Today marks my 10 year anniversary as a Las Vegas resident. On Thursday, August 23 2007, I moved from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Las Vegas, Nevada with a dollar and a dream. Well actually, I had $1000 to my name, two boxes, two duffle bags and a 30-day living arrangement with a college buddy of mine. I left everything else behind in Michigan. My family. My friends. My loved ones. My job. My memories. When I chose to move to Vegas, it wasn’t for personal reasons. It was strictly business.
At the time, LAYOP Clothing Company was thinking about relocating to a different city. We had a Top 5: New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and Atlanta. Las Vegas wasn’t even in the running at first. NYC and LA were too expensive. Chicago was still in the Midwest and we really didn’t know anyone in Miami. Atlanta was the popular choice amongst the team but ATL was hella crowded. Atlanta reminded us of our hometown Saginaw because so many Saginaw folks lived there – The A was definitely oversaturated. That was a bummer for LAYOP Founder and CEO Andre Thomas (Dre-T) and myself because we were was really pushing for Atlanta. Then as a joke, one of us said “We should move to Vegas!” Initially, we all laughed at the suggestion but after doing some thorough research, Las Vegas made business sense. After we agreed as a group that the move would be Vegas, I left Ann Arbor two weeks later. I booked a one-way ticket, said all of my goodbyes and threw up a couple of prayers… Viva Las Vegas!
Moving to Las Vegas was one of the boldest things I’ve ever done in all of my 33 years of life. Nothing was guaranteed. I only knew two people here prior to moving to Vegas. But see, that’s how good God works! On my first day living in Las Vegas, I met a guy who would eventually be the plug who got things started for LAYOP on the Las Vegas Strip. Two weeks prior to that, I met a guy who is like a long lost brother. When things got rough, he and his blood brother took me in. Fast forward seven years later, that guy became one of my best friends (I was in his wedding) and his brother is now my business partner within LAYOP Clothing Company.
Looking back at my first 10 years in Vegas, most of my biggest gambles in life took place right here. Whether it was different jobs, relationships and business ventures, I rolled the dice more than a few times while living in Vegas. And to be perfectly honest, I have won more than I lost, all because of Jesus. Without him, I would have crapped out a long time ago and ran back home to Michigan. However, God had a plan for me and I’m so glad I stuck with it. Now, Lord knows within the 10 long years I’ve tried to leave this place multiple times but it’s not my time yet. I have purpose in Las Vegas and I’m ok with that. Now, I’m not saying I’m going to be here for the next 90 years of my life. But what I am saying is that I’m content and comfortable with God’s plan. I’m exactly where he wants me to be… right here in Las Vegas.
Worth The Wait Guy