Most families have traditions where everyone participates; whether it be a NCAA basketball pool in March, or celebrating Christmas in July. Our family tradition is to go deep sea fishing on the Chesapeake Bay when someone has a milestone birthday. Back in the spring of 2016, it was a dream trip with good weather, great company, and everyone caught a striped bass weighing 32 lbs or more. So when Uncle Jon turned 60 this year, the family assembled in Baltimore for what we thought was going to be another success story. May 1, 2018...we set out on our charter at 5:00am packed with Wawa Hoagies, buckets of Popeye’s chicken, and a cooler of Yuengling.
By the time 8:30am rolled around, we hadn’t had a single bite. When that many guys are on a vessel and nothing is happening, weird things take place.
Fast forward several hours, the food and drink were gone, and still nothing was happening underwater.
One magnificent thing did happen with all that downtime. Mike and Kyle had discussed everything from breakfast cereals to what we wear when not at work.
The sports question that started it all: “What would Crow Hop look like on a t-shirt without the words?” The answer was so great we decided it should be the face of the franchise.
That question spiraled out of control and is still gaining momentum. It moved to other sports jargon and what those images might look like. Once the stubborn Chesapeake had shut us out for the day, we were sad and tired, but wildly motivated about the potential business we were going to start. The idea of using the language, idioms, rules and anecdotes of sports and bringing them to life on apparel was intoxicating. After showering and dining, we ended up at a pool hall since Uncle Jon loves billiards. In the middle of game 2, the Golden Sombrero idea was thrown out, and we quickly scribbled the design on a bar napkin.
In the days / weeks post birthday celebration, we’ve stayed in close daily contact, and maintained a river of open dialogue regarding apparel ideas, strategy, marketing, and long term goals.
Mike is a devoted husband, father, brother, swim dad, golfer, fisherman, and Redskins fan. He has been in the creative industry since 2008, and has the digital acumen to take an idea from a doodle on a napkin and turn it into a reality on a computer screen. He has been passionate about sports his entire life and working on this project is a joy. Spends an unbelievable amount of time at a pool watching his kids turn laps for their swim team.
Fun Facts about Mike:
- Snacks on fish and chips while reading the menu to see what he is actually going to order for his meal.
- Worked out for some pro baseball teams in the mid-1990s.
- Stands almost 6’7 and understands the importance of finding clothes that fit.
- Once got bit by a carousel horse.
Kyle is a Chicago Cubs fan living in St. Louis and still emotionally exhausted from Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. He’s a BBQ snob, Seinfeld trivia champion, and he can make a really good White Russian. Graduating with a degree in Exercise Science, he started off as a personal trainer, but that evolved into a recruiting career focusing on industries including creative, finance, and healthcare. When not at work, he coaches his two sons sports teams and travels anywhere with his wife that requires a passport.
Fun Facts about Kyle:
- Started balding in his early 20’s.
- Competed in gymnastics as a youth.
- Fan of A Tribe Called Quest and Beastie Boys.
- Brushes his teeth with scalding hot water.
How do two people like this meet?
Family by chance, friends and business partners by choice. Mike married Kyle’s cousin Heather in 2003. Over the years, they would see each other at family gatherings and birthday celebrations. Sports was the glue of their friendship and they quickly realized they had grown up enjoying the same movies, video games, and sports personalities. They've even debated who had better glasses, Ron Kittle or Leo Gomez?
The only thing that separated them hanging out more was the 1,000 miles between Missouri and Maryland. Starting on May 1st of 2018, they decided to launch a business venture where they could combine forces and create sports apparel for men, women, and children of all ages.