Joshua Novak co-founded and recently launched apparel company Flyover Country with partner Vaney Hariri. The pair were inspired by the idea that South Dakota and the Midwest is considered “flyover country,” and they say they want to use that notion to celebrate places that are sometimes overlooked by the masses. In Novak’s words, “To us, flyover country is home, and it’s where we want to be.”
Novak chatted about his new company and more, including his nighttime talk show, “The 8PM Show,” which airs on Facebook.
WHAT’S THE GOAL OF THE COMPANY?
I believe everyone has flags or identities they stand behind. Sometimes it’s a sports team, a country, or a city flag. The goal of Flyover Country is to create that identity. We all have been asked the question at least once in our life, “Why do you live there?” I think it’s an important mental switch for our response to be, “Because I choose to.”
It’s to celebrate the people that you might not think about at first; bartenders, nurses, teachers, coaches, or anyone working a 9-5 has their own incredibly important impact. We’re all a part of a community, and our involvement is what can continue to make it better.
WHEN YOU AREN’T WORKING WITH FLYOVER COUNTRY, HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME?
I own a marketing company called Main St. Media House where I have the opportunity to work with different companies on their digital marketing and content creation. I really love what I do because it allows me to work with a lot of different industries and be creative.
WHERE ARE YOU FAVORITE PLACES TO VISIT HERE IN SOUTH DAKOTA AND WHY?
I grew up going to my grandparents’ who live out by Lake Madison, so I always love going out there during the summer to get some wakeboarding in. But also, Carpenter Bar.
[For] me, it’s been the access. It’s a great place to practice your craft, make mistakes, and get better. I would not be able to do what I’m doing today if it hadn’t been for the people I reached out to and [who] helped me along the way. I’ve found that the culture here makes that so much easier than other places. The best part is the fact that I have friends and family here in a city that I enjoy being in.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?
During the [COVID-19] situation, I was super bored in my house like everyone else. So I decided to host a nightly talk show. I had local business owners, artists, and creatives join my livestream remotely and did it every night for a month. I needed a life, so once we were all able to come out of our houses I started doing it once a week. It’s called The 8PM Show because it happens at 8 p.m. on Thursdays. I’ve never been asked what time it starts.