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Interview with Adam Moyer

AKA: ACE, Founder of Knockaround

· Friends of HS,From The Field

Twitter. Technically we met Adam Moyer, Founder of Knockaround on Twitter. True story: MLB Opening Day circa 2013? 2012? and the two of us were trading tweets about the Yankees and Padres respectively, at least that’s what we remember. A few years, too many emails, a visit to SD, and one killer collaboration later, we’re still firmly in the Ace on Base Fan Club, and based on some of the gear Knockaround has been putting out lately, you should be to. Before we ruin all the back story, we'll let him take it away...

Drop the “how it all started” story on us.
I grew up on the East Coast, in the Virginia suburbs outside of Washington, DC. I stayed close to home for college, getting a B.A. in Studio Art from the University of Virginia. After college I decided to double down on art, so I applied to MFA programs all over the country. I only got into a few, but one of them was the University of California-San Diego. I came out for a visit and that was that.

So there I was in San Diego with about two months before classes started. A few months prior I had lost an expensive pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers. SoCal is pretty sunny. I had always wanted to start a company. Knockaround was a word that my Dad had used to describe his lawn-mowing sneakers when I was growing up. Those ideas collided, and with about $500 from my savings account, I decided to start a sunglasses company.

I’ve said it a lot: Knockaround really got off the ground for two reasons. 1. I was super naive when I started it. “Competing with Oakley and Ray-Ban? No big deal!” If I had thought about that too much I would have convinced myself that the idea was doomed for failure. 2. When I started Knockaround I didn’t need it to work. Because I was in grad school, I treated the whole project like a hobby. Failure wasn’t scary because Knockaround wasn’t my main thing. If I wasn’t a naive 23-year-old in grad school when I started the company, I’m not sure it would exist today.

If I had thought about that too much I would have convinced myself that the idea was doomed for failure.

Juventus huh? Totally would have pegged you for a Roma fan (color scheme similar to the old school Padres.) Pretty killer to launch a collab with such a large global brand & team, how’d it come about?
There’s something about those black and white stripes! The Juventus sunglasses we did are actually the first release in what we’re calling The Champions Collection. The official Paris St-Germain sunglasses will be out in May (I’m hoping to get a pair on Rihanna.) Those will be followed up with the official Real Madrid sunglasses in June. We have some die-hard soccer fans at Knockaround. We were presented with a unique opportunity to work with these international clubs and jumped at the chance.

So we know that the term Knockaround came from your pops...any other awesome “Dad-isms” he’s dropped on you?
Oh man, there’s lots. But the one I find myself saying recently is “You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a _____.” For example, if my Dad were in Seattle talking about getting coffee, he’d say “You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Starbucks…” I didn’t think much of it when I was growing up, but now when I say it people look at me in horror.

if my Dad were in Seattle talking about getting coffee, he’d say “You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Starbucks…”

When you’re not dialing up the sharpest shades around, where on earth is your "happy place"? It can be a beach side destination or a quiet spot in your apartment. Just let us know why it's your spot.
My garage. My wife and I bought a house a couple years ago, and one of the things that sealed the deal for me was the garage. The layout is a little unusual—but to me it’s a satellite office, a place to watch horrendous UVA football, and the perfect spot to take the kids when the Mrs. is sleeping in. I’ve got lots of inspiration framed and up on the wall: the Phil Rizzuto autograph my great-grandmother got back in the 70s, artwork from my grad school buddies, random flea market finds. There’s a workbench in the back where I “fix” things, mainly with superglue. There’s a mini-fridge that is always stocked with cold beevo. The centerpiece is definitely the ’78 Ferrari 308… I don’t drive it very often, but I’m always glad it’s there.

Do you have a quirky travel ritual? Like are you a weirdo who brings your own pillow onto the plane?
The night before a big trip, I usually end up reading about the time Wade Boggs (allegedly) drank 64 Miller Lites during a cross-country flight when he was in the Majors. It’s a fascinating story, and it calms my nerves a little bit since I’m an anxious flyer. From there I’ll probably start thinking about the time that George Brett pooped his pants in Las Vegas—there’s a spring training video where he goes into detail about the whole ordeal… So when I should be packing my bag, I’m thinking about a couple Hall of Famers, one crushing dozens of Miller Lites, the other trying to sneak up the escalator at the Bellagio without anyone noticing. Unbelievable.

Rapid Fire:
What’s your favorite Knockaround design of all time?
I like to go into our online Custom Shop and hit the randomize button until I get something that looks cool. You could do that every single day and have a new pair to wear, everyday, for the next 800 years.

What music are you listening to these days?
I set up a new Spotify playlist every month and toss in songs that I’m into at that particular time. It’s a cool way to remember what you were listening to during certain times in your life. Like, “Why was I so into Bonnie Raitt in May 2013?” This month I’ve got a lot of country, the theme song from the movie St. Elmo’s Fire, Joe Walsh, Better than Ezra, Eddie Money, and that song “Go Cubs Go” (got stuck in my head pretty bad.

What’s your happy hour drink of choice?
Miller Lite. [fist bump Wade Boggs]

Best bar in the World?...go
Home & Away in San Diego.

Favorite Hudson Sutler Product:
The Oahu Commuter Duffle. I use it all the time. The world needs more bright yellow.

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