Archive for February, 2011

The Flash Fashion Show

Posted: February 23, 2011 in Hall of Fame Posts

Remember how I said we were planning on doing a flash fashion show (click to read WHY we did it..) in the middle of a crowded lecture hall on campus at CU?

20 Models, 11 camera men, 1 stylist, 1 professor, 1 store (The Buffalo Exchange), and 200 stunned students later – WE PULLED IT OFF! Huge thanks to all of you guys, I still can’t believe it all came together.

Now, my friends, you know what to do. SPREAD THIS VIDEO! Comment on the youtube page, like it, stumble upon it, post it on facebook, email it, talk loudly about it while in crowded public places….do what you do – we said we were going to get to a million views, now lets get it!!

Thanks again, to everyone involved. There are too many people to name that made this possible, you guys are unbelievable.

The Men of Sabi


Birthday blogging…

Posted: February 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

Damn, I’m 24 years old… I think my sister summed it up best in a text she wrote this morning: “Man, 24. That seems really old but you don’t seem old.” I couldn’t agree more. But, instead of fighting it I am just going to take it, like a man…a really old man and accept the fact that I am nearly over the hill!

As I lay here in my poor excuse of a bed, that’s in the living room of a 2 bedroom apt that I share with my two best friends, trying to think about what to write about, one thought keeps coming to mind: “I might be the luckiest person ever.”

I am starting a business with 2 of the coolest people around. Dan might be the funniest and happiest person in the world. No matter what situation he’s in he stays true to himself and the people he cares about. Shaan is easily the smartest person I’ve ever met. There is not enough room on this blog to talk about all of the things I have learned from that guy in the last 5 years.

My parents are awesome. I know it has to be strange for them when they think about what I am actually doing with my life. But, they have been nothing but supportive. They have been there every step up the way with advice whenever times get tough. They have never once doubted the project or what I am trying to do. And, they are even scrambling around trying to help me raise my share of the start-up cost to make this happen.

I have the best siblings ever. I don’t think it’s possible to have better siblings. Kristi and Ali are still in high school and Eric is college. If you haven’t had the chance to meet them yet, you are missing out. I can not wait for the day when they all eat sushi for the first time in my restaurant!

I know Phillip Yi. He’s not only the best sushi chef around but easily one of the most amazing people that I have met in my life. I have never seen anyone that can connect with people like this guy can. He changed my life.

I live in one of the coolest places in the world. There are no words to describe how awesome Boulder is. The people, the mountains, the weather. It’s all perfect and I’m right smack dab in the middle of it!

My side job is too much fun. Coaching basketball in Milliken has been one of the greatest experiences that I’ve had. The girls are absolutely ridiculous but I love every minute of it.

Sabi. Sabi has grown to be much more than a restaurant concept. It’s become a life teacher, a platform for us to do what we do. A way for us to meet and help others. Sabi is responsible for a number of things I wrote about in this blog. It is crazy how one simple idea could have such a monumental effect on my life.

The list could go on forever, but it’s time to go eat! Thank you all for everything it’s awesome having you on our side for this wild ride.


Here’s what you need to know: Its big, and its going down – 11a.m on Tuesday – Feb. 22nd.

Now – I’ve had enough questions about this highly anticipated event so, its time to break it down, one step at a time:

– The Plan –

Imagine a giant college lecture hall. Seats about 500 kids. Students are sleeping, texting, facebooking, doodling…we know how it is – you’ll do anything to avoid paying attention. Now all of a sudden, a girl gets up from her seat, and starts to strut her stuff right down the lecture hall steps, like they were built to be her personal runway.

The professor has no idea what this chick is doing, but she appears to be in her own little world, like she’s on the runway on Hollywood Blvd. instead of the lecture hall steps of the Math100 classroom.

While everyone wonders what the hell is going on, another girl from across the room gets up and does the same thing. Then another. The beat drops and now we’ve got music blasting through the once silent classroom. Holy shi*t! All of a sudden you’ve got models coming from down all the steps and through each doorway, dressed by our stylist, with clothes from the local Boulder favorite, the Buffalo Exchange, and rockin’ the Sabi Freestyle Shades (not for sale just yet…)

Going to class just got way more interesting.

– The Reason –

As fresh graduates (we miss ya Duke) we remember how boring class is.  No matter how much you love the teacher/subject/learning – there’s something (allow me to get my Darwin on) evolutionarily (see Mom? My BIO major isn’t completely wasted) built inside us: We HATE being forced to be in a classroom..especially in the morning.

