Our Chargers excel in professional achievements, provide leadership and mentorship to others and develop exceptional qualities and talents. This alumni spotlight shines a light on one Shorecrest alumni who has two careers - a successful start-up he founded and a passion and talent that has sent him on an exciting journey.
When we caught up with Brett Apter ‘06 a couple of months ago, he had just moved to Nashville, TN. By the age of 31, he had already launched three start-up companies focused on marketing services and established a retail company called DirectDermaCare. Brett established DirectDermaCare as he graduated Wake Forest in 2010, and continues to oversee all operations.
DirectDermaCare is an authorized retailer for top-of-the-line skincare, post-surgical, and ophthalmic products. The operation sells directly to customers / patients via DirectDermaCare.com
as well as to physicians, surgery centers and hospitals.
Brett shared, “I am so proud to reflect on my years of countless hours of work and sacrifice in order to scale the operation into the company it is today. DirectDermaCare was the fourth company I founded. Each start-up led me in a new unexpected direction. I learned to let go and allow the opportunities and connections presented to me be my guide throughout my entrepreneurial journey.”
His journey into professional poker playing was an unexpected life shift, as he puts it. He is now traveling the world 75% of the time and uses Nashville has his home base.
“While working on my startups, my friends played poker quite often; however, I steered clear at the time of even learning the rules of the game because I perceived it as gambling like anything else in a casino. One weekend I was with a friend and his family at a lake house. Their family tradition over this weekend was to play a little poker tournament. I was intrigued to learn how much strategy and skill plays a role in poker,” explained Brett on how he came to play poker.
When asked what kept him playing and what motivates his game, Brett shared, “I quickly became fascinated by the complexities and beautiful components of the game. Poker brings people together face to face in an environment in which you are incentivized to learn and deeply understand the human beings sitting there beside you. The game attracts people from all backgrounds and stimulates such interesting interactions. Poker is constantly provoking the full range of human emotion; therefore, one starts to see the behavioral and psychological threads in which human beings share. My passion for the game steadily grew to the point I started recognizing it was becoming another significant and rewarding opportunity to pursue.”
Brett began scaling back his day-to-day duties with DirectDermaCare. This allowed him to devote the time and effort necessary to compete and win on a professional level for poker.
Brett approaches poker the same as he does operating DirectDermaCare, it is the “same work mentality. I have been fortunate to see gratification from all of this hard work in poker by achieving a rank in the top 200 in the world, winning a World Series of Poker Gold Ring, and most importantly to feel like I am living my dream life.”
Brett is now traveling the world, meeting fascinating people, and playing a game he loves.
Of his education he said, “Shorecrest instills a work ethic and organizational mindset in students which will optimize these individuals for success throughout their adult journey. I am appreciative for this as it has helped me pursue my dreams and be the best version of myself.”