decided to start a business in Sheridan and the importance of positivity.
Have you always lived in Sheridan? Did you grow up here?
“Yes, I mean, I’m not sure if I’ve grown up yet, but I have spent all of my days with Sheridan as my home, as do I plan to die with Sheridan as my home.”
Why do you love Sheridan?
“Because home is where the home is, and Sheridan is my home. Here is what I like about Sheridan, and really what I like about any small community. There is a level of accountability when people know you from birth. There are a lot of people in this town who have known me literally since I blessed this world with my presence, came from my mother’s womb, and they’ve watched me grow up. People from church, people from school, they’ve watched me get in trouble, they’ve seen the types of trouble I’ve caused, and the reasons I’ve caused the trouble. They’ve seen the good I’ve done, they’ve seen the bad I’ve done, and they have a fair assessment of what type of person I am. Even if it may fall off somewhere, or off in a different place, they have an idea of what kind of person I am. Some people might make assumptions about you or fill in their own blanks, but they at least know where you come from, what type of family you have, what type of friends you keep, the type of trouble you’ve been in. I mean, people here know each other’s business, and while that can be a very difficult thing for people who are involved in shady business, for people who genuinely and generally try to stick to doing good and contributing to the community they live in, it works out very well for them. I’d like to think of myself as a person who tries to do good and contribute to his community.”
What made you want to develop businesses in Sheridan?
“Well I didn’t want to go anywhere else to develop a business and most of the work that was ever attractive for me to do was only available outside of this locale so, we decided to do it from here. I think we live in an age where your success isn’t dependent on your zip code. You can do just about anything you want from just about anywhere you want to do it. I get to travel a whole lot and go all kinds of places, but Sheridan always remains home. So why not do it out of here? I think if we all spend a little bit less time trying to chase the life we want and started laying some foundation, some roots, and start building the life that we want, we would be a lot further along. I know when I was young the first thing I wanted to do when I had the ability to do it, was to move out of my parent’s house and to move out of Sheridan––simply for the opportunity to go chase dreams, to go do all of those things. I played in a band, and we started touring a little bit and going to other cities and that was my first real venture out into the world. And I started to realize that though these cities had a lot of things you could do, a lot of recreational activity, restaurants and you know, things you can go out and do, they didn’t have what Sheridan had and so I decided, let’s just build it from here––build the existence we want to live in.”
Where did the idea for Sheridan Brand come from and how did it get started?
“Well, we had a local client who didn’t have it in their budget to have us generate content and all of their content was Sheridan-based content. The other side of that coin was we took over a page on Facebook called Sheridan UpCycle, and any time anybody had anything nasty to say, rumors to spread, it would go bananas. People would jump on it, there would be 300-400 comments within an hour, and word would spread about this rumor or slander. So, we decided, “what if we create a company which sole purpose is to contribute to all of the good and highlight and make louder the good of our community?” The original slogan was “Chronicling the Character Commerce and Curiosities of Sheridan.” We wanted to basically tell the story of Sheridan that we loved, that we saw, and that we wanted to continue to see grow to kind of combat that negativity. Gary Vaynerchuk, the entrepreneur, has a campaign called ‘Make Positivity Louder’. The truth is, when you go on social media, any post that you do, you’re going to see that you got, you know, 17 likes and 2 comments and 794 people saw this post, right? Pretty common. A lot of times those two comments, that engagement, are more of those people that have something negative to say, and out of those 794 people, 792 didn’t engage. Those people look at the world and they’re looking at it from inside their house. They’re living their life, going to work, returning home to their family and they’re looking at the outside world not seeing the opinions and thoughts of those 792 people who didn’t engage. They’re seeing the thoughts of the two out of 794, and they’re starting to think, “Man, it’s gnarly out there. People suck”, right? We kind of saw that happening with Sheridan UpCycle and we saw it happening with social media in general. So, we wanted to make positivity louder in Sheridan and tell the story of the Sheridan that we know and love. We wanted to generate good content that was likable, shareable, and worthy of engagement from people who were either in Sheridan or looking to come to Sheridan. The other thing that was going on, was that we were doing a lot of work and trying help with economic development in Sheridan. One of the things we saw that just wasn’t happening was proper storytelling. I think a lot of the people that live here or move here have a story to share, something they saw or witnessed in Sheridan while they were visiting that made them say, “I want to live in this place.” Or they live here and they have those stories that made them say “I want to stay in this place.” Those stories weren’t being told, so we decided we were going to tell them and it’s been a labor of love ever since.”
What makes Sheridan Brand unique from other similar media outlets in the community?
