We intended to highlight the 20/20 Visionaries-to-Watch featuring Steve Harris & Steve Brown at Sneakertopia much earlier in 2020, but we found it wise to hold their story until it felt right to release.
When you think of the word vision, you almost immediately associate that word with sight, your sensory ability. It is something required to turn a thought into innovation. To have vision doesn’t specifically mean the ability to see something physically, but rather an intention or inclination to create change.
At the beginning of 2020, OBVIOUS had intentions of using our vision to create new stories, highlight new outlooks, and continue offering the cutting edge content that our viewers have grown to love over the years.
What started out as a promising new decade quickly turned into a dark age of disorder as COVID-19 became a global threat that altered all of our realities.
Amid the pandemic, the masks of American “justice” started to show themselves more clearly than ever before as an uprising from the Black Lives Matter movements called out the wrongful murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others at the hands of police brutality.
One thing was sure: It clouded our vision.
There needed to be some refocusing of what matters and what messaging #TeamOBVIOUS could provide to its audience that would resonate with something optimistic and hopeful.
The world has now spent more than half of the year enduring the stress of these trying times, yet we can still look towards the people making a difference as a means of inspiration.
There’s no doubt that the individuals selected in this article showcase a tenacity and touch of creativity that has shown the potential for greatness in their lives and for others.
They’ve used their heart and motivation to strive for change and create space for new generations to learn from them.
It is with great honor that OBVIOUS Magazine presents: The 2020 Visionaries To Watch.
20/20 Visionaries: Steve Harris & Steve Brown at Sneakertopia
Streetwear has become an immersive experience through art, music, and technology. How have sneakers impacted this experience over the last decade?
Sneakertopia: Over the last decade, sneaker culture has officially impacted and ingrained itself into pop culture’s economy. When any subculture moves the economic needle, it’s almost in- evitable that the masses will recognize it. Most commonly referred to as the “Blvd to the Boardroom Theory.”
What will Sneakertopia do for the future of sneaker culture?
Sneakertopia: Sneakertopia is just one of the many architects in sneaker culture. Our mission is to create a place and platform for all things sneakers.
This includes sneaker lovers, sneaker artists, sneaker collectors, sneaker resellers, sneaker customizers, etc. The list and possibilities are infinite, but our mantra remains the same, “Peace, Love, & Sneakers.”
What words of encouragement would you give to the next generation that will follow in your footsteps?
Sneakertopia: Our words of encouragement for the next generation following our footsteps continue to evolve and be present. There is no end; there is just a journey. So whatever you are doing now, think of how you can do that better. Whatever you were doing a year ago or ten years ago, what lesson did you learn from that, and how will the experiences aid you in the present?
How have you or your business had to pivot during this global pandemic?
Sneakertopia: For most entrepreneurs, our backgrounds and areas of expertise are varied. The commonality usually is how we apply our specific unique skill set to that of being a CEO or President.
After only being open for approximately four months and resigning our lease to extend until the end of 2020, the recent pandemic invited us to rise to the challenge. We quickly evaluated our business strategy and adapted to the options.
When life presents you with LIFE, you can do one of two things: 1) “Wallow in the what’s not,” or 2) “Welcome the what is.” Team Sneakertopia chose option #2. The beauty of the “what is” is that it provides you clear signs that you are doing what’s right.
The first sign is that you actually had this action item on your agenda, but it was further down the road of plans and was not part of right now. The second sign that you are doing what’s right is that it is usually uncomfortable.
We pivoted and adapted to the right now by accelerating our online Sneaker Academy with a collaboration with Yellow Brick Academy.
And the most important thing of all, we transitioned from brick and mortar boutique to online store for merchandise by entertaining our social media and engaging our captive audience.