Day 142/366 – Catching up with Ian Williams. Creator of the Nike ‘Wet Floor’ Dunk High SB.
Name: Ian Williams
Hometown: Newport News, VA • Current city: Portland, OR
Ian moved out to Oregon ten years ago for a fresh, new start with his family. He attended private school and was surrounded by classmates who motivated him to set his bar that much higher. Thus began his adventure into the wonderful world of footwear…
Ian worked in the customer service and automotive industries; all of his extra change always went to sneakers. He landed a seasonal retail position at the Nike Beaverton Employee store and then made his way over to Nike’s In House Manufacturing center (working on air bags). It was a big day when Ian secured a custodial position at Nike’s headquarters (was in this position for three years).
One fine day, Ian picked up some extra hours at the Tiger Woods building and walked into a sales meeting. He offered his feedback on the line to Shawn Baravetto who then invited him to swing by the Nike SB area some time to talk about shoes. About a year after he first met Shawn, Ian expressed interest in creating something and Shawn gave him the thumbs up. Ian worked up the Custodian pack in a week. It included 3 sneakers; one was inspired by a glass cleaner bottle, another by a vacuum and the third by a wet floor sign. A few days after his birthday, Ian received an email that his Nike ‘Wet Floor’ Dunk High SB made it into the line! He couldn’t believe it. The sneaker features a yellow leather upper, red along the tongue/heel pull tab and black contrast stitching along the midsole. 5,000 pairs were made and Ian has 3 of them – one pair that he purchased at retail (he can say he “bought his own shoe!”) and two pairs that are still fresh in the box.
Ian is now working as an Associate Footwear Developer in Core Performance. He enjoys creating great product at a lower price point; as well as a sneaker that will solve all the problems – it can be worn at school, while running, out on a hike, out and about, etc.
Did you know? Ian would love to open his own food cart. He loves sandwiches. One of his favorite places to pick up a Portland Cheese Steak (roast beef marinated in a sweet savory honey bourbon sauce, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms topped with delicious cheddar cheese & toasted perfection) is Eastside Delicatessen.
Thanks for sharing Ian!!! Super inspiring. Keep on keepin’. 🙂