12. 31. 2011

Ace Looks Back at 2011

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m sitting on an airplane traveling from Washington, DC to San Diego, California.  Looking out the window at all the cities and lights below, I can’t help but think about the major Knockaround moments, events, and projects that went down in 2011.

Here are my TOP 5:

5.  Malaysia

I don’t get it either.  How does a small, California-based sunglasses company explode onto the Malaysian fashion scene? Not sure.  But I think it’s safe to say, “I’m big in Malaysia.”

4.  Limited Editions

Although technically we started our Limited Edition program in 2010, it really took off in 2011.  I love putting them together- choosing the concepts, choosing the colors, choosing the objects, designing the edition cards.  If 2011’s L.E.’s were an album, the #1 hits would be Glacier Premiums, Deep Sea Premiums, and Bring Back the Brown Fort Knocks.  But there were some hidden gems: Honeybee Premiums, Law Enforcement Premiums, and the ultra-rare Bird of Paradise Premiums.  And it’s safe to say that we’ve got even bigger and better Limited Edition Knockarounds dropping in 2012.

3.  Snoop Dogg

Everyone asks me how we “got Snoop to wear Knockarounds.”  “How much did you pay him?”  “Have you met him?”  Here’s how it went down:  Knockarounds were in the gift bags at a Colt 45 event last Spring.  We knew Snoop was going to be at the event, so our Operations Manager, Regan, included a special box of sunglasses for Snoop, appropriately labeled “For Snoop.”  Honestly, we didn’t think they’d actually make it to him.  3 days later, someone tweeted, “I think Snoop is wearing Fort Knocks at Wrestlemania.”  We checked it out, and sure enough, there he was, rocking matte black Fort Knocks.  He’s worn them ever since- even while performing on stage.  We haven’t paid him anything.  And I still haven’t met him.  Snoop, if you’re reading this, it’s too late, you already know… I love you.

2.  The CUSTOM Shop

The availability of custom Premiums was a direct result of requests from our fans.  We started the web programming in January and were planning to have everything launched by March.  It didn’t happen.  But we kept on trucking, and by the first day of summer, we knew we had a winner.  A lot of companies have customization options (Nike, for instance)- but not a lot of companies can offer you a completely hand-built, custom product for less than $35.

1.  Facebook Likes

This time a year ago we had about 10,000 Likes on Facebook… right now we’re at 63,452.  So we’ve added over 50,000 Likes in a year.  That makes sense- Knockaround has always been about word-of-mouth advertising.  But even so, 50,000 people in a year is still a little outrageous to me.  Imagine me a few years ago, alone in my garage, deciding on the final colors for the first 4 pairs of Premiums.  Now fast forward to today- and 65,000 people like what Knockaround is doing.  So awesome.

Right about now my little sister would say “Stop bragging.”  So I’ll stop bragging.  But, I will end with this…

Bring it on 2012.



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