Meeting Stanley in New York City, where we spoke about smiling at strangers, India, his hair and branding, over coffee.

Meeting Stanley in New York City, where we spoke about smiling at strangers, India, his hair and branding, over coffee.

 

“I guess that’s part of my quest to be an original person and not be derivative of others.“

Stanley Hainsworth is the chairman and chief creative officer at Tether, a full-service creative company, that he founded, after building some of the world’s greatest brands. Stanley added his touch of humanity and love to the brands he built, making them the most beloved brands of our time.

He served as Vice President of Global Creative at Starbucks and transformed the brand into the cultural icon we know today. Prior to that, he was the Global Creative Director for the Lego Company in Denmark. While at Lego he directed a total visual overhaul of the Lego brand, including packaging, web and retail. And before leading these two brands, Stanley spent his creative genius at Nike for 11 years. He joined Nike as a copywriter and made his way through the company to become the Creative Director. At Nike he worked on on everything from product launches to Niketowns to the Olympics.

Stanley has been described as “creativity in the gestalt” by friends and co-workers. I’ve been a fan of his thinking and work since the time I knew what branding was. I was extremely lucky to have met him in New York City. His warmth, smile and humility makes him a rare gem.

Jim Carrey once said, “The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.” and Stanley is the most positive embodiment of that. Read this story to believe it (disclaimer: you won’t stop smiling!)

 
 

If you could be rich with one thing, what would it be and why?

Every day, every thought that I have, I would want it to be an original thought. I think Mark Twain had a joke, that Adam and Eve were the only ones who had an original thought.

Especially as designers we are inspired by others. Some people take that inspiration even further, to copying. And that’s how you learn, as well. All the great artists copy the masters and eventually find their own voice.

It would be, to truly come up with original thoughts, and think in a non-derivative way. Every morning to come up with something completely new, that no one has ever considered before or thought of in that way, would be it.

I guess that’s part of my quest to be an original person and not be derivative of others.

 
 

 

If you could give more of one thing that you have, what would it be and why?

When anyone asks me advice about how to get ahead in their career, how to be successful.. the one simple answer, is be nice to everyone. So that’s what I would share. You don’t have to be rude, you don’t have to act like a SOB, to be seen as a leader, to be seen as having a strong opinion. Some of the most powerful people in the world are wise and gentle. Take Mother Teresa and Gandhi, they had power, and their strength came from their kindness, their wisdom, their tolerance and patience with others.