Fort Mill, SC Obituaries
Stylehawk Event Services (January, 2014- February, 2022) was called home this month after a long battle with COVID-19. Also known as sportspaces.io and personified as the handsome Hank Hawk, Stylehawk will be missed.
Born in San Diego, CA, Stylehawk Event Services provided venue sourcing and event management for sports events throughout Southern California and across the nation. Stylehawk worked with some of the biggest jiu jitsu, cheerleading and Crossfit events around, leaving a proud legacy. Known for its professionalism, organization and service, Stylehawk Event Services was well connected and deeply entrenched in the arena and stadium management community. Stylehawk Event Services is survived by Trash and Stash Junk Removal who proudly bears the Stylehawk Enterprises, Inc. family name.
The death of my first business baby. It’s a loss and it’s disappointing. But it’s not sad. That’s because Stylehawk lives on. Lessons learned and skills built have been carried into the creation and success of Trash and Stash Junk Removal. Stylehawk leaves a proud, but incomplete legacy. As they say… gone but not forgotten.
If I’m really being honest, Stylehawk Event Services was a flawed business. It was certainly a valuable service that helped many sports events achieve great success. But for customers to realize those benefits, we had to really educate them on what we did.
This meant the sales cycles were stupid long and the execution phase took even more time and attention. Stylehawk had a tiny niche (good!) but a wide geographic and category audience (bad!). Even worse, understanding the value of our service sometimes required our customers to admit to their own inadequacies or outsource the base skills they thought they could control and excel at. In sum, Stylehawk was an awesome side hustle but never grew into the full time business I envisioned.
Despite this, Stylehawk proved to be a great launching pad for what was to come. The pandemic that killed Stylehawk also provided the nourishment for new life. Trash and Stash. Without sounding morbid, these were the tidbits I picked from the Stylehawk bones before starting Trash and Stash.
Keep it simple. I vowed the next time, I’d provide a service people actually wanted, needed and understood. With Stylehawk, the business was too cute. Too clever. It was difficult to explain, which made it nearly impossible to sell.
Being the boss is hard. And lonely. It required self discipline and outside accountability. I had to build those skills beyond the structure and safety of a regular job.
The 80/20 Rule. It took practice to focus my attention on the 20% of activities that produced 80% of the results. I then found tools and people to support me with the rest.
Marketing mistakes. I gained marketing skills, the hard way. I made a ton of mistakes with Stylehawk that cost me money and control. I didn’t always do the things that worked best for my business. Rather, I did the things I thought I should be doing.
Mission critical. I needed a purpose that was bigger than me. “Lifestyle design” is a great concept, but it’s not a solid business foundation. Stylehawk was missing it’s North Star. We have one with Trash and Stash (community and environmental engagement). Prioritizing the mission helps drive consistent decision making.
Effective > Efficient. Not everything I did with Stylehawk was purposeful with respect to driving results. I was always busy. Just not always effective.
When to quit. I should’ve quit sooner. I stuck with and even increased marketing spend when it was clear it wasn’t working. I even kept the business afloat far too long. I knew it was flawed way before COVID swung its hammer.
Smartass. I’m not as smart as I thought I was. I had to find people willing to support me and listen to my crazy ideas. The things in my head rarely sounded as good to other people as they did to me.
King cash. I didn’t understand cash flow. Or more accurately, I was afraid of what an honest evaluation of my profit/ loss statement would show me.
Vanity kills. Some of my poor decisions with Stylehawk were because of ego. I sought “lifestyle design” without a proven business model. I made marketing decisions because I thought that’s what I should do. I got excited over vanity metrics that didn’t drive sales and refused to understand my numbers because they made me feel vulnerable.
Stylehawk Event Services did some great work. But it was an imperfect business, led by an immature business owner in a time of “unprecedented change.” I will miss events and venues, but I’m a better person and business owner for having Stylehawk in my life. I will learn from my mistakes in honor and tribute to Stylehawk.
So What's Next
We’re the easiest way for Fort Mill and the surrounding Charlotte area to declutter. What makes us different is our focus on shockingly human customer experiences, our commitment to community involvement and our sincere adoption of environmentally responsible disposal practices.
The junk removal business is not so different from the events biz. It might have been dumb luck, but my events background proved to uniquely qualify me (and the other event pros on my team) for this line of work. Here’s how…
- Formal customer service training and experience in high volume and high pressure environments.
- Leadership and team building.
- Project management- including capital/ construction projects with subcontractors and trades people.
- Sustainability stewardship.
- Technology/ software experience (project management, CRM, work orders).
- Building/ venue operations.
Want to hear more of our story?
How it started- Junk Problems? My New Friend’s Got the Fix.
How it’s going- Goals, Graphs and Gratitude. Why You’re Not Getting a Holiday Card From Me.