Ian Williams shares story about fostering community through dope coffee

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Ian Williams shares story about fostering community through dope coffee

Ian Williams, owner of Deadstock Coffee, has such an inspiring story. Born in Newport News, VA. The child of a drug and alcohol counselor, Ian had a childhood just like any other kid, despite growing up in a rough area, but fell in love with sneakers from watching the local corner boys flaunting what they had, but always stayed on the straight and narrow. At the age of 9, his father had passed and Ian moved to Portland to live with his brother.

The culture shock was very real, it was first time living in a house, first time seeing tree lined streets and it was his first time seeing people that didn’t look like him. Ian found solace in basketball, despite being a very, very, very undersized center. But basketball would be his true entry point into having a love of sneakers; his first pair of course was VA legend Allen Iverson’s Questions. Which then would evolve into a love of And-1 the shows and the basketball mixtapes.

As his interest in sneakers and basketball was strong, Ian’s interest in school wasn’t, later finding out as an adult he had undiagnosed ADD. Ian used clowning in school as a defense mechanism. Right before his senior year, Ian learned that he needed to retake 8 classes. Despite trying to make up these classes, Ian couldn’t make them all up and didn’t graduate high school. After school, Ian started selling cars and although he wasn’t very knowledgeable in cars or finance, he knew exactly how to assess and connect with people. After quitting his job in 2005, he went back to community college.

Ian never had aspirations to work at Nike, but the little bit of money he did have, he was buying sneakers. So many sneakers that he had to move back home. Ian got plenty of odd jobs with the company from working retail at the Nike Employee Store to literally making the airbags that go into the shoes to even being a janitor on campus. With a lot of hustle, knowledge and gumption, Ian would get a job at the campus as a Footwear developer where he’d work on a dunk that was released in 2010.

About Claima Stories with Bimma:

Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging BIPOC creatives about how they were able to break into the notoriously guarded creative and sneaker industries. From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, and James Whitner. Listen and Subscribe now.

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