Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil KnightIn this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.
In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his lime green Plymouth Valiant, Knight grossed $8,000 his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of startups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all startups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognizable symbols in the world today.
But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always remained a mystery. Now, for the first time, in a memoir that is candid, humble, gutsy, and wry, he tells his story, beginning with his crossroads moment. At 24, after backpacking around the world, he decided to take the unconventional path, to start his own business—a business that would be dynamic, different.
Knight details the many risks and daunting setbacks that stood between him and his dream—along with his early triumphs. Above all, he recalls the formative relationships with his first partners and employees, a ragtag group of misfits and seekers who became a tight-knit band of brothers. Together, harnessing the transcendent power of a shared mission, and a deep belief in the spirit of sport, they built a brand that changed everything.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. Customers go through an interactive process in which the stuffed animal of their choice is assembled and tailored to their own preferences during their visit to the store. Build-A-Bear Workshop is the largest chain that operates in this style. The company has been acclaimed for the quality of its working environment, especially for teenagers who are just starting their first jobs. In , Maxine Clark quit her job as president of Payless ShoeSource to start her own retail stores with interactive experience like she recalled from her childhood of various events held at department stores.
Building Memories, One Bear at a Time
At the age of 48, Maxine Clark, then president of Payless ShoeSource, had lost the spark—the passion—for her job. A trip to the shopping mall changed everything. One afternoon Clark had taken her friend's daughter, Katie, to shop for Beanie Babies. We can make these. She envisioned a store where children would actually make their own stuffed bears.
So it made sense that she would wind up in retail. Clark eventually made it to the top -- as president of Payless ShoeSource. But the job wasn't enough -- the spark was gone, she said -- and she left in Clark then went on a search to find another idea that would rekindle her love for the business. The result: A simple shopping trip with a friend's daughter produced the idea for a single stuffed-animal factory in the St.
During the trip, guides clubbed a bear and tied it to a tree then invited the president to shoot it; instead, Roosevelt, an avid outdoorsman and hunter, declined, saying it would be unsportsmanlike to kill a defenseless animal that way. The incident generated national attention and was depicted in a popular political cartoon by Clifford Berryman. After reportedly writing to the president and getting permission to use his name for their creation, the Michtoms went on to start a successful company that manufactured teddy bears and other toys. Meanwhile, around the same time the Michtoms developed their bear, a German company founded in by seamstress Margarete Steiff to produce soft toy animals began making a plush bruin of its own. A buyer for a U.