Vaughn Dabney: Hustling…The Renaissance Way

Vaughn Dabney

My friendship timeline with Vaughn goes a little something like this —> We met after he added the wrong person to gchat, realized we were pretty much neighbors in Atlanta, then spent an intense friendship-initiation period discussing inventions, UFOs, the universe, Sallie Mae, culture, our dislike for Georgia, car insurance and 5 years later…the rest is history.

He’s a literal renaissance man if I’ve ever known one. His portfolio includes mobile apps (notably Soundr x Social Note), an EP on iTunes, A documentary, a coffee table book, a travel photography book, his Mr. Dabney Blog annddddd he’s a pretty dope skater.

Based in DC, he’s a freelance app developer by profession, “among other things” (see above), and credits his self-taught html and css skills to his insatiable curiosity and desire to learn.

He has always inspired me to create and to work hard to live on my own terms and for that reason, he is this week’s Style Story feature. Here’s what he had to share about his hustle and style…

How hard was it to make the jump into full-time entrepreneurship?
The move towards full-time entrepreneur was a gradual one. I would work full-time jobs and still have my clients. Eventually, I knew it was time to leave and go on my own. It’s a scary feeling. You have no idea where your next check is coming from, you still have bills to pay, and you have no one to hold you accountable but yourself. Terrifying. You have to be okay with failing in order to succeed as an entrepreneur…comes with the territory.

What’s the hardest thing about working for yourself?
The hardest thing about working as a freelancer is the time-management and discipline aspect. You have to be able to say “no” to the things you really want to do since you now have the entire day to yourself! It’s about prioritizing and making to-do lists. Staying up late in order to get the job done. Once I developed a routine, it became easier. Every day is a temptation though.

Vaughn Dabney2

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date?
Greatest accomplishment would be to actually get to the place I’m at now. Working for yourself is not easy at all. No benefits. No paid vacations. No paid health insurance. You earn everything and hustle non-stop….and I love it.

Who/what inspires you each day?
I’m inspired by my network of people around for sure. I think most of my inspiration and drive comes from being able to inspire others though. If I know that my actions can ignite a passion in someone else, it makes me work so much harder.

What’s your mantra?
Nothing is ever too difficult to learn. If you have the time, you can learn anything you want. May sound corny but people limit themselves too often because something is perceived as “too difficult”.

My fashion philosophy is…
Comfortability above all else. You have to be comfortable in what you’re wearing. If I feel like I’m uncomfortable in what I’m wearing (not to be confused with self-conscious), I will change or just not go at all (except on extremely rare or important occasions).

Continue reading…

Vaughn Dabney 4

I feel my best when…
I have a great outfit on but I’m not the center of attention. I like to hang back and people watch and if you happen to notice my wears, then cool.

My most prized fashion item is…
My watch. I love a great analog watch that is low profile. I won’t spend more than $200 on a watch but I’ll usually get complements on it. My watches are different and discontinued.

My latest purchases came from… 
A company called Bonobos. Great stuff..just top quality. I purchased a Summer weight seersucker suit, navy blue, two Summer tanks, and a pair of shorts – all for $300! That’s because of my membership with their Founders Card though.

My #cantlivewithout item is…
My phone, mostly for my music. Get’s me through life.

Most important part of my outfit is my…
Belt. That’s the glue that brings the top and bottom pieces together. If I’m wearing pants or shorts with no belt loops, then it defaults to the watch.

Vaughn Dabney 3


To learn more about Vaughn and his projects, check him out using the links below:

Instagram: @mrdabney
Blog site:

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