Building Empires with Brandon Smith

Worn out after 14 years in commercial interior design in Los Angeles, Brandon Smith did what anyone else would do:

He started a media empire.

But not just any media empire. His is built on the belief that the future lies within the high-end lifestyles of California, the Northeast and the upper Midwest. Luxury, it seems, is his keyword.

But why?

“Why not luxury?” he counters. “There’s a common misnomer that it’s expensive – it’s like art: your idea and my idea and a third person’s could be entirely different.”

Still, he’s secure in targeting the upper income households that range between $100,000 and $300,000 annually. They’re not only affluent, but savvy with social media – a quality he shares with them.

“I decided to take up twitter and blog at same time,” he says. “The transition allowed me to take on writing, and also other avenues like automobiles and design.”

So he created DCoop Media, a three-tiered, web-based entity consisting of Design Lux, his chat; the TwentySIX magazine, launched in February; as well as content creation, developed for luxury brands.

He finds his inspiration everywhere.

“I’m an internet junkie – I’m online all the time, on Pinterest, twitter and on random web sites,” he says. “Last year I attended 20 different trade shows across the country – NeoCon, Architectural Digest, and the Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance Auto Show. This year, I’m going to Europe, two yacht shows and a private jet show.”

Because after all, that’s where the upper 19 percent – the 29.2 million households in the United States – find the brands they want.

Short-term, it’s all served to reinvigorate his life. Long-term, he can shed his media empire at a profit, when the time is right.

“Then I could move on to my next endeavor,” he says.

Which, no doubt, will entail yet another kind of empire.

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