Breckenridge-Wahpeton natives, Lucas Mayes and Chuck Stahl, along with their Arizona-based business partner, Derek Judd, are co-founders of Ambitiously Lazy, a culture-driven sports apparel brand that is spreading throughout the Red River Valley and beyond. Both men were named to the Wahpeton Daily News 20 under 40 list in 2019. Much like the vibe of Gary Vaynerchuck, they are serial entrepreneurs that pour themselves into their work.
What does it mean to be "Ambitiously Lazy?" It means you work so ambitiously now, that you earn the luxury of being lazy later. I caught up with the dynamic duo in this series of 10 questions.
What inspired Ambitiously Lazy?
Luke: It was all about opportunity for me. I've wanted to start some type of apparel company for awhile and when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped all over it.
Chuck: It was all about opportunity. I was a sales rep for a company at the time. Many friends had told me I should have my own business, and one day the owner said they couldn’t keep up with all my orders and offered to sell me the company. I jumped at the opportunity and immediately called two of the best business people i knew.
What’s your favorite thing about the brand?
Luke: My favorite thing about the brand is that there is no limit to what we can do, really. We're always looking for ways to grow and expand. We hope to be more than jersey designers. We hope that people will want to just rock the Ambitiously Lazy name.
Chuck: My favorite thing about the brand is that there is endless possibilities. We are brainstorming new ideas, designs and items daily. It has also opened up my creative and business side which has led to many other opportunities.
What’s the coolest jersey you’ve created?
Luke: I don't know if I could pick just one. The customers are all so creative and have so many great ideas. That's one of the best parts of the job. I get to see other people's visions come to life.
Chuck: Tough to pick just one. However, my other best friend Brodie Wald wanted pink flamingos all over a full button black jersey. Once I made it, I had to have one of my own ... it’s exquisite.
Why do you love sports?
Luke: What's not to love? Competition, love it. Exercise, love it. Being with friends, love it.
Chuck: For me, sports are life. Not meaning it’s all I think about, but it brings people together, forms unbreakable bonds and develops camaraderie and leadership in youth that lasts a lifetime.
What other areas of sports are you involved in?
Luke: On the company side, we've done a handful of dart jerseys. Some bowling, volleyball, basketball, wrestling singlets, football jerseys and receiver gloves. Just about anything you can think of, we can do it.
Chuck: On the personal side, coaching and reffing are the absolute best. I love doing those. Personally, other than softball, I love bowling, it’s my favorite. I also play a lot of poker ... it’s more of a mental sport ... and I’m really good, haha.
What are you passionate about outside of sports?
Luke: My kids and life. Trying to get better every day for the important people in my daily life.
Chuck: Life. Living life to the fullest every day. Travel, seeing things to create memories. I’m also very passionate about my full-time job, which is running day-to-day operations of a very successful low voltage company doing network wiring and upgrades all over the country.
What’s the best part about being an entrepreneur?
Luke: The best part is that I'm not working to build someone else's dream. I'm building my own.
Chuck: Im stealing Lucas’ answer because we have said it many times. The best part is that I’m not working to build someone else’s dream. I’m building my own.
Who are some of your biggest motivators?
Luke: Failure. I love it because without the failures in my life, I wouldn't be where I am today. I had to fail.
Chuck: Failure is the biggest motivator ever. You either win or learn ... failure is not an option. Also, im motivated by seeing others become successful! I love seeing others take that leap, and if I can help in anyway possible, I will.
What’s it like working with Chuck/Luke?
Luke: It's a real challenge because we’re positive about almost everything and encouraging. Not always though, sometimes you need them to tell you, hey you messed up. Just to get you back in the right lane.
Chuck: No comment. Just kidding. It’s amazing and a challenge. I wouldn’t have it any other way. We both tell each other what we need to hear and not what we wanna hear. That way we keep each other in check and it has strengthened not only the business, but our friendship.
What are your goals for the future of Ambitiously Lazy?
Luke: Honestly, I want to keep grinding to find out.
Chuck: To be a brand that everyone wants to wear or use. To see our items in big name stores and being worn in high schools across the state and eventually the country. Most importantly, just to be a success.