Let’s take the mundane, the routine, the boring – and make it exciting.  We can’t open the doors to our restaurant yet – but we can still make some noise out here in Colorado.

– The Players –

The Stylist – Her name is Kerry Doran.  She moved out to L.A when she was 17 years old to study fashion and design at the finest school in L.A, but was turned off by reality of Hollywood fashion culture. She came out to Boulder and found her niche…I can’t do her story justice (that’s coming in our Do What You Do episode we’ll release later) – but she’s the fashion eye in charge of our models’ style.

The Clothes – I asked Kerry what she would change if she had the power to change anything about Fashion, and she said “I hate how in fashion, everything is either “in” or “out”…something that is truly great, truly creative…should last – regardless of the circumstance”. So we took that idea, and decided to go against all the high-end fashion boutiques that normally get showcased in Fashion Shows.  Instead, we looked for a store that appreciated the cyclical nature of fashion, and is stocked with clothes that can simply be described as cool – enter the Buffalo Exchange. A local shop here in Boulder that’s been awesome enough to give us access to their line.

The Models – An army of skinny blonds.

Just kidding. Our models come in all shapes/colors/sizes, and from all parts of the university – the ski team, theater, dance, sororities, just to name a few. Now don’t get me wrong – this isn’t some silly diversity brochure we’re creating (I’ve been the token Brown Guy in enough of those to hate them..)

Each of our models has one trait that can’t be diverse. It is completely in common among all of them –  the confidence and swagger to pull off a stunt like this. We figured since that since those are the most attractive traits in a girl to the founders of Sabi (take note, sushi groupies) – it is the only criteria we have for the models..and that they have fun with this project.

With our stylist and models – we’re going to rock the house – using creativity and swagger to turn an everyday boring situation –> into something you will never forget. (starting to see how this relates to the restaurant yet? Our attitude towards business is the same as our attitude towards life.  Not only will we “do what we do” to make our restaurant great, but in anything we do….even a damn fashion show!)

This is going to be something you’re going to be telling your friends about. I’m talking facebook status material. Hell – we might even have someone get so excited they Tweet in their pants.

What the hell does this have to do with Sushi?

Well on the surface it doesn’t. Then you dig a little deeper…and it still doesn’t.

BUT while it doesn’t have to do with sushi – it has everything to do with SABI.  After all, our motto isn’t about fresh salmon or tasty tuna…it’s : do what you do.  A credo we live by, and our mission to help others with. So when we met our stylist, heard her story, we knew we had to find a way to let her do what she does.

For us? Well, we’re committed to keeping this event cool. That means no banners. No posters. No “brought to you by…Sabi Sushi!!!” in the end of the show.

This is part of a much grander Marketing strategy. I’m in charge of marketing at Sabi, and to me- Marketing is just about telling your story – if you’re interesting, then people will give you a try, then its up to your product to deliver.

Now, most companies tell their story through commercials and brochures…us? Aside from the fact that we couldn’t afford that, we prefer to just go meet people, find out what they’re passionate about, and find a way for them to do what you do. So we create projects with them, and they learn about our story in the process. It may work, it may not (your guess is better than mine, lets hear it in the comments bubble on the top right of this post!), but either way…its hell of a lot more fun than standing at an intersection spinning a sign around about the new sushi restaurant.

Who will support Sabi for sure? Well there’s only one group we can count on – Friends and Family.

Since I ain’t in the baby makin’ mood, I had to stick with the family I already got – and focus on making more friends.

We do that by working together to create something cool. Something bigger than our individual talents and abilities – now THAT is a connection. That’s marketing that’s bigger than you “liking” our Facebook Fan Page, or following us on Twitter.

That’s a relationship that’ll get you to come to our next event…and our next one…and the grand daddy of them all …Opening Day.

Once you’re there – you’ll try our sushi, and that first bite into one of our delicious rolls will do the rest of the work. Our chef that we found on the Food Network, and had the absolute pleasure of training with all summer : Phillip Yi, can guarantee you that.

So call it a marketing stunt. Call it random. Call it bullsh*t…..Just don’t call it Glee.

We call it the Flash Fashion Show. And its coming soon to the Math100 Classroom on CUs campus. Tuesday, Feb 22nd, 2011 – 11am. See you there.