We had the good fortune of connecting with Andy Sommer and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Andy, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
When people talk about a business being your baby, it’s not an over-exaggeration. You really do form an emotional connection that makes it hard to properly balance work and life because you truly feel that your work is your life. The hardest part is knowing how far to push yourself. As entrepreneurs you tend to be pretty optimistic about most things, it’s almost necessary to endure everything you need to. You always feel that this last project or task is truly the last thing you need to do and then you can relax. But that never happens. New problems and projects arise daily and it’s very easy to get stuck in a cycle. Early on, I did not do the best job of “relaxing”. I would keep convincing myself to just press through and then I would finally be able to relax…but it never happened. Taking proper time for your health, mentally and physically, has to be a conscious choice. It takes planning. Your body and in my case, mind, will break down eventually and will force you to stop. And that’s never a good thing. I do believe work life balance is one of the most important aspects of running your own business. Especially once you add a family into the mix. I’m better at it than I once was, but still have a long way to go. 

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
When we launched Forth & Nomad in 2017, we had one goal in-mind: to offer a retail experience that wasn’t solely centered on the transaction, but instead focused on curating a completely unique, energizing experience for anyone in our store. We prioritized design and minimalist aesthetics that showcased the products we were proud to display, coupled with incredible customer service. The last thing we wanted was for Forth & Nomad to be just another ordinary retail shop. We wanted every person to walk away from Forth & Nomad feeling inspired, and like their day just got a little richer after spending some of it in our store. While we started in a small, 600-square-foot store that was smaller than most apartments, we always had big aspirations for what Forth & Nomad could become. From the start, we knew we would need to invest in a larger space if we wanted to reach our full potential. We dreamed of adding an in-person Candle Bar and a state-of-the-art craft Coffee Bar. We wanted Forth & Nomad to be much more than a retail store: we wanted it to be a lifestyle marketplace unlike any other in the city. From the start, Forth & Nomad’s mission was centered on offering products and experiences that contribute to self-enrichment, whether that be through physical, emotional, or spiritual means. More than ever, we believe that people are acutely aware of the importance of their personal fulfillment. We’re also aware that people can feel guilty over the idea of self-enrichment. To that, we say that we believe in responsible creative release; intentionally feeding the parts of ourselves that make life more meaningful and fulfilling. With this in mind, we wrote our mission. Our mission is the pulse behind every decision, every product, and every person on our team. It aligns our success with the success of our customers, and represents how Forth & Nomad plays a role in the greater good. Our mission is to reimagine the role of retail in one’s every day; to offer products and experiences that contribute to enriching moments of self-expression and creative release in every person. Forth & Nomad exists to serve. We thoughtfully curate every product, experience and detail. We source products from emerging brands whose values align with ours and yours. We know our customer has a lot going on with the constant balancing act of work, life, family, and friends. We hope to relieve some of that pressure by guiding them towards enriching moments of personal fulfillment.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
5 restaurants you must visit: Uchi, Nancy’s Hustle, Theodore Rex, UB Preserv, and Kata Robata. 5 casual eateries yo must visit: Pho Binh, Fusion Taco, Hughies, Kin Dee, and Nippon. 5 bars you must visit: Better Luck Tomorrow, Miss Carousel, Voodoo Queen, Johnny’s Gold Brick and MAD.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to my wife and business partner, Morgan. She is the reason I do everything I do, and we would not be anywhere close to where we are today without her. Besides her business savviness and skills, she is a source of positivity and joy. She’s always encouraging me and pushing me to stop and smell the roses sometimes (something I don’t do enough). There’s no person I would rather be on this journey with and I’m forever thankful.

Website: www.forthandnomad.com
Instagram: @forthandnomad @imandysommer
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andy-sommer/
Twitter: @andysomm @forthandnomad
Facebook: www.facebook.com/forthandnomad
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/forth-and-nomad-houston

Image Credits
Stephanie Williams

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