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She Graduated While I Suffered Pt 3

The Graduation

A few months ago, I spent three hours of my life (that I will never get back) at my sister’s college graduation. After countless years of long classes internships, and commuting to Pennsylvania on a weekly basis, she finally has a Doctorate of Psychology degree!

In addition to me being proud of her for her beginning her reign as the first known doctor in our family tree, I am also proud of myself for enduring through the graduation without feeling like I was being held hostage, like I did during her first and second college graduations.

The most eventful thing that happened during the ceremony was when the child sitting 8 chairs away from me played Pokemon on his gameboy with the audio enabled. I guess that when they say “gotta catch ’em all,” they mean by any means necessary in any available environment.

I’m not only happy for my sister as she concludes her education with the highest degree in her area of study, but I am also incredibly happy that this is the last of her college graduations that I must endure through. Fingers crossed that my brother doesn’t want to become a doctor in his field, so I won’t have four more graduations to sit through.

This was quite the feeling of deja-vu…actually, deja-vu times two!

But, all jokes aside, Steve Jobs once said, “you have to have a crazy passion for what you do because without it you will never put up with what’s necessary for success” and she’s proved this time and time again. From writing a long dissertation (which she won an award for), to interning at various organizations for free in order to meet graduation requirements, to getting barely any sleep as she worked a full-time job and interned while being a full time student, to taking numerous student loans, she somehow remained motivated throughout the years in order to graduate—all because because she was passionate about the field of Psychology. Whoever she Psychologizes is lucky because they’ve got a smart, lucky, dedicated doctor!

My Sistren and I at her Graduation

Congrats Dr. Giselle.

So, Geremy… Where’s Your Jet?!?

Five years ago, I boldly announced to the world that I will have my own Embraer Phenom Jet in 2015. Now that it we’re in 2015, where’s my jet?!?!?! Well, first let me share some background about what has happened and then I’ll explain the whereabouts of my jet.

In 2010, I was experiencing a traveling nightmare that left me stranded in North Carolina without a flight. While sitting in the uncomfortable airport chair contemplating my fate, the thought of owning my own jet to fly whenever and wherever I wanted crossed my mind. Initially, I thought that this goal was as attainable as a teenager marrying Mariah Carey, but then I saw that Nick Cannon achieved this goal so it proved to me that nothing is impossible.

I researched entry-level jets that only required one pilot (so I would only have to pay one pilot’s salary) and I came across the four-passenger Embraer Phenom 100, at the cost of about $3.5 million dollars. I then factored-in depreciation and assumed that I could get a pre-owned Phenom 100 for around $2 million in 2015. The cost still seemed huge in my mind, but I needed to see it in-person to make the jet seem more attainable.

I came across the company, JetSuite, which sold flights on their brand new Phenom 100 jets and the cheapest route that they had available at the time was Los Angeles to Las Vegas. I sacrificed meals, avoided Starbucks, and started buying “plus” gas rather than premium in order to afford the money that I needed to take the flight. Eventually in early 2011, I confirmed my flight and I went to California for the most exhilarating flight of my life.

The Time I Chartered a Jet

I’ll admit, the flight was short. In fact, the time that it took you to read this far into this entry is about the same time it took me to board the flight and land in Las Vegas, but I didn’t mind because this was was the best $1,073.93 that I spent in my entire life. This experience filled me with hope and it made me feel like owning a private jet was within reach.

When I returned to reality, I immersed myself in the world of planes. One of my good friends is a pilot and he patiently answered every single question that I had about private jets. I would also disappear for hours and while my parents probably thought that I was running amok doing illegal things like smoking crack, I was actually parked at the airport watching planes take-off and land. Each time that I saw a jet, the goal seemed more and more attainable. Eventually, it felt like a common experience to see a private jet around me.

Over the next few years, I took a few additional flights on the Phenom 100 and loved it, but then an eye-opening moment came when I flew on the 6 passenger Cessna Citation CJ3 and I saw how cool it was to have more than 4 seats on a plane. That’s when I convinced myself that I should step-up my goal and get a bigger jet. Even though it was considerably more expensive, I liked the idea of having a plane to carry my entire posse without having to say “the three of you can’t go because I don’t have enough seats.”

