I have always felt obligated to represent the people around here (Cincinnati, Ohio) in a positive and progressive light. For whatever reason I felt the need to show that the people around here are just as talented and just as hard working (if not harder) than people on the coasts. My first real opportunity to do that was in 2005 when I rented a movie theater/grill to debut a video that I spent 2 years filming and editing single handedly. I will never forget the feeling of that night. I had shirts printed, giveaways, stickers, kegs and good vibes. 13 years ago
It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to work with the legendary E.B. (Eric Brown from Columbus) that I had the chance on a large scale to make an impact with my passion. He made me the publisher of a regional skateboard and arts magazine called STUCK Magazine. We blew that magazine up and it was printed and shipped out for FREE for all to see thanks to large advertisers like Nike, Billabong, Quiksilver and Volcom. It was then that I really fell in love with representing and uplifting the talented people of the Midwest. The magazine stopped printing in 2009 thanks to the economy taking a dump but the momentum didn’t end there.
I started Midwest Shades in the fall of 2010 and I knew exactly what I was going to call it. Thanks to Pete and Nick (the owners of Wake Nation) for giving us a waterpark to meet tons of like minded people, create this brand and take wake skating and wakeboarding to the next level. The reason I was able to start this company was very simple. Word of mouth. My friends and family were able to spread the good word about Midwest Shades. 3 years later I was able to quit my job that I was at for 12 years. I will never forgot the people that helped me back in those early days to get this brand off and running. Much love
Over the last 8 years I have changed my goal of the company many times. It started out by seeing how many shades I could sell, then it was how many places in the world could I sell them to, then it was to provide the best quality possible at the lowest price and now I just want this company to be respected for its virtues. I want my kids to take pride in the company that I am building. I want people who wear our glasses to say to their friends and family that this company really cares about their customers. I want this company to inspire people to chase their dreams. Everyday I keep these ideas in mind as I create the advertisements, communicate with customers and inspect every single pair of shades that has the Midwest logo on it.
I have always taken a lot of pride in what I do and where I am from and I hope this brand inspires you you to do the same and chase your dreams!