This is Chris Childs, CEO of Shop Chris Childs. I want to quickly tell you about my journey, so let's get to it. The first few shoes were absolutely horrible, I mean—wow, I really destroyed them! I knew I had to be patient, I mean people just don’t pick up a basketball and shoot like Curry instantly. After destroying more shoes, it was time to go to college where things changed.
The first year of college, I only did a few pairs of shoes. Not much changed but I was able to secure a mentor, his name is Scott but I call him SB or Mr.Miyagi. I was able to learn from him via iMessage, instagram and FaceTime. Honestly, he only became my mentor because I bugged the hell out of him but what can I say? I was persistent! During my Freshmen year, I was featured in “TeenView Magazine'' in which I had a full story written about me. Not just that but my shoes were also on ESPN during “college game-day” and those shoes were reposted by Angelus Direct, which is the paint brand I use. Both huge events for me in my fresh career.
Lastly, just a few hours before I left campus on the last day of school, I met and did work for Buddy Hield. Sophomore year I started taking the craft more seriously, realizing I’d be an idiot to ignore how much something has impacted my life in a short amount of time. From that point
on, there was no going back. Once getting serious and spending all of my free time locked in this small 2ft x 2ft work zone things started to slowly change. I was able to do shoes for Anderson Paak (Grammy Nominated artist) , Ghetty (Hip-Hop artist), Kwudi (Artists), and also canvases for Wichita State University. I felt like things were moving kind of fast compared to the year before. I knew I lacked skill in other forms such as free- handing, brush work, and other technical aspects. So I focused that summer break to improve that aspect of the craft in order to become more diverse.
The next year I continued building and grinding, knocking out work for Will Claye (USA Olympic Athlete), being featured twice on the front page of The Drew League by Nike, being a student of FBBC (CEO of SIA Collective), having a story written up in Immature Magazine, and customizing shoes for Charlamagne Tha God (The Breakfast Club, etc). At this point in time, it felt like everything was moving so fast. Most college kids worry about partying or doing tons of other things. My mindset was to keep my head down and to stay focused. The next time I lifted my head... I was in Paris. Now, I was only studying abroad there so don’t take it as I moved there but, I mean, I kind of moved there or at least I did for six months.
During this time period it was definitely the most eye-opening for me. Going to ESCE International Business School I was able to experience, learn, and respect students from so many different cultures and countries. Seeing the high-level luxury brands day-to-day, the greatest art museums in the world and being able to go from country-to-country was crazy. One of my favorite quotes is: “Once your mind has been exposed to a new concept or idea, it's hard to go
back to its original way of thinking.” There were so many different things I was learning each day, that experience definitely changed myself as an artist but most importantly as a human being.
Once returning home, I understood this yet struggled the most with adapting back to western civilization. I went through a mourning period from friends passing while also going through reverse culture shock at the same time; but even every dark cloud has a silver lining. Throughout that time period I was experimenting with all the new styles that I’ve digested throughout my time of studying abroad. Using my scrambled thoughts to help depict the distorted images that I was seeing and help make some of the best work at that time. Lastly after graduating from Wichita State University, I landed my first art showcase with RAW and had an amazing debut show. Lastly, I ended the year by customizing shoes for Jordan Phillips for a Christmas present.
Now since we’re updated with my journey, I just want to say thank you to everyone that supports my business. The brand will continue on pushing quality and creative work in order to break boundaries and positively impact culture!