As Knockaround Turns 10, Ace takes you through his beautiful journey.
It’s hard to believe I started the company all the way back in 2005. I was a broke, 23-year-old art student enthralled by the perpetual Southern California sunshine. Growing up my Dad had said “knockaround” a lot, and one day I found that word stuck in my head. Suddenly, it hit me: I’ll take my $500 in savings and start my own affordable sunglasses company. Knockaround seemed like a great name.
So that was the big moment when the entrepreneurial lightning struck. The idea was pretty simple: tough, economical sunglasses that you could knock around. Lose ‘em or break ‘em, no big deal. I found a manufacturer, marched down to San Diego City Hall with the necessary paperwork, and I was in business!
The next few years proved to be a little, um, slow. But like so many things in life, persistence pays off. In about 2008 things took on a snowball effect: a good press mention here, a lucky introduction there. Orders started to roll in and suddenly my tiny garage business wasn’t so tiny anymore.
Before I knew it, I was hiring employees and moving our operations into bigger warehouses. Our fanbase exploded and our Facebook likes jumped to 300k. Our Limited Edition sunglasses were selling out in record time. Snoop Dogg wore a pair of Rasta Premiums on stage at Coachella with 2pac’s hologram. Natalie Portman rocked a pair of Classic Premiums to a Justin Timberlake concert. One time I even wound up backstage with John Mayer drinking Coronas and talking about shades and ex-girlfriends (true story.) There’s been record sales days, full page write-ups in GQ, and even a first pitch (it was a strike.)
But beyond all the milestones and bucket list moments, what really stands out to me are the people. At Knockaround, we have an amazing team. It sounds cheesy, but we’re buddies before we’re co-workers. I truly believe that the fun and good vibes we have at the office translate into the products and projects we produce.
And then there’s you, my sweet #Knockfans and customers. Without you there would be no us. And for that I (and we) are genuinely thankful. You’ve come back to Knockaround.com, year after year, to pick up a new pair of sunglasses and support our brand. You’ve given us (virtual) high-fives when we’ve crushed it… and like a true friend, you’ve even called us out when we’ve screwed up. And for that, thank you.
Oh, and don’t worry— just because we’ve been around for 10 years, we’re not planning to rest on our laurels. In fact, our eleventh year is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever.
So raise your glass to a #Decadeofknocks! Here’s to many more,