Interview with Christopher Heyn (@Chrisheynjr)

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I have been working in commercial real estate for the past 7 years since I graduated college but have always had this creative itch I needed to scratch. I started exploring more with fashion and music and design, and during covid I rebranded this creative outlet that had gained some following into “Havoc Henry”. It all started when I wanted a vintage Land Rover tshirt in 2019 but could not find a great one anywhere, so I bought one off Alibaba and then distressed it myself. Quickly I noticed wearing it around that people wanted it and were curious where it was from. I decided to buy in bulk and do a larger drop releasing it to the public with some basic marketing and announcement on my Instagram story. I bought 50 shirts and on my first drop sold out within the first 24 hours. This is when I realized I had something and began the process of creating the brand Havoc Henry. I officially launched the project in October of 2021 with tshirts and hoodies, but have tried to call it a “creative agency” to not get pigeonholed into it just being a lifestyle brand. I have released a single under the Moniker with one of my childhood best friends and have a second song in the works as well! I still have my day job in commercial real estate, but I am seeing what opportunities present themselves and what doors open with the more I push Havoc Henry and the more releases I do and creative projects I get involved with. I have some exciting things on the horizon and some cool brands to work with.

Can you share the most interest in exciting happened to you since you started doing this?

About a week after I launched Havoc Henry, the first business email I received was from Zegna asking me to create a playlist for a launch party they were doing in their Soho store. As I mentioned, I try not to get pigeonholed into just apparel and have been making playlists and known as a bit of a music influencer as well. I was super happy to partner with Zegna on my first brand collab and now have a playlist they play throughout their stores with my own vinyl on the wall in the Soho store as well. The night of the actual launch party was super fun as well, and mixed with a bunch of cool people in the industry I had looked up to. I had been fangirling on Zack Bia for a couple years and met him a year or two prior, but got to DJ with him a bit and it was an overall great experience.
I would say the most random or funny aspect of it all is the reach I have I didn’t know about. My account is followed by Martin Garrix and Channing Tatum and some other notable cool cats, so it’s fascinating and funny to me hearing about the reach. My father has been in the fashion world for all his career, and when meeting with a major publicly traded clothing company that owns many brands, the team seemed to know who I was and said they were a fan of mine, which totally threw my dad off and shocked me when he told me as well. I am just having fun with it and seeing what it could potentially be.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them thrive and not “burn out”?

I would say try your best to always keep it fun and interesting. Remember what draws you to doing this in the first place. Like anything, nothing comes without hard work and a bit of a struggle. Do all that you can to put yourself out there and meet more people and come with a positive attitude. You never know who could be of assistance to you in the future or how you can help people. And the favor is always returned. Just like any job, its all about the connections you make and the impact you have one people. Something I am working on as well is building a great team around you. I think when you have a team of amazing people, it helps you so much and can propel you to the next level.

Always try to keep it interesting for yourself and stay true to your vision and passion. It is easy to get burned out trying to create something if you don’t see success in it right away. But you have to remember why you are doing it and the joy it brings to create and the fulfillment in it all. There are times where I see I need to take a breath or reevaluate something I am working on, and its always refreshing to focus my energy on something else for a bit before trying to go back to what I was doing before. For example, if the sales of my new hoodie are not doing as great as I wanted and the marketing doesn’t seem to be working and I cant figure it out, I try to then focus on music and the second single we are working on and the new playlist I am releasing and the creative for it, and that seems to help me come back later with a new fresh set of eyes.

