Ohio State alumnus Chris Pan recently returned to campus to engage with students and share information about MyIntent.
Grant Mosher ’15 tried to play it cool. He sat in his $37-a-night hostel and nervously typed out an email to a fellow Buckeye. “It was so awesome meeting you,” Mosher wrote. “Is there anything I can do to help you further your brand or mission?”
He added a note at the end: “I’m traveling around the LA area for the next 10 days. Let me know if there’s anything I should definitely check out while I'm here.”
To Mosher’s surprise, Chris Pan ’99 wrote back immediately.
“He said, ‘Where are you staying next week?’” Mosher said. “Next thing you know, he invites me to his place.”
Not just his place. Pan took Mosher to a swanky West Hollywood invite-only rooftop party for the launch of a new dating app, then sat down to share some business advice with the young entrepreneur. An Ohio State mentorship was born.
It began exactly a week earlier.
Engaged with Ohio State
Pan, 40, the creator of the MyIntent Project — a company that turns jewelry into conversation and has caught the attention of celebrities and CEOs — returned to Ohio State in the summer of 2018 to share his story and bracelets with students and young alumni. On his itinerary was a speech at the Young Alumni Academy’s closing celebration.
Mosher, 27, was part of the academy’s 2017-18 class, and happened to have one of Pan’s bracelets around his wrist. He bought it in February after deciding to leave his cushy financial planner job to start a company that helps young professionals manage their money.
“I was writing sticky notes to remind myself to keep my chin up,” Mosher said. “At one point I settled on the phrase ‘Born For This.’”
It became such a mantra that he thought about getting it tattooed on his body. An online search for something less permanent brought him to Pan’s company, where he ordered MyIntent’s signature piece — a washer stamped with a meaningful word or phrase and tied to a loop of string.
Mosher wore the intention bracelet for three months before he learned that a fellow Ohio State graduate was behind it, and that the two would soon meet. “My jaw dropped,” he said.
Pan, who grew up in Cincinnati, started MyIntent in 2014. He had enjoyed success in marketing roles at Facebook and PepsiCo, but after the breakup of a long-term relationship found himself lacking spiritually and emotionally. He bought a home in Los Angeles that he nicknamed SpiritLab, and he invited friends over to do things such as meditate, sing and make intention bracelets. When the charms proved popular, Pan put his marketing skills to use.
“Jenna Ushkowitz [an actress who found fame on Glee] has a lot of followers on Instagram, so she promoted it on Instagram, and all of a sudden we had a lot of orders online,” Pan said. “One thing after another gave us the momentum. Another friend who’s the CEO of a startup had gotten one of the bracelets, and he said, ‘Hey, I want to order some Christmas gifts for my staff. A couple hundred pieces.’”
A big break
MyIntent’s biggest break, though, came after Pan approached rapper Jay-Z in a club and offered him a bracelet. That led to a gig making the jewelry at a Grammy party, which led to Kanye West wearing a MyIntent bracelet in a very public way.
“I opened up Instagram, and there were a bunch of notifications, and I saw the photo of the Time cover with Kanye wearing the bracelet,” Pan said. “I was, like, “‘Whoa. This probably doesn't happen very often.’”
When Mosher found out that MyIntent’s founder was planning a visit to Ohio State, he asked if he could introduce Pan at the Young Alumni Academy event. On that June evening, Mosher shared the story of what his “Born For This” bracelet meant to him.
“It’s changing the lives of myself and millions of other people,” Mosher told Pan and the audience. “I just want to give you a lot of props for what you’re doing, and I can’t wait to hear more of your story.”
Pan told everyone it might be the best intro he’d ever had. Seven days later, Mosher was eating dinner in Beverly Hills and listening to Pan tell him how to grow his company. The two plan to meet up again in October during a motivational summit in Columbus, where Mosher lives.
“It’s one of those things where the reach of being an Ohio State grad goes so much farther than the people you had in your own class,” Mosher said. “It was literally something out of a dream.”
Learn more about Chris Pan's story in the latest edition of Ohio State Alumni Magazine.