NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?

Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur


Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad

« Sydney Thorson: Guest Relations Manager for Montage Deer Valley | Main | DAVE PELZER: # 1 New York Times and # 1 International Best Selling Author Recipient of The National Jefferson Award »

Kory Stevens: Founder of Taft 

My NativeAdVantage:


Product designer, lover of languages, and fly-fishing enthusiast, Kory Stevens is the founder of Taft - a clothing company that got their start focusing on men’s no-show socks. Kory grew up in Los Angeles but has lived in Cambodia, India, New York City and Utah.

Kory loves playing guitar, golfing and watching sports but nothing beats out his love of being a dad and a husband. He has one busy, blueberry-loving little boy and a sweet little lady coming in September. He and his wife Mallory fell in love on a field study in India - Kory was studying linguistics and cricket, Mallory’s emphasis was women’s studies. When they weren’t busy conducting interviews they spent their time exploring Andhra Pradesh together. Kory has traveled throughout Europe and South East Asia fairly extensively but no matter where he goes his most meaningful experiences come from studying the language and getting to know the people he meets.

Kory had the idea to start Taft back in the summer of 2013 while walking down the steps of Sacre Coeur in Paris. As soon as he was back in the states he got started with prototyping and hasn’t looked back since. Taft got it’s start on Kickstarter and is continually evolving and growing. With over 125k followers on Instagram, Kory’s specializes in social media marketing and is constantly thinking of innovative ways to engage followers. When he’s not responding to comments on Instagram or playing with his family, you’ll find him staying up late to design new socks, work with factories, and brainstorm new products. He wants beautiful, high-quality products to be available to the masses and works hard to deliver just that. For more information visit

What’s Your NativeAdVantage:

What do you do best?

I tell my wife all the time that I’m a jack of all trades and master of none. I used to be so frustrated by the fact that I didn’t have that one thing I’m best at but the further I get into this process of running a business, the more I realize that being a jack of all trades is what I do best. I’m learning to see it as a strength rather than a hinderance. When I graduated college I felt like there were a million different paths I could take and none of them felt right. Becoming a small business owner requires me to wear a lot of different hats and having a varied skill set has really enabled me to succeed and carry that weight.

What makes you the best?

There’s this tendency in business to forget what it’s all about - people. We make it less about     trying     to get ahead and more about connecting to people and I think that’s what makes us the best at what we do. I run a really niche business and the way we’ve found success so far is by being connected to our customers. I have this acute awareness of who our customer is because I am my customer. If I weren’t running this business, I would be buying from it. Knowing who we’re selling to and making sure we’re connected has been crucial.

How will you become the best?

Being in the fashion industry is tricky - there are new brands emerging everyday and many of them have more funding and more connections than we do at Taft. The competition is stiff. For me, the way to become the best is by connecting with the people who support us and support our brand. I think that, more and more, consumers are in a place where they want to feel a connection to the people they’re buying from. Our goal with Taft isn’t to be this distant, ominous corporation - we want to people to see us as we really are. We want to give people insight into what it’s like running a business. We want them to know there are humans behind this company - I think there’s something endearing about that, and I think that connection is what drives success in small businesses. It’s difficult to do - because your gut reaction when you’re running a business is to try to appear bigger than you are. But there’s something unique and irreplaceable about that transparency.

What are your aspirations?

Personal: It’s all about family for me. I have a sweet son and a little daughter on the way and a wife who loves and supports me in everything I do. My biggest personal aspiration is to be smart and creative and hardworking in a way that enables me to spend as much time with family as possible. That’s the drive behind everything I do. So my personal aspirations are very family centered - travel as a family, have a lot of kids, be in a position to raise children who feel like they can pursue their passions. We want to have a home where our family can gather and the means to spend quality time making unique memories together. But really, at the end of the day my wife and I  just want to be kind, loving people.

Business: I want to be in a position where I can have a flexible schedule and the ability to work from home - I have that right now but it’s something I want to make sure is sustainable. I want to learn how to code. I know it’s not necessary to my line of work but it’s a skill I really want to have. As a small business owner, I never want to feel like anything is out of reach. I want to feel like I could move forward with any project and feel confident I could make it successful. At some point I’d really love to teach in some capacity.

What fascinates you?

Computer programming. Back end design. Both things that I can’t do, so I’m fascinated by people who can. I’ve always been intrigued by disruptive innovation. I’m drawn to companies that not only create better products but do it in a way that completely revolutionizes the whole industry.



give people the benefit of the doubt.

look for the best in others.

You never know what someone is going through - they could have just lost a love one, they could be struggling to feed their family. There are so many times I wish that people could get a peek into what it takes to run a business. I wish they could see the late nights and the worrying and the effect that a harsh comment can have at the end of a rough day. There are so many times I know people would be kinder if they just knew the situation, and I never want anybody to feel that way towards me.


I’ve never been the type to get starstruck over anybody - of course there are people I admire in a business capacity who I would love to meet but most of all I’ve always been drawn to ordinary people doing ordinary things. Some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met have been the ones waiting our table or delivering our mail or passing by as we’re watering our lawn. There’s something endearing about those regular, pedestrian encounters. There’s something I really love about seeing people as they are and realizing how extraordinary that is.


I lived in Cambodia for two years and a day hardly passes that I don’t think about going back. The people are some of the sweetest and kindest I’ve ever met. I’ve never been to Bora Bora but something tells me I’d love it there. I love to travel but nothing beats home. Home will always be my favorite place - wherever that is.


I’ve always been impressed by the cleanliness and minimalism of Apple. A double screened desktop Mac is pretty high on my wish list - it would just be a dream for designing and emailing all day. Aside from that, I’ve really never been the type to need the latest technology - it’s just not something I really think about. For me, my interest in products is always based on needs, not wants. That being said, I don’t know what I would do without my iPhone. Having the ability to work from anywhere, anytime something comes up is so crucial to a small business and my phone is really what enables me to do that.


I’m pretty crazy about fly fishing. A few years ago I really wanted to get into fishing so I borrowed a bunch of gear from my father-in-law, watched a ton of YouTube videos, and hit the river. I’ve been hooked ever since. The morning we found out the gender of our first baby my wife and I went up the canyon at 5am and spent a couple hours fly fishing before our appointment. All I could think about was how this was something I want to share with our kids someday. It’s amazing how quickly we can go from being ignorant about something to completely passionate.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.