Adam Klein

Does The Customer Actually Know Best? 

My first step into business was with my next door neighbor, Josh, who was also one of my closest friends growing up. 

We were eight or nine at the time and decided to start a snow shoveling business.

There was a particularly intense snow storm, about 12-16 inches of snow, and this lady hired us to shovel her driveway. We honestly couldn’t finish the job; there was just too much snow, so instead of shoveling the entire driveway, we shoveled two lines so she could pull her car out of the driveway. 

The lady was furious. She called up our parents to complain and refused to pay us. In the moment, the situation felt like such a disaster. Looking back, it’s hilarious.  

Separating Yourself from The Pro✂️duct

In terms of separating yourself from your product, it’s hard. I think you’ll get the same answer from pretty much everyone. 

When you create a fashion product, it’s your design choices and craftsmanship, so when people don’t like your product, especially in the beginning, it hurts. 

The First Season of Season Three

Through our creative network at PLAYLAB, we met Reese Cooper [fashion designer] who was launching his first Paris fashion show in June 2019. 

By happenstance, Reese was preparing for his fashion show while we were preparing to launch our brand, Season Three.   

About two weeks before his Paris fashion show, he reached out and said: “Hey, do you want to be the footwear for my show?” 

Obviously, we said yes. It was an incredible experience. Being able to launch the brand during Paris Fashion Week and get featured in Vogue would’ve never been possible without cultivating these relationships. 

Reese and PLAYLAB really created a beautiful fashion show. I was thrilled that Season Three could be a part of it. 

The Perfect Fit

If I had to narrow it down to one person that would be my “dream person” to wear our boot, it would be Virgil Abloh.

Virgil is the pinnacle of design and creation. He collaborates with PLAYLAB to produce beautiful fashion shows for Louis Vuitton menswear.

Virgil represents that creative person who does a million things at once.

When we created our boot, we imagined that creative persona: the person going from one job to the next hopping from meeting to meeting. This type of person wants a comfortable shoe that they can wear all day. From the routine coffee run to dinner with a client, we want our shoe to fit any situation. 

SeasonThree "The Ansel"

The People Who Turn Dreams into A Reality

[Quick Poll: When you read the word “PLAYLAB” is that little voice in your head screaming?]

I’d love to pretend I’m a creative person. 

I thought I was a creative business person because I’m a bit more creative than the majority of business people, but then I met real creatives. I was really put in my place. 

I keep mentioning PLAYLAB, who is our creative partner, but the people there are true architects, artists, etc. The way they think is so different from my cofounder, Jared, and I.

It’s so impressive and energizing to be around them because they could make anything that we’re talking about come to life in the truest sense of the form.

[Nobody & Partners: So you went to MIT Sloan, but how did you get involved with PLAYLAB?]

The Playdate We All Want but Can’t Get

I was in this program at MIT called designX. It was a cohort of 8-10 companies. We ended up becoming good friends with the cofounders, Steph and Ellen, from one of the other companies. Steph had previously done some work at PLAYLAB and introduced us to the team there. 

It definitely took a bit of convincing on our side to get them to want to work with us, but they had never worked on a shoe or boot before.

We are very fortunate to work with them.   

The Secret to Building Long Lasting Relationships

Honestly, the way to cultivate relationships is to just be a good person. It’s not just a working relationship; Jared and I want to work with people that we genuinely like and can bounce ideas off of.  

I default to the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. The title isn’t what the book is about at all – the book is about building lasting relationships.

The number one thing that upsets me about working with some people is selfishness. 

I try my best to be helpful when I can, and devote time and give back, because people have done that for me in my past. 

It’s not so much about paying it forward. It’s just about putting a little bit of goodness into the world because I make plenty of mistakes, so hopefully it all balances out at the end of the day. 

Never Stop Learning

I believe in constantly learning. If there is something I don’t know or can’t do, I’ll learn about it and try to do it myself first… and then I’ll realize I need to ask for help or hire someone. 

Regardless, Jared and I will always try to do things ourselves first and learn the basics whether it’s digital marketing or social media. 

I always think there’s a way to do something. Even when 1,000 people say No, I’m still gonna try. And I might be wrong, and I might fail, but I’m okay with that. 

It’s okay to fail, but it’s important that you try again.