ONA Friends and Family:
It’s a really exciting time at ONA! Earlier this month, we forged a partnership with Kuzari Group, a strategic investment and development firm here in New York City. We’re thrilled about this relationship, as it allows ONA to further develop our commitment to creating fine bags and accessories for creative professionals.
While I will remain involved as a partner at ONA, I’m delighted to introduce you to Garry Thaniel, ONA’s new CEO, who brings the perfect combination of strategic leadership and retail experience to our team. We sat down for a little Q&A so you can get to know Garry in today’s blog post.
It’s been an incredible five-and-a-half years, and I’m beyond excited about what’s in store for ONA. Thank you so much for joining us on this journey, and for joining me in welcoming Garry to the ONA family!
A Short Q&A with Garry Thaniel
ONA: Garry, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Garry: I’d like think I am a guy that tries to balance enjoying life and working hard to achieve the goals that I’ve set, both personally and professionally. I love to spend time with my family and friends – they mean the world to me and I try to spend time with them whenever possible. I like to work out, buy sneakers, listen to music (I used to DJ in college), and I’m a big sports fan (go Ravens and go Orioles!). Volunteering is very important to me, so I try to give back whenever I can, either working with organizations like America Needs You and charity: water, or volunteering with my church, Hillsong NYC.
Education and my career have always been important to me as well. I had the opportunity to attend two amazing schools, Bucknell University and Harvard Business School, both of which prepared me well for my career. Some of the best career advice a mentor gave me once was, “Find what you love to do, do it, and be great at it.” I can honestly say that I love what I do for a living – it makes life enjoyable and keeps a smile on my face.
ONA: How did you find out about ONA? And what excited you most about the brand?
Garry: I first came across ONA when I was reading an article on Esquire.com. I thought the product looked great and was very unique, particularly in the camera bag space. When I did more research, I became really impressed with the rest of the product line, and I loved the story about how Tracy founded the company. There was an authenticity to the brand that really resonated with me and when I saw the ONA community, it was clear that the brand resonated strongly with others as well.
ONA: What’s your favorite bag in the collection?
Garry: My favorite bag in the collection is the Nylon Camps Bay. I love this bag because it fits my style and is very functional. I’ve been on a workout kick a lot more lately, so I may go to the city early to work out and spend the rest of the morning and afternoon with friends in the city (I live right outside of NYC, in Jersey City, NJ). I can have my camera, laptop, and workout clothes all in one backpack. The black nylon and leather look great with pretty much everything in my closet.
ONA: What do you usually carry in your ONA?
Garry: Daily, I carry the Leather Brixton in dark truffle, and normally I’m carrying my laptop, iPad, Samsung NX3000 camera, sunglasses, a notebook, and paperwork. For me, it’s the perfect everyday bag because I can fit everything I need for my work day. And on the weekends, it allows me to carry what I need to bounce around the city and still be productive. If I am traveling, I like that it also has plenty of room to carry my passport, cell phone, and chargers.
ONA: What makes you most excited about coming on board as ONA’s new CEO?
Garry: I am excited to continue to build upon the strong foundation that Tracy and the ONA team have built. I’m excited to see the line grow and expand to new markets, as well as to introduce new products and new product categories. I’m also excited to work with the ONA team, community members, and Kuzari Group to take ONA to new heights. This is a dream job for me – it’s not often that you have an opportunity to lead a young, growing brand with such a strong and enthusiastic customer base. The fact that I’ve been blessed with this opportunity excites me and makes me want to give it all I’ve got!
Photos taken by Mark Chou.