The Backside team and I had just gotten back to our Chinatown apartment after day one of Agenda NY ’14. It was my first time at the Agenda Show and my third time in New York so you can only imagine how overwhelmed I was (in the best way possible). It had been a long day and everyone was exhausted. The team decided to spend the rest of the night indoors with some Adventure Time and New York pizza. It was late and the loudness of the city had faded into a muffled static so I decided to step outside onto the balcony and reflect on my own adventure thus far.
My entire life I heard the phrase, “Your job is not who you are, it’s what you do.” What a 1950’s thing to say. Of course your job is part of who you are, it’s what you do for 40+ hours a week (more if you freelance). The reason people complain about Mondays and refrain from identifying with their careers is because they know they’re in the wrong place; whether it’s in the wrong career or the wrong company. The more relevant phrase is, “Mondays don’t suck, your job sucks.”
Throughout my college years as a full-time student, I’d worked in multiple jobs (sometimes at once) from corporate retail to office 9-5s, but I had never been happier with my career path since I began working at Backside. The first thing, Backside co-owner, Eric told me was, “I’m open to any ideas you have; everyone brings something different to the table – we’re a family.” That has resonated in me since. Being at Agenda with Backside made me realize how truly massive yet tight-knit the streetwear community is.
Our entire culture is heavily influenced by elements of our daily lives. Elements like hip-hop, alternative rock, skate, basketball, street art, graffiti and most importantly, the people we experience them with, our friends. We’ve created this culture together, so incorporating it into our jobs only feels natural. That’s why everyone is so proud of their work: their new product launches, their growing numbers in sales, their copywriting, their photo/video editing, their engaged client-base. That’s why everyone is so proud of their coworkers; their peers who work so hard to build the brands into what they have grown to represent. Backside is a prime example of what the power of a strong team with a wholehearted hustle can do. It's who we are.