None of us can succeed without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Certainly my father. He has been an inspiration for me always and as I’ve gotten older I have seen how similar we are. Since college and the early days of trying to find a career path, my parents have always tried to steer me and my older sisters away from the “fashion and creative world”. Even tho my father is in the apparel world, he has always been on the business side of things and wanted us all to go the more finance route. I think as much as they have tried, they see that its not exactly my cup of tea and there is a creative itch in me I can’t help and need to explore. He has pushed me more to see where I can take this and enjoys talking with me about it. His brain is for sure the more business exec side of things while mine is more on the creative. If we can work more together in the future I would love it, but for the most part he has just watched me to see what I can do with this. My style is a bit more tongue and cheek and pushing the boundaries a bit while he is pretty traditional and conservative, so we collide at times. I am very grateful for him

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I hope so! I try to use both of my pages as inspiration sources. If you scroll thru my account, you can see various positive messages and sayings. I treat it a bit like a modern day tumblr, and have lots of love quotes or positive quotes throughout my feed. One of my biggest messages is to try and not take things too seriously. Always be able to make for of yourself a bit or see the light in situations. The is an empathetic side to me and my brand I am trying to show to the world. There are times you can compare it a bit to brands like “we’re not really strangers”, that show a realness and emotional side that we all have we don’t always tap into. I also try to be authentic on my pages and show that its not always easy and we often can get stuck of moments of doubt or confusion and questioning yourself, and that its ok for that and very normal, but not to get stuck there and ways in which you can pull yourself out. Music is one of the best vehicles to show emotion and feeling and can be so powerful in trying to get that message across. I think Madhappy is doing a great job with this as well and brining awareness to mental health thru their clothing and brand. At the end of the day, we are all in this together and need ways to escape the daily grind and thought process we can all get stuck in. And I think having brands or pages you can turn to that you relate to and show a realness and awareness to that help immensely. We all have flaws and faults. I hope to try and empower something meaningful in people while also showing the beauty and fun in the world. Life is much too short to spend it at war with yourself or with anyone.

Do you have a favorite “written Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

It may sound basic, but “Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.” is a quote and feeling that sticks with me. I need to remind myself of that daily, how our greatest goals and dreams are often on the other side of fear and to not be controlled by that fear. We can all go thru our lives never taking risks and never trying things because of the fear of failure. Its too easy to get stuck in that mindset and that rut, and all of a sudden life has passed and we are stuck. That is one of my biggest fears that drives me is not pushing myself enough to make something magic happen because of the fear of it not working out. Just like starting Havoc Henry and putting myself out there more, I fear it might not work and could be a failure. But If I never try, I will never know. Not to keep throwing deep quotes out there, but another on that relates to all of this is “the fear of the unknown is the greatest fear of all”. In college I watched the documentary 180 Degrees south and the founder of Patagonia said that quote which changed me and has me questioning myself daily. I want to make sure I do not get stuck in that trap because I think it robs so many people of their potential and their future. Its very easy to say no or not try something because we are scared of it.

I grew up playing sports my entire life and played Division 1 soccer in college. I tried to be such a perfectionist as a kid and did not like doing things or new sports if I did not think I would be the best at it. This ended up closing a lot of doors for me because of the fear of not being the best. I remember in middle school I was terrified to play Lacrosse because of how good all the kids at my school were and how I had not played and was intimated by them. I knew I was good at soccer, but had no idea if I could play lacrosse and didn’t want to be made fun of. It took failure and learning to understand the sport and being ok sitting in that uncomfortable zone for a while to push yourself and learn. I ended up loving lacrosse and being one of the top goal scorers by high school. But if I listened to my fear at the start to never do it and to stop playing, I would never have learned that lesson and made the connections I did.

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

I am active on Instagram on both of my accounts @chrisheynjr and @havoc.henry ! I also have tiktok I enjoy using that as a silly creative outlet and post super random stuff on there, but somehow have amassed 85k followers. Its almost like the Wild wild west on there and I still don’t really know what is going on hah

Anything specific you’d like to have mentioned in the article? 

I think I would like to mention Havoc Henry as a creative agency and that ive grown this brand and myself to be know as as an aesthetic and inspiration. Pulled from 80s and vintage vibes with a modern day twist. I have been compered to Paul Newman quite a bit and have an old world feel mixed with present. Music and style are huge for me, and I have a second song coming out in the coming months. My first song on Spotify and Apple Music was released end of summer and has almost half a million streams. And I just had a recent clothing drop with new hoodies and long sleeve t-shirts. So I am trying to wear many creative hats and see what sticks, while trying to not spread myself too thin