“For one, it’s not a profitable operation. So you can decide what you want from there. Two, it’s a promoter, not a detractor. It’s not the news, and it’s not unbiased–it’s us telling our stories, the stories we see, and giving a platform for other people to share positive stories that they have about Sheridan. I think we can probably safely say, there is no local news source that is completely unbiased. We just live in a small town and people have their biases. We understood that we didn’t want to try to duplicate something that already existed. So, we said we’re going to make it all positive. We’re not going to report the news, we’re just going to tell the stories that we think better our community and better share the story of the things we love in our community.”
What value does Sheridan Brand provide the Sheridan community?
“I think it makes the world smaller, and in a small community, that can go either way. Everyone can talk about each other in a derogatory manner and people are snide. There’s way too much microaggression and a lot of passive aggressive comments made on social media that may pertain to someone else in town, and most people know who it is. You know, you see these posts and they’re intriguing. I’m attracted to them, I read through them. If someone says something like, “Well, I guess some people just don’t care about you.” and you jump in the comment section and you go, “Who didn’t care about who?” and this and that. Right? You know, one of the things that was huge for us was finding out that the most visited website page within Sheridan was the criminal records posted up online. Who got a DUI last weekend? All of that, and we’re like, “Why are people looking at this? Why is that so important to people?” People like drama, and who doesn’t? People like to be entertained, and the ways we choose to make ourselves feel better is to see people not doing as well as us, and that’s unfortunate. So, if we can combat that and make positivity louder in Sheridan to tell the story, we’re going to do so. For anything bad that happens in this town, there are 15 good things that people do, and a lot of people don’t realize that. That’s one of the reasons as to why I stayed in Sheridan. That’s why I’m attracted to living in Sheridan, and I’ll fight for that. You don’t fight for that by telling people who are saying something bad that they’re an idiot, right? That is, like, figuratively as close as you can get to throwing gas on a fire to put it out. It doesn’t work. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” I think if we can add a little bit of love to our community then we’ll drive out some of the poo-poo, it’s just too loud. The 5% of bad things that happen take up 95% of people’s attention, which is silly. The 95% of the good things that people are out doing should take up 95% of people’s attention. I don’t want people to have an inaccurate view of Sheridan, and that’s not why we made Sheridan Brand only positive stuff. The reason was because, right now people have inaccurate information. If you were to look on the internet about Sheridan and kind of hang around the social sphere of people talking, you might think people here are nasty, but people aren’t. People are great here. There’s a lot of really good people. So, we want to continue to tell that story and give people an accurate assessment of the community they live in.”
What is your goal for Sheridan Brand?
“I think anytime anyone is starting anything up, launching a business, an initiative, or really anything, they need to look at how it contributes and adds value. So, the intention is just to continue to add value to what it means to live in Sheridan. It’s always been a lot of work. There have been times where at Flood or at one of our other various ventures, we’ve been too busy to really stay up on Sheridan Brand like we’d like to, simply because of funding. We have to make money, we have to pay our bills, and like I said, it’s not a profitable venture. We’ve poured a lot of money into it, but we think it’s a really a cool thing and makes living in Sheridan better, and that adds value. The overall goal is to contribute and to add value. If Sheridan is a better place because Sheridan Brand exists, then we’ve done our job, and if it’s not, then we shouldn’t do it anymore.”
Where do you see Sheridan Brand going in the future?
“It could go a number of different ways. What I would like to see with Sheridan Brand is to partner with local businesses or partner with local initiatives that are trying to fundraise. We’ve been hugely involved with Antelope Butte, and as a brand, this is a bright, sunshiny time to see something we have supported and been able to contribute to coming to fruition. We’d love to partner with Travel and Tourism, or anyone out there who is trying to do something good in Sheridan or making Sheridan a better place. I think we have a platform to help and a capable team behind it. Sheridan Brand can be as busy or as stagnant as it needs to be, but we could do just about anything for anyone in Sheridan. That’s our mission, that’s what we’re trying to do. When we started, there was definitely some pushback from people that thought our intentions were not pure, or that we’d step on their toes for things they were trying to do. The truth is that you’re either effective or not in what you’re doing, and one, we’ve proven by putting tons of man effort, money, sweat, blood and tears into this and it’s pretty proven our intentions are solid because we haven’t made a buck. Two, we have also proven to be pretty effective. We can get things done and put out a lot of cool content, photos, videos, stories. Yeah, we can do whatever we want.”
There you have it, folks. The what and why behind Sheridan Brand. We will keep creating positive and inspiring content to showcase the Sheridan we all know and love. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading and will continue on this journey with us.
If you would like to be our next business of the month or would like to nominate a business, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.