“Brand Renegades” by Sean and Thora Dowdell

Business owners Sean and Thora Dowdell don’t just practice what they preach, they are what they preach. The couple in profession and in life started as a rock star and corporate manager struggling to realize their passion for the world of tattooing through a lucrative and illustrious financial conduit. With a whole lot of hard work, and some considerable “dark times” as the duo characterize it in sections of their new book, they did just that. The end result is the tattoo parlor chain known as Club Tattoo based out of Arizona and Nevada, with respect to the latter specifically within the city of Las Vegas. Locations include the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and LINQ Hotel & Casino. Needless to say, they have achieved one of the most critical values falling under the concept of the American Dream, albeit in a way not entirely anticipatory.

URL: https://clubtattoo.com/

The field of tattooing has always been something of an underground phenomenon, so-called elites and ‘polite society’ turning up their noses at the idea of people attempting to capitalize across a wide margin on such a topical focus. Yet Sean and Thora Dowdell write about their very success in said field with a sort of irreverent, take that kind of ferocity. They speak in simple, concise, and bell-clear prose that expertly juggles breaking down core, statistically-backed concepts regarding networking and ascertaining certain corporate milestones, highlighting the potential pitfalls while climbing the relevant social ladders, and knowing a generalized sense of where to dispatch and invest one’s earned resources when the goalpost is met. They add to this by saying all of this knowledge isn’t the result of a formalized degree or years of corporate-backed experiential values.

Rather it’s what they learned the hard way, school of hard knocks-style. It boils down to being observant, and working with a healthy juxtaposition of objectivity and intuition. In effect, both by what they have managed to achieve and how they recount getting there, Sean and Thora Dowdell drive home the point anyone anywhere can technically achieve anything if they have an observationally realistic, technically-backed formula. It’s all about lining up and keeping track of the exponentials, they write. Once a successful pattern is established, then it’s only a matter of getting the word out and keeping things as consistent as possible.


It’s personal touches that especially elevate Sean and Thora’s book on this subject, Brand Renegades: Our Fearless Path From Startup to Global Brand, as an effective entry in the leadership nonfiction sub-genre. Like any solid leadership advice book with appropriately humanistic qualities, both Dowdells hit two birds with one stone.

They not only make the contextual information presented operate within a relatable, empathetic frame, but also provide hands-on analogous scenarios complimenting said information. “The success of our partnership is not predicated on us thinking exactly alike,” the couple writes. “It has evolved and grown stronger due to the different ways (we) think, the different approaches we take to solving problems, our ability to be freethinkers, and our ability to relinquish the leadership to each other in different situations. We are willing to share risks, responsibilities, and accountability.”

Clearly in spite of all the success Sean and Thora haven’t lost their clear penchant for being a thoughtful and tenacious pair. In many ways, it makes the story that much more inspirational.

Garth Thomas

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