Shane Baum, Founder of Leisure Society Shares How He Mixes Business and Pleasure

Shane Baum is the founder and CEO of Baum Vision and Leisure Society, a luxury eyewear brand, built around Shane’s perspective on what life should be: spending time with family, friends, and enjoying intimate moments of absolute leisure. The collection is dedicated to heirloom design; creating an object once with the firm intention of having it last forever.

[mepr-show rules=”7108″ unauth=”message”]What is your favorite quote?  

Shane Baum: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds, who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”  Theodore Roosevelt

If you could have a round of golf with 3 persons, dead or alive, who would you play with? 

If you are allowing the dead card, I’m playing with that… The current guys are accessible so no need to tee it with “them”..  Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, and Ben Hogan.

Shane Baum
Shane Baum, founder of Leisure Society

What is the Leisure Society?

It’s a luxury eyewear brand I created 7 years ago.  My creative director and I became obsessed with the idea of Heirloom Design, making something once with the intention of it lasting forever.  The entire collection is 12,18 and 24 karat gold-plated titanium with best in class polarized lenses. They come in a leather case with a lifetime warranty. 

How is it to be a Family Business and work with your loved ones?

It’s the best.  Sharing in a common cause and being able to work together on a project that we are all passionate about is great!

Who is the person(s) you admire the most?

My Parents followed by Sir Richard Branson, Dave Grohl, and Gandhi.

How would you define success? 

To have things that are meaningful in your life and the time to explore them.  

What are your hobbies? 

Oh geez: Surfing, Tennis, Golf, Hunting, Lawn Bowling, Bocci, Volleyball, Scuba, Fly Fishing, Shooting Clays, Polo, Sailing, Yoga, Exercise, Singing, Guitars; both playing and collecting.

What is your best quality?

 I’d like to think I’m a kind, sensitive and compassionate person. 

Describe your perfect weekend.

Oh, man! I have so many renditions of this. I guess since it’s just a weekend, I’ll stick to that but I will give you two different options.  #1. Take a nice sized boat with good friends out to Catalina Island which is about 12 miles off the coast.  It’s underrated as in the summer when the water is 75 and the air is 75, it’s as perfect as the South of France, Amalfi Coast or such.  I’d have a Friday lunch on the far side of the Island at a place called Twin Harbors. They have one bar, one restaurant, and one store with a yacht club that’s really nostalgic and cool. I’d dive for lobsters one of the nights and Fly-Fish off the cliff during the day. Perhaps take a smaller sailboat out if the winds right and barbecue the fish on Sunday.  

Option #2. I would drive out to Palm Desert (the area of Palm Springs to Indio).  I’d play a polo tourney (Friday-Sunday) with my Family (we all play) and then play 18 holes at one of the great clubs out there (The Tradition, Madison Club, The Hideaway, the Plantation, Stone Eagle, The Quarry, Big Horn, etc) with my Dad and a few friends on Saturday.  We’d eat dinner at my favorite little Mexican restaurant, Pueblo Viejo, and overnight at the historic Ingleside Inn in Palm Springs on the way home.  Maybe sing at the Piano Bar at Melvyn’s Sunday night.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Own your truth.  Have more integrity with your relationships and don’t think that you are special just because you are good at making money.  

What is your definition of good manners? 

Giving others needs and wishes more priority than your own.  To be well-groomed, well dressed, and to be pleasant to be around.  

Do you have any bad habits?

Yes, I drink more than I should (not water).  My wife Erin keeps telling me I need to drink 64 ounces of water every day and I’m like, “I do! 4 cups of coffee and 4 glasses of wine.  Bingo, 64 ounces.  Done and done!”

Any new habits you would like to add in your life?  

 I’d like to get better at meditating and eating less meat. More of what my wife, Erin, keeps telling me. 

Your brand is Leisure Society, how did you come up with that name? 

It was a social club I formed many years ago as a title for all the new hobbies I was learning.  It started with an outing during the opening day of the horse track at Del Mar and thereafter became the organizing group for all historic “Leisure Sports”.  Further to that, I started studying works the evolution of the leisure society, particularly “The Theory of the Leisure Class” by Thorstein Veblen, which was published in 1899. 

