Decorated US Army Veteran Colin Wayne has helped America in its many battle overseas to give us the freedoms we have today, but since retiring after he narrowly lost his life in a bomb explosion, he has turned his sights on entrepreneurship and helping civilians here at home day-to-day.
After leaving the military, Colin went on to create Redline Steel in Alabama, which in a few short years has turned into the largest home decor steel manufacturing company in America. And with that success, Colin’s mission of helping Americans and putting “People Over Profit” came full circle, as he was able to use the money he continues to make to give back to various charities alongside his strong support team of staff and celebrity fans, which even include the likes of Megan Fox, Lance Bass, Marisol Nichols, Amber Heard, Tamron Hall and Kelly Clarkson.
But even with success, Colin hasn’t stopped, and being a neighbor to us here in Atlanta, Colin recently came by to see a NFL game, speak to some Veterans, talk with his new partners at Home Depot, thoughts on the wild political atmosphere we’ve all had to witness, and observe the Atlanta region for future expansion plans and ideas for his product lines.
We spoke to Colin exclusively for an interview one-on-one about it all to learn more…
1. We’ve been big fans of your mindset and work, and waiting for you to visit town. What brought you to Atlanta recently?
My Wife, Breanna, and I were in Atlanta a few weeks ago for the Falcons final regular season game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium against the New Orleans Saints. I’m not the biggest fan of long drives and road trips in general, and despite the NFL changing the start-time from 12:00 pm to 4:15 pm, we had a blast at the game and enjoyed the energy, excitement, and view from inside the stadium.
2. Has Atlanta inspired any of your designs at all at Redline Steel and/or your journey to be the accomplished person you are today?
It’s no secret that Atlanta has several famous landmarks and attractions that each shape the city’s history and culture. One of our favorite destinations in Atlanta is the Georgia Aquarium, which is the perfect place to take your children. Although there aren’t any direct “Atlanta-specific” products on the site, we have a large collection of décor products that feature marine-life and ocean-themes that can be tied to the various trips we’ve made to the Aquarium.
3. Atlanta has a massive Veteran community, and you being a successful Veteran yourself, what is your advice to other Veterans during the pandemic who are trying to “get by” and find their way?
While it sounds cliché, my advice to fellow Veterans is to recognize, acknowledge, and adapt to the conditions that continue to plague communities around the country. Although the current pandemic has undoubtedly had an impact on American businesses across all industries, what helped me was simply being able to take a step back, strategize, and shift our business model in order to mitigate and overcome the economic repercussions. Rather than closing operations, furloughing my employees, or reducing hours, we established a “Giveback” initiative for Essential Workers. The campaign resulted in $5,000,000 in product value and merchandise donated to healthcare personnel, first responders, and others that were considered “essential workers.” By forming this initiative, we were able to retain 100% of our workforce, while hiring dozens of new employees who were laid off due to the pandemic. From there, we partnered with several large Non-Profit Organizations, culminating in our company’s current pledge of: People Over Profit. I say all that to say that by acknowledging and adapting to the challenges of the pandemic, I was able to continue building Redline Steel into what is now the largest customized steel home décor company in the United States. If you truly accept and adapt to the circumstances at-hand, you will learn to overcome the obstacles that are upon you today.
4. Why is it an exciting time overall for entrepreneurs and business owners?
With the pandemic changing how individuals consume products, services, and entertainment, more and more individuals are beginning to take ownership of their financial well-being like never before. Due to the rise of e-commerce storefronts, NFT’s, and other blockchain platforms that are accessible to the public, we are seeing a spike in the number of people trying to create alternative forms of income and break away from the previous societal standards for earning a livable wage.
5. What types of investments going forward would you recommend to people?
I’d recommend investing in the automation industry and companies that are focusing, prioritizing, and developing functional data automations to increase efficiency at scale.
6. What changes in the political atmosphere and within your industry specifically would you like to see changed?
Personally, the current political climate has pitted colleagues, neighbors, families, and friends against one another and although I’m no politician, I do know that we’ve got to get back to having cordial and civil discussions, conversations, and debates without tearing apart relationships and/or looking down on the ‘other side’. As for industry-specific changes, my biggest issue and concern as the CEO of a steel manufacturing company are with the steadily increasing costs of steel, leading to a wide range of supply chain shortages.
7. What are your goals for the rest of 2022?
At the end of every year, I set out on forming a goal for the new year, whether that’s building on improvements from the prior year or finding something new to tackle and accomplish. As we entered 2022, my mindset shifted into what I like to call – ‘The Year of Identity.’ Having spent the last 6+ years building a multi-million-dollar business from the ground-up with practically 0 off-days and countless 12-14 hour workdays, I’ve come to realize that despite the milestones and achievements, it’s not worth the sacrifice of missing time away from my wife and kids. Therefore, I want this year to be spent searching for personal alignment, inner peace, happiness, clarity, and direction.
8. Anything else you’d like to add?Recently, Redline Steel secured a supplier partnership with Home Depot, whose headquarters are in Atlanta, GA, enabling us to list our products on their website and potentially in stores across the country. We are excited to begin what we hope will be a long-lasting relationship with the largest home improvement retailer.