Adam "Ace" Moyer, Founder of Knockaround
Graduates of the University of Virginia are often drawn to streets with a tendency for occupation or capital hills. But for Adam "Ace" Moyer, the steps from Mr. Jefferson's Rotunda led to art school in sunny San Diego, where he traded a morose perennial-loser sports culture for a happy one.
In addition to finding beautiful girls and 24/7 sun, Adam found his future vocation while settling into his new city:
“I had two months before classes started in the fall. I was bored, didn’t know anyone, and had always wanted to start a business. San Diego is sunny everyday…sunglasses are expensive…I had lost like three pairs of nice sunglasses…VOILA! That’s how Knockaround was born. When classes started a few months later I had a great way to break the ice with people: ‘Hey I just started a sunglasses company! Want a pair?’” !http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/aforch/KnockaroundCloseup-1.jpg! And so what began as a great way to meet new buddies quickly snowballed into a full-fledged brand on the back of a cult following attracted to Knockaround's classic and affordable line of shades. Knockaround outgrew Adam's tiny art studio, and later his garage, and by 2009, the company had moved into an astro-turfed warehouse a couple of miles from the ocean, where it currently ships hundreds of pairs a day.
I recently caught up with Adam, where in addition to commiserating about the state of our alma mater's sports program, he shared some of the side projects he's currently working on (see below). As you'll see below in his 10 essential things, Adam's an all-around interesting dude with a great sense of style.
Behold. !http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/aforch/1moyer_rk_moyer_aviators.jpg! Robert K. Moyer's Aviators My Grandfather, Robert K. Moyer, was drafted into the Army as a private in 1941, went to Officers Candidate School in 1942 (they called them “90-day wonders”), served overseas from 1942 to 1945, and left the active service in September 1945 as a Major in the Army Air Force. During the War he served all over the world - England, North Africa, India, Egypt, France, Belgium, Germany - and these were the sunglasses he wore. He stayed in the Reserves for another 5 years after the War, and continued to wear these aviators for the rest of his life - for driving, sporting events, and working in the garden. Classic design like this never goes out of style. !http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/aforch/2moyer_table_tennis_table.jpg! Table Tennis Table We play a lot of table tennis at Knockaround HQ, but this Killerspin table gets just as much use as an all-purpose work-table. It's tough, easy to move, and folds up and out of the way. !http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/aforch/3moyer_moyer_hand_bookbinding.jpg! Bookbinding Sewing a book is a really gratifying experience. You can get all the supplies you need for under $10, and it only takes a few hours. It's a skill I plan to teach my son, Casey. But I'll have to wait a while…he's only four months old. !http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/aforch/4moyer_larry_brown.jpg! Larry Brown Autograph I've been collecting autographs since I was a kid, and I've got some good ones - Joe Frazier, Mario Andretti - but this one is my favorite. 1972 NFL MVP, Washington Redskins running back Larry Brown. "To Adam - Good luck in the stock market. - Larry Brown" !http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/aforch/5moyer_astro-turf.jpg! Astro Turf I love the stuff. I put it everywhere. It's cheap, it's my favorite color, and it doesn't show dirt. I just did a quick calculation. I've purchased 3,000 square feet of astro turf in the last 5 years. !http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/aforch/6moyer_knockaround_so_cal.jpg! Southern California When people think of Southern California, they probably think of Los Angeles. But SoCal's real gem is San Diego. Palm trees, ocean breezes, abundant sunshine. This place is great. !http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/aforch/7moyer_entrepreneurship_in_garages.jpg! Entrepreneurship in Garages If I look at all the companies I admire, an overwhelming majority were started in garages. I guess there's just something about the dim light and draftiness that cultivates big ideas. !http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/aforch/8moyer_frosted_cobalt_fort_knocks.jpg! Frosted Cobalt Fort Knocks Our Frosted Cobalt Fort Knocks came out a couple weeks ago, and I think they epitomize what Knockaround is all about. Classic, colorful, durable, and affordable. They look great on just about everyone. !http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/aforch/9moyer_work_in_progress.jpg! Work-in-Progress Photos I'm a sucker for in-progress photos. The "before and after" moments are always good, but we all know it's about the journey, not the destination. !http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/aforch/10moyer_snoop.jpg! Snoop Dogg An American legend, no doubt. The first time I saw him wearing Knockarounds I started to cry. True story.