Leisure Society, how do you actually balance your time between work and leisure?

 You make a concerted effort to mix business with pleasure. Make your phone calls in the sun or on the road. Take two extra days on every trip to make a memory or two. I’ve played St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf and its’ spiritual home, over a half dozen times. Even in the early (broke) days of my career.  Back then, I’d take a cheap flight from London, stay at a modest hotel, wake up at 6 am and be the kindest most respectful American the course starter had ever seen.

I got on with no reservation every time. It was just as enjoyable as the high end experience me and a few other friends would pay dearly for later in life. It’s all the same. Chapters of meaningful memories are the goal and being a slave to your job to feel empowered through your wealth is not an enlightened path. That said, having the means to explore is a necessary pursuit, and playing too much will rarely give you the capital you require.  As Ben Hogan famously said, “the secret is in the dirt”.  You simply have to do the work. (Like writing this interview at 10:38 pm on a Sunday night)

Do you have any book recommendations?

I’m currently reading “Radical Acceptance” by Tara Brach and its great.  I also highly recommend “12 Principles for Life” by Jordan Peterson.  

You built your life and your brand the way you wanted and imagined it, what advice would you give to people to live life on their own terms?

I guess just pursue your vision excellence without fear of failure.  I don’t know that I’ve perfected such, but it certainly is the goal. 

What is your morning routine?

I get up 15 minutes before the stock market opens, hit the burr grinder with some Kean fresh roasted coffee beans, and finish the “pour over” right about when the market opens. After this, I make my European phone calls, check my stock portfolio, digest and respond to any incoming overnight emails, make my kids breakfast about 7:15, and get them off to school. Later, I work out mid-morning with my wife and then head to the Leisure Society office for meetings with the team.  

Best advice ever received?

“If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” My Uncle Dave gave it to me via a dissertation by Max Ehrman written in the 1920s called Desiderata.  It takes 3 minutes to read and I highly recommend it to all people.  There’s a copy on the mirror of my children’s bathroom. Read here.

Could you share with us one of your best memories? 

One of my best memories is still in development.  My daughters, wife and I learned to play polo together.  On the one hand, people think of it as a fancy sport for the classes which can be at some levels.  But behind the scenes, it is an incredible journey between humans and animals that has been going on for hundreds of years.  It is so important to keep learning in life.  To have a ten-year-old daughter teach you how to tie a pony’s tail, or pick a horse’s hooves is both a lesson in humility and mutual respect.  

Your company has an office in Austria, Europe…What do you like most about Europe?

 I love the history, the food, the architecture, the same as everybody else. I also like how the culture preserves the value of family and time together.   

There is a key on the right lens of every Leisure Society sunglass, reminding the wearer that the “Key to Life” is spending time with your family and friends in meaningful environments that fulfill your dreams.

Would you live there? what city would you pick?

 I could live in the south of France (Saint-Tropez) or maybe Sotogrande in Spain. However, Polo is important for me, so I gotta live around a club.  I haven’t been to Malta yet, but that’s on the radar too.   

You define your brand as a California heirloom, what do you like the most about California?

California is like Europe 3.0.  It’s always been the radicalized people that had the courage to leave their comfort zones and move to a foreign land.  After the eastern starboard of the US was colonized, it was the even crazier ones that continue to push West.  California has always been a eutopia created by these radical, radicals. The beauty, climate, and natural resources are just icing on the cake.  Other than the crowded areas, it’s one of the finest places on the planet filled with intelligent, interesting people.

Your favorite “accessory” besides eyewear?

Shoes! Actually, there is so little innovation in men’s shoes and I absolutely love it when somebody reinvents a classic or creates something new to a meaningful degree.

Who should we interview next?

I’d recommend Richard Branson, Dave Grohl, or Gandhi;)  

Shane Baum takeaways
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Romain Wawrzyniak is our Editor-in-Chief. His enthusiasm and kindness make his guests feel comfortable creating intimate conversations and priceless insights.

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1. a way in which a thing is done or happens.