President/Owner, Native Threads
After speaking with Randy for a mere 10 minutes you get the distinct feeling that he understands the unique position he’s in to help guide our Native youth into the vast possibilities of entrepreneurship in Indian Country. “Our ancestors were the ultimate entrepreneurs. The only difference is that instead of getting rich, they got to live!” says Bardwell. “Think of how many business owners would be successful if people’s lives, and more importantly their family’s lives, depended on building and running a solid business?” he questioned. “My Great Great Grandfather John Magee did not have the option to just quit and try something else or get a job. There were no jobs. It was survival of the fittest. It was go time and there was no other option but to succeed!”
Bardwell’s Great Great Grandfather, John Magee is credited as the “First Entrepreneur of the Temecula Valley” where his ancestral lands of the Pechanga People still reside. Magee built the first general store in the area which served as the post office and a stop on the historical Butterfield Stage line which ran from St. Louis to San Francisco in the mid 1800s. “It’s inspiring to know that I’m following in the footsteps of my ancestors and that I’m building a legacy for my children and grandchildren to carry on” Bardwell continues.
It is this creation of a legacy that drives Bardwell. He refers to a famous quote by Sitting Bull that drives him, “Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.” The quote reminds him constantly of what is important in this life and what keeps him on track with his core values. “As a role model to my kids and our youth as a whole, it’s a very humbling quote to live your life by.”
Bardwell states, “Native Threads is more than a clothing line; Native Threads represents to our youth what is possible to accomplish when you formulate a plan, set goals and put in the work to make your dreams possible. Entrepreneurship is the future of Indian Country period. Not casinos or government grants. Our future will be carried on the backs of those Indians that step up and create businesses that can thrive for decades.”
“The foundation of any business is built on solid leadership. Solid leadership is built on numerous fronts like experience, planning, organization, vision and most of all core values,” Bardwell says.
Native Threads’ core values are integrity, value and the spirit of entrepreneurship. “That spirit comes in many forms and the easiest way to explain it is that we always remain open to listening and exploring new ideas to grow our business,” Bardwell states.
Native Threads’ C.E.O. Randy Bardwell has 20 years of experience in high-tech, start-up businesses. His entrepreneurial spirit guided him to launch his first company at 18 years of age and he has never looked back since. An accomplished team builder, his expertise in program management has helped teams around the world enjoy multiple first-to-market wireless products. His achievements in manufacturing and product support have earned him high regard in a small global community of wireless professionals.
Offering a rare blend of sales/marketing and operational management strengths, Randy has been able to cross the imaginary lines of corporate structure and achieve the strategic company goals typically set for 2 or more disciplines. His tireless approach to problem solving was reflected in his work with AirPrime Inc. (now Sierra Wireless), where he created an extensive product support program while electing to take on additional projects outside his main scope of work to ensure product launch goals were met.
Mr. Bardwell also had significant impact on the wireless industry at PacTel Cellular (now Verizon), Sprint PCS and manufacturers such as Denso Wireless (A Toyota Co.) and Neopoint Inc., where he held key management positions.
In 2006, Mr. Bardwell turned his attention to Native Threads. The company’s previous owner was soliciting investment to bring the company back from bankruptcy and Randy was interested in reviving Indian Country’s most widely recognized Native apparel line. In January 2009 Bardwell became the sole owner of the Native Threads trademark and promptly re-launched the company in April 2009 to satisfy the demand from a fiercely loyal customer base.
Randy Bardwell’s exceptional track record of business success is based on his philosophy of tireless networking. He is known for his ability to hurdle significant barriers to success and make the impossible objective become an obtainable goal through his passion and commitment to the task.
As a dedicated member of the Pechanga Band of Mission Indians, Randy serves on his tribe’s Trust Review Board which creates tribal conservatorships for tribal members who are unable to manage their finances on their own. He is also jointly developing a business mentorship program with his tribal leadership to ensure continued entrepreneurial success among the members of his tribe. Bardwell is a Master Graduate of Rapport Leadership International’s highly acclaimed leadership program. He also serves as a member of the National Support Committee for the Native American Rights Fund.