Austin Feeley is our incredible featured writer this month, who shares his lived experience in bringing his authentic self to his professional work. In the Q+A below, we get to know Austin, his lessons learned and his plans for the future. Enjoy learning more about the inspiring Austin Feeley, and take a minute to check out his full feature in this month's issue of En Root!
At OutGrowth, we believe in designing the space and time to reimagine the path forward. How do you believe remaining authentic can impact our perspective and influence our future decisions?
Our decisions have to be grounded in personal alignment. We have the option every day to make choices with ourselves in mind, or to roll with the ebbs and flows of life. That's not to say make decisions in a selfish manner, but care for yourself and make choices that serve you and those that you care for.
What is one hard lesson you learned in this past year that contributed to your growth?
There is such a thing as wrong place, wrong time. Sometimes, we run into unfortunate circumstances - a promotion being stalled or a product being shelved. In those moments, I try to remain grateful that I am in a position where opportunities are possible and within arms' reach.
What is one competency or skill you hope to develop in 2023 and beyond?
Call me old-fashioned, but I've always wanted to learn how to sew. After moving into a new space earlier this year, I'm very excited to get into the basics. I've always been someone who takes things apart to understand how they work, and clothing is no different. Putting time in to understand a new skill only rounds out other skills.
What inspires you?
Defying the odds - classic stories of the underdog both fictional and non-fiction. Seeing someone like Tom Brady rise from being one of the last picks in the NFL to the greatest of all-time is something special. Across all industries, cultures, and facets of life, the overlooked underdog inspires motivation and hope that anything is possible with the right mindset and perseverance.
At OutGrowth, we believe in preparing the next generation of leaders. What is one resource you'd recommend to those looking to carve out the time for growth in the next year?
Business of HYPE hosted by Jeff Staple. Though this podcast is industry-specific to fashion and footwear, Jeff interviews up-and-coming entrepreneurs that are making waves. Specifically, I enjoyed the episode with Nicole McLaughlin from 2019. The two talk about non-conformist self expression and how being authentic to yourself will get you noticed by the biggest brands and minds in fashion.
What's next? What are you excited about in the coming year?
I'm currently working through my first season in a new division in which I have even more creative leeway. I'm very much looking forward to executing and testing a few new products/ideas I advocated and pushed for.
Based out of Baltimore, MD, Austin Feeley is a 27-year-old accessories designer and merchandiser for Under Armour, who has climbed the corporate ladder since he was a college student at 19. Austin has years of industry knowledge specific to footwear and accessories. He is also newly married as of September 2023.