Behind The Brand: Adam Walker of Sanuk

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posted by sgallaher@surfstitch.com

Meet Adam Walker. Brand Community Manager and, in a nutshell, the face & voice of California-based shoe brand, Sanuk. We had a chance to tune in with Adam and dive into his world. This is his story.
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So Adam… what is your role at Sanuk?
I’m Sanuk’s Brand Community Manger – essentially, it’s my duty to help share our voice and purvey our personality with the masses. Most of what I do falls under a magical marketing umbrella – social media, creative tinkering, core events etc. I also work directly with our roster of brand ambassadors – surfers, climbers, artists, musicians. It’s a good gig!

Where is your office based?
Right located in the heart of sunny, Southern California. Sanuk started in San Diego back in ’97 but moved up to the Orange County area a handful of years later.

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Can you describe your workspace?
Good ol’ Sanuk HQ… Wander through the main doors and you’ll discover a perfect yin-and-yang-like balance of wall-to-wall eye-candy and clean, mellow zones. There’s space to collaborate and space to isolate. When it comes to havin’ fun, we’ve got places to cut looks – indoor basketball courts, a private yoga studio and pseudo-jam room at our daily disposal.

The Good Vibe Tribe? Talk to me…
Ah yes, the Good Vibe Tribe… It’s a nickname I’ve been using to refer to the Sanuk Team and extended family members. It isn’t an official club or group or anything like that – more so a casual collective of positive. Anyone can have one – and should.

What does unconventional mean to you?!?!
Something unique. Fresh… Something that doesn’t comply with norms or isn’t afraid to break a few rules here and there. Something that is pleasantly unexpected.

If the surf is pumping could you just like, leave your desk?
Oh, man – Great question. It’s all about that work/life balance, right? We’ve been known to throw in a “board meeting” in the mix every now and then if the timing is right…

So what does the word Sanuk actually mean?
Sanuk is the Thai word for fun!

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What is a typical day for you at Sanuk HQ?
For me, every day at Sanuk is a little bit different. Some days are spent in the office chuggin’ coffee, crackin’ off convos and cranking and on projects… While others are spent on the road, off-the-grid, on assignment with ambassadors or at events. It’s all mix bag for sure. The atypical typical, if you will.

What does community mean to you?
When I think of “community” I think of people coming together. Living breathing friends, families, followers, folks… mixing it up.

Tell us a little about Sanuk’s community outreach projects?
Over the years, the brand has been passionate partner of both global charitable organizations as well as local community outreach programs. We’ve done some amazing work with Operation Smile over the years. From coordinating part surf trip, party volunteer medical missions in Peru to year-long social media campaigns, our work with their organization has helped put a smile on the dial.

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What was your most awkward moment recently J haha…
Yikes. A few weeks ago, I dropped a whole huge tin of Altoid mints right before boarding a flight our of Phoenix Airport. I was late for my connection, and running to the gate just everyone was crowded around it, jostling to get on. In a hurry, I reached in my sweatshirt pocket for a few try and freshen up pre-flight… All these little white capsules went flying, spilling on the carpet. I got their weirdest looks… Picked ‘em up though.

Where does some of your inspiration come from?
It comes from all over. Lately, I’ve turned to music more than ever. I’m not super musically gifted or anything, but I’ve been always drawn to the ability it has to effect my mood – instantaneously. I like leveraging that power to help me create.

Do you have daily routine?
I’ve got to eat a breakfast of some kind – and I’ve got to get a coffee down my neck pretty early on. Those to things are true for sure. After that, it depends on how much coffee I’ve had… J

You enjoy being behind the lens… ?
I love it. Aside from surfing, it’s my biggest passion. It’s taken me a bit of time, but right now, I get the same joy from getting a good shot as I do from scoring a good wave. There’s just something so intoxicating about preserving a fleeting moment forever.

Describe Sanuk in 3 words…..
Fun. Genuine. Unique.

Rights or Lefts?
The goofy in me says lefts… all day! But there’s nothing wrong with goin’ Right. A good wave is a good wave…

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Coffee or Tea?
Coffee. Dark. Real dark. The stronger the better!

What’s next for Sanuk?
So much! I really do think the world is our oyster. Sanuk has always found creative ways to put its own twist on things. I like to think we swim in a really big sea of possibility. We’re currently showings sneak peeks of our Fall 2016 line at shows. The response has been stellar. It’s amazing to see how far we come and yet how close we hold our heritage.  got some amazing new styles coming out – and with that some really fun stories to tell.

Why do you think people hang shoes over lamp posts in the street? It’s such an Aussie thing?
Every time I see a pair up there, I imagine folks are probably ditching their really uncomfortable, rigid ol’ kicks and marching out to find themselves some steezy Sanuk’s… Ha!

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