When Dr. Mario McCoy was young, his mother, who was raising him alone, taught him that a watch was an essential accessory for a man whenever he was leaving the house. McCoy, who loved their look and concept, had no problem conforming to his mother’s ideals. He said, “I used to go to McDonald’s in the late ’80s and 90’s, and this is when they used to sell the Michael Jordan watches with Happy Meals. My mother bought my first “real” watch for Christmas and, fittingly enough, it was a Michael Jordan leather watch where the basketball took place of the second hand. “I wore it with EVERYTHING. I loved the look but ultimately ended up learning the different nuances of what makes a quality, affordable timepiece because growing up in a single parent household, we didn’t have much,” said McCoy. Little did he know that his passion would ultimately change his life.
Today, McCoy has turned that love and appreciation of watches into a hugely successful enterprise, NCMPRBL, headquartered in Houston, Texas. With NCMPRBL, (pronounced N-Com-Par-Bull), he wanted to create a brand that would in no way sacrifice his vision of inspiring the masses to not be regular, but instead be NCMPRBL. “As a company, we are most proud of not compromising our values of Focus, Advance, Quality, and Experience. We pride ourselves on giving the same unrivaled welcome to our customers who are starting or adding to their collections with the ultimate fashion accessory, “he added.
Finding Success Without Compromise
A first-generation college student, Dr. McCoy didn’t follow a traditional path to success. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for his undergraduate and graduate studies, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a masters degree in administrative leadership. Matriculation to the University of Southern California resulted in a doctorate in organizational change and leadership.
It certainly wasn’t an easy journey to get there. Along the way, Dr. McCoy faced a difficult family life, homelessness and bankruptcy. Despite the challenges and with little support, his confidence in his future success never wavered. He said, “If there’s one thing I am, it’s a man of faith and trust. I would not be able to share my story if I did not have one the world couldn’t relate to.”
Dr. McCoy believes that the best time to start a business is yesterday. He says, “Fail Fast, Fail Forward.” That was the attitude with which he founded NCMPRBL, a watch and accessories fashion brand whose inspiration came from merging a lifetime of passion for watches with fulfilling the need for diversity and cultural representation in the jewelry/watches market.
As a Black Millennial himself, McCoy couldn’t help but notice this core demographic provided cultural influence and spent the most on fashion accessories than other groups, there was a dearth of representation, specifically in the watch market. Seeing the gap in the market, he set out to change that, hoping to build a recognizable brand to inspire customers with the NCMPRBL motto, “Don’t be regular, Be NCMPRBL.” The result was a new understated style of advanced, affordable, styled watches whose limited collections offer minimalist design excellence for global appeal.
He has succeeded in his goals in a big way. Having founded NCMPRBL in 2019, Dr. McCoy has since won several entrepreneurial recognitions, including the MLK Lifestyle Entrepreneur of the Year award, a Comcast RISE recipient, and an endorsement by the original Shark of Shark Tank, Kevin Harrington.
All About the Feeling
As such, McCoy designs his products intending to evoke confidence in the wearer, as he believes fashion is about producing a desired feeling, as much as a specific look. He said, “Our focus is on empowering the total non-conformist. We exist to transcend through trends while creating a legacy leaving an imprint with all of the products that we design, test, and release to the public.”
Branding for the Future
McCoy has shown the world what a brand can do when it focuses on responding to a community’s needs instead of exploiting a community for profit. In this way, the enterprise stands as a testament to McCoy’s values while reflecting the changing world in which the company operates.
But for McCoy, NCMPRBL is also a mirror for his own experience and the culmination of many years of life lessons, extensive study, unbounded creativity and hard work. He said, “The most fashionable story is YOURS, speak through style and most of all, don’t be regular.”
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