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Interview with Sean Williams founder 

Obsessive Sneaker Disorder  

by Roger Maloney

Sean Williams is a born and raised Brooklynite who fell in love with sneakers at the age of 13. By age 16, with a few years of work experience under his belt he began buying sneakers with his own money (no longer asking mom for the latest and freshest kicks). Having purchased thousands of pairs of sneakers over the years his love of sneakers has never completely died. It has simply transformed.

In 2007, OSD (Obsessive Sneaker Disorder) was founded by long time friend Dee Wells and Sean was asked to become a part of the historical movement. As business partner in OSD, LLC Sean's love of sneakers has transformed into a mission for the company that has 3 words "Appreciate, Educate, Elevate". These days, those 3 words are a part of everything Sean does in regard to the world of sneakers. He has accepted the personal mission of making sure that the younger generations know the potential that exists for them in the athletic footwear business as not only consumers, but as the future professionals in the industry.

Sean has been featured in various noteworthy TV shows, publications and web sites such as NBC's "The Today Show", Maxim magazine, Slate.com, and Sneaker Freaker just to name a few. In 2012, Sean and his partner Dee made the list of "50 Most Influential People in Sneakers Right Now" published by Complex magazine. Sean also teaches OSD's "SOLEcial Studies" which is an education program that prepares people all over the world for potential jobs and their businesses in the athletic footwear business. He has plans to begin teaching the program in partnership with sports teams and school across the United States. So Enjoy my interview with Mr. Sean Williams.

Roger- What inspired you to create your company Obsessive Sneaker Disorder and how did you come up with that name?

Sean: OSD was actually created by my long time friend Dee Wells. He brought me in shortly after he started the organization in 2007. OSD started as the industry's frist sneaker talk show and then over time we've grown into so much more. in 2011 we started SOLEcial Studies.

Roger- Tell me about your career before you started your company?

Sean -Before OSD, I was still just an avid sneaker lover and enthusiast who has owned a few thousand pairs over this lifetime. To this point today, I've been into sneakers a little over 30 years. Since OSD started in 2007, I've given away HUNDREDS of pairs of sneakers from my personal inventory.

Roger- Why is it important for more people of color to pursue careers in the athletic foot wear business?

Sean- Our goal with OSD is to (1) To make our youth smarter consumer who no longer feel the need to grab every sneaker thrown in their faces. (2) To change the outdated career approach taught to us by our parents which simply says, get your degree, get a good job, stay there until you retire. Minorities have never been taught about the various jobs and careers in the sneaker industry. An industry we spend SO MUCH money in.

Roger- What social media platforms do use promote your company?

Sean- Sneaker culture and the internet are married together so we've learned to embrace as many social media platforms as possible. We have a dedicated daily presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and Periscope.

Roger- Can you describe what brands you have partnered with and can you talk about your experience with them?

We've worked with all types of brands big and small. We've been hired as consultants for brands that are just starting up to as large as Nike, Jordan Brand, and Adidas. Most recently we worked with the Brooklyn Museum on "The Rise of Sneaker Culture" exhibition.

Roger- Can you talk about any negative experience you had since you started your company and how you over came them? 

Sean-To be honest, because we've come into this with a genuine of of sneakers, sneaker culture, and Hip-Hop, we haven't experienced any "noteworthy" negative vibes. People actually "get" what we're trying to do.

Roger- What can people expect from your Obsessive Sneaker Disorder online classes? 

Sean- SOLEcial Studies (Online) takes you through an 8 week journey where we make students pinpoint where they fell in love with sneakers (in the very beginning). Over time through lessons about entrepreneurship and the awareness about the corporate side of sneakers, students begin to realize, they too can find a way to be a professional in the industry. Not just working at retail either!

Roger-  Why do people love sneakers so much? 

Sean- There will probably never be 1 way to answer that..and that's why we know there's longevity in our mission :)

Roger- If an angel investor wanted to invest in your company is that something you would interested in why or why not?

Sean- To answer your question. If any Angel investor wanted to invest in OSD, it would be in our SOLEcial Studies program and the investor would be investing in our mission to drive more minority and women into careers in the footwear industry and the investor would be helping us to open up the career possibilities past being an Athlete, Rapper, Actor, or some other type of entertainer.

Roger- What do you want people to learn and take away from your Obsessive sneaker Disorder classes and the movement you have created?

 

Sean- We want people to realize that you don't have to settle for being "just" a consumer. You can find a way to express the love of sneaker you have by creating a business or working in the industry. Lastly, to no longer buy every sneaker with as stupid story attached to it. Raise your standards as a consumer.

Roger- What do you want people to learn and take away from your Obsessive sneaker Disorder classes and the movement you have created?

Roger- Thank you Sean and for more information about Sean you can follow him h ere and just click on the link.   http://paperchasrosd.tumblr.com

Sean- "I'm in NO WAY an influencer. I'm the voice of sneaker lovers who are tired of being told their sneaker choices aren't good enough" ~

Sean "Paper Chasr" Williams
Professor of Competitive Response
OSD (Obsessive Sneaker Disorder)
Web site: http://www.osdlive.com
Twitter & Instagram: @osdlive

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