#GoodPeople: Colin Hartman

#GoodPeople
Our customers are extraordinary people. Here are their stories.

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When asked, founder of DC-based chocolate factory Harper Macaw, Colin Hartman, said he sees himself as the Harpy Eagle, because it’s endangered, but the largest and most powerful raptor in the Americas. He was, of course, joking.

Colin of Harper Macaw

Colin wearing the H&C Fitted T-shirt.

But he elaborated, “It is, however, the logo and one of the namesakes of my company which I’m entirely consumed with right now, so it’s hard to think of anything else.” Which explains why one of the things Colin is afraid of not getting the chance to do is to clear his email inbox some day.

I’m running a new company and everyday it feels like I’m completely failing at a number of things, and worse, failing other people.

Colin went on to share a bit about how his company has made him think differently recently. “I’m running a new company, and everyday it feels like I’m completely failing at a number of things, and worse, failing other people. It can take a toll on one’s self-esteem,” he said. Colin explained that he’s been through a few wringers before, and he always pushed through or was fortunate that things turned out well. Looking back though, he mentioned in those situations it seemed easy to maintain a positive attitude and a healthy perspective. Now, he’s beginning to recognize that those were sprints, and what he’s up against currently is more of a marathon. As a result he’s realizing he really needs to do a better job of managing his own psychology; for his own sake, but mostly for the people who surround him. He knows it’s going to take a lot of conscious focus and reflection.

He elaborated, “Perhaps this is just the natural cycle of life. It’s like you spend your late teens and early twenties building yourself up, and then the real world crushes you. And then you spend your mid- and late-twenties building yourself up, and then somewhere in your thirties a more extreme version of the real world crushes you, and so on. And then someday you, if you’re lucky or successful enough, hopefully you can say screw it all and do whatever you want.”

You spend your late teens and early twenties building yourself up, and then the real world crushes you.

Changing course, Colin shared that he smiled so big it hurt when he and his wife found out they’re having a baby boy this fall. Perhaps that’s why if he could earn a blue ribbon for something over the past week, he wished it would have been an egregiously dashing display of conspicuous gallantry toward his wife or a dramatic reduction in his use of just horrific profanities. Though, neither was achieved.

We moved on to chat about what else Colin is currently enjoying, besides dancing to Bailando by Enrique Iglesias when no one is watching. Colin shared that one of his most prized items of clothing at the moment is a kangaroo leather jacket by Kill_Kapture, a brand inspired by special operations gear, newly launched by a friend of his who served in the Australian SAS. “He only made 20 jackets of his first line, and all are owned by military veterans. That’s pretty f-ing cool,” exclaimed Colin.

Colin wearing his jacket

Colin wearing his favorite jacket and a H&C Oxford cloth button-down.

Which led us deeper into his military experience. Colin shared that if he could give a gift to anyone it would be to an Afghan commando he trained and befriended in 2010, when he was with the Marines. “I’m sure I’ll never see him again, and I don’t even know if he’s alive. But he’d always ask me for whiskey, and we weren’t allowed to drink or even possess alcohol in-country. So if I could, I’d finally get around to giving him a bottle of the good stuff,” said Colin.

Chocolate, wine, and of course a mutual friend are best for bringing new friends together.

When it comes to friendships, Colin expressed that one of his favorite early memories with his best friend happened on the first day of first grade. It took Colin a really long time to learn how to read, and when he walked into the classroom he was so impressed to see a kid reading a book out loud to a classmate. He later realized that the kid wasn’t reading at all, but was instead speaking complete gibberish. “Not a whole lot has changed in 25 years. I call him Jibbity,” said Colin. Now, chocolate, wine, and of course a mutual friend are the things most likely to bring Colin and new friends together. And we couldn’t agree more; that’s a powerful combination.

Keep in touch with Colin on Harper Macaw’s Instagram, and check out his unbelievable chocolate here, including a newly launched line of partisan chocolate, The Political Collection.

Ready for more goodness? Explore our other #goodpeople profiles.

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