Clark Impastato went from an 80's military movie lover, to Navy SEAL, to beard-care entrepreneur. With an interesting story like Clark's, we had to feature him as a Warrior.
We talked SEAL stories, entrepreneur endeavors, and killin' the quit with Clark. Check out our interview with him below!
KC: When did you realize that military service was the route you wanted to take?
CI: It started out as curiosity. My mom was from the World War 2 generation and I loved watching those movies as a kid. I was fascinated by it. As I got older, 80’s movies like Rambo also piqued my interest with the military. As I got into high school, the Gulf War kicked off and there was 24-hour news coverage. I was glued to the TV and could hardly sleep. I knew then that I wanted to be a part of that.
KC: What were some things you learned during your service that has stuck with you since?
CI: A lot, actually. The basic stuff as far as showing up on time, working hard, and always showing respect. I still carry those values with me today. The biggest thing for me is the work ethic. I worked my way up and always busted my ass, which got me promoted. I could have been upset about my low rank, but I knew if I busted my ass I could move my way up. The work ethic has served me well to this day. I’m grateful for the Navy instilling that in me.
KC: Was there a certain moment that made you realize that it was time for you to retire? 8 years
CI: It was after my second deployment that I went through a divorce. I wanted to be around my kids. Family is a pretty common reason for people to get out of the military. You’re gone 10 months out of the year. A lot of guy’s families start to suffer. Even though my marriage didn’t survive, I wanted my relationship with my kids to survive. I was living the dream on the Teams, but my family was suffering. It was time for me to move on.
KC: How was your transition out of service?
CI: I was very lucky. I have transitioned a few times in my life and found my footing pretty quickly. In years past, guys would get out and not know what to do. Some guys have some pretty easily transferable skills, but unfortunately, I didn’t have as many as others. I was fortunate that private military contracting became a thing shortly after I got out of the Teams and I was able to do that right away.
KC: How did the idea of American Skull Factory come about?
CI: After a series of events, I left the military and became a contractor and did that until 2007. I was a police officer in Phoenix until 2015. I noticed that many of my friends were doing well with their own start-ups. I decided to get out of law enforcement and try my hand at the entrepreneurial game. I helped friends with their businesses and eventually got into my own game.
KC: Do you have any tips for someone looking to have as great of a beard as you?
CI: (Laughs) Outside of genetics, buy some of our beard oil. One of the two things that bearded men struggle with is the itchiness and shaping of their beard. Our oil helps with your itchiness and as a side effect, it will help shape your beard. Our oil conditions your beard hair and makes it soft just like your shower conditioner does to the hair on your head. The oil gives your beard a healthy sheen to it as well.
KC: What does Kill The Quit mean to you?
CI: That’s a mentality I learned in BUD/S. Everyone has the voice in your head that seeks comfort. Killing the quit is killing that voice in your head looking for the easiest path. Killing that weakness kills that urge to give up. Never give up.