Sharks Surf X Clever Fools
If you have been following our social media, you can see us post pictures of our collaboration work we have done with Shark’s Surf Shop. Shark’s has history going all the back to the late 80’s in Lawrence, KS. It is known throughout the locals as a landmark of street and surf wear. This is how we got connected and built a relationship with the coolest surf shop in the Midwest.
It’s a fact that everybody’s goal as a clothing brand owner is to expand into local shops in the beginning? It was around summer time of 2017 when we sought out to look for a couple shops that fit the style that we were going for. It all seem limited because we are a brand that focuses of the roots of youth like skateboarding, surfing, and artists. In Kansas City, nine out of ten brands are Kansas City design based brands. We were sort of an outcast to the others due to our west coast streetwear theme.
A homie of ours just moved out to Lawrence to attend Kansas University. I remember him calling and saying, “Hey man! I think you should check out Shark’s Surf Shop on Mass St. They seem interested in some pictures I should them of your apparel.” At the time, we were so stoked to hear news like that, but there was a part of Clever Fools that did not seem 100% ready to be brought into stores. We were getting the name out there though our guerilla marketing in Kansaas City, but we still knew growth was needed in our following in Lawrence. We agreed to wait a bit and pump out more solid designs that could appeal to the surf shop vibe.
It was discouraging at first because I, Alex, remember calling the shop every week and asking to speak with a manager. Never could I get ahold of him. We felt as though our brand is not good enough, but we didn’t stop. We held off a bit to not become a major annoyance! But then we called one more time!
I remember waking up around 10 o’clock or so, very exhausted from printing the Frenzy longsleeve that was about to be released. As the usual morning goes, wake up -eyes are half closed, grab a bowl, then pour whatever cereal I had in the cabinet. Something told me in the back of my head as I sat down on the couch that morning to just call one more time. I was fighting the idea because I never was able to speak with the owner Steve in the past, but thank God that I called!
“Hey, my name is Alex with Clever Fools. I was wondering if I could set up a time to meet you and show you some garments we offer with Clever Fools. I think it would match the style of your store!” (Exact words.)
“Yeah sure, I’ll see what you got. Come by next week in the morning! Ill be in the shop.”-Steve
I drove out to Lawrence that next week with my box of shirts, fall catalog, and a heavyweight of anxiety over my shoulders. This was the first time that we were able to pitch the brand to super reputable local store.
It went great, but I left with a challenge rather than a slip of what they wanted to stock. The challenge was of making a collaboration shirt with Shark’s that includes a shark in it. So I left the store that afternoon with ambition to work hard and make sure I impress them next time I pop in the store with the design…
Two weeks passed and I think I had some pretty dope designs to show. I emailed them over on a Tuesday morning and wait to hear back. Thursday morning, Steve replied saying “These looked great, lets get it printed.” Wha bam!!! We were so hyped, jumping around and doing back flips all over the house. Im lying about the backflips haha!
I showed a few days later with the collaboration shirts and this huge hand painted sign that I wanted to take a picture with. They saw the sign, and immediately hung it up! It was such a cool moment to know that Clever Fools worked really hard on this release and it would be sold in stores.”
From that day on, we worked more closely with the team at Shark’s, building a friendship that supported the idea that we could brand ourselves for our own creativity, not what people just want to see. Clever Fools wants to thank Steve, his wife Megan, and all the employees who helped bring light to the movement of Clever Fools.
STAY CLEVER AND SURF KANSAS!