I went back to the drawing board and set an even bigger goal to get an even bigger, faster plane! So I repeated the process again. First I mocked-up a photo of what my plane will look like, and then I started looking for ways to fly on bigger planes. I’ve since adjusted my goal to get a 8 passenger Cessna Citation X jet (or the equivalent— like a Hawker 850XP) by 2017 or earlier, and here is what it is likely to look like:

The Future Peculiar Jet

For the time being, I have been flying on larger planes to get used to the idea of traveling on bigger jets (and the expenses associated with it). Soon, this goal will be within arms reach and I will be within inches of buying my own plane. So as of right now, the goal has not been met, but it has been multiplied to a much larger goal that will definitely be reached!

One word of advice that I would like to share with anyone reading this: You shouldn’t be nervous to have a large goal and to share it with others. There will always be naysayers who will poo-poo your dream, but as the saying goes, “It costs nothing to dream and everything not to!”

Chock Full o’Peculiar

The worst possible way to work on three important things is to focus on all three at the same time. But apparently I’m a glutton for punishment and I chose to work on the Peculiar PPL logo, shirt design, and website overhaul at the same time. Today is the magical day that I can finally check-off all three items from my to-do list as I release all three to the public. Allow me to tell you the excruciating details about each project.

The Peculiar PPL Logo

The New Peculiar PPL Logomark

From the beginning, I’ve always wanted a Peculiar PPL “mark” in addition to a logo, but I didn’t want to rush and create a subpar design. Now that the brand is on the cusp of exponential growth, I wanted the branding to grow as well. I wanted a fresh perspective, so I enlisted the help of artists who came up with a number of different concepts. Here are a few of the logo concepts that I didn’t make the cut:

Logo Concepts

Logo Concepts

Logo Concepts

Logo Concepts

Logo Concepts

Logo Concepts

Logo Concepts

Logo Concepts

In the end, the logo that I went with was one that depicted a Peculiar hand reaching for a star, and the entire logo is in the shape of a P, for Peculiar. This logo reflects every aspect of the brand with one image. Each person is reaching for their individual “star” and Peculiar PPL exists to inspire and enable Peculiar PPL to do so. Here’s a mock-up of how the logos would work together in the future, when we have a nice, swanky Peculiar PPL boutique.

The Peculiar Shirt
For this design, I enlisted the help of a very talented artist from Spain. I wanted a design that said “Peculiar” in a simple, elegant way without being too distracting or ornamental. Here are a couple iterations of the drafts that we worked on:

Peculiar PPL Concepts

Peculiar PPL Concepts

In the end, I selected the image for the newest shirt, and got it in both cranberry and black. Then I ordered hem tags for each shirt in order to compliment the design with the Peculiar PPL logo. Here’s the finished product, that you can order on PeculiarPPL.com

Black I Am Peculiar shirt

The Website

With the website, I had three goals in mind:
1. Simple
2. Mobile Friendly
3. Informative product pages

After working on the site for three months, I was almost ready to launch when I felt like bride who is having second thoughts on the night before her wedding. The design didn’t seem as good as it had the potential to be, so I trashed the entire thing and started working on a new version. Then, when I was ready to launch the second time, I had the idea to put invisible models on each t-shirt product page, and each video took hours to create and implement. Then the three weeks leading up to the launch had so many tiny hiccups that required late nights and lots of technical support. Somehow I was able to pull it off and launch a user-friendly site with secure, encrypted account management and checkout pages, even though I’m not a web designer by any means.

The end result is a website that will serve as the foundation for many new additions in the future. I’m confident that the website is solid and scaleable enough to grow as the brand grows, and I’m looking forward to hearing feedback from people who use the site to make purchases.

Now that these things are finished, I’ve got so many other Peculiar PPL related things to launch. Since I’ll be making all announcements on www.PeculiarPPL.com and on the associated social networks (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram), follow the brand there to see what is coming next in the wonderful Peculiar world.

I quit my full time job to focus on this full-time, so if you want to help support the growth of the brand (and my business endeavors), feel free to purchase a product or ten from www.PeculiarPPL.com. I’ll love you for it.