As a young boy, I used to dream about being a shoe designer for Nike. Something about “tennashoes” always fascinated me. I loved sports and I guess I really believed or wanted to believe that my kicks could help improve my athletic performance. So I drew shoes.
I entertained and acted upon that dream from grade school to my late middle-school years. I would seclude myself in the corner of my shared room and draw shoe mockups with only a pencil. I must have gone through dozens of notebooks. Finally, when I was about 11 or 12 and through my own initiative, I decided to look up Nike’s corporate address and send them my work.
I stuffed a fat, borrowed-from-my mother envelop with at least 50-80 of my best designs. They were even cut out in shoe shapes and included basketball, baseball, football, cross-training, tennis, and running designs. I slapped on what was then much cheaper postage and sent it along with my employment dreams to Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.
A few weeks later, I received a rejection letter from Nike, which contained all of the designs that I sent in. They thanked me for the drawings and while informing me that they had “an in-house design team” said I should keep up the good work. The company also applauded my efforts and provided words of encouragement in whatever career I would end up pursuing.
Although I don’t work for Nike, and I’m not in the shoe industry, I am fortunate enough to be living a creative dream. As an independent writer and consultant, I help create stories, narratives, and editorial calendars. I help review ideas, identify voice, and see products, campaigns, and user experiences engineered to completion. I am thankful for all those that have helped and supported me along the way, and wish to do the same for anyone I come in contact with.
I guess Nike’s motto has always been my own: Just Do It.