Stepping outside the box and want to welcome Tomahawk Shades, an MLL sponsor, and say thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers.
First off can you introduce the people behind Tomahawk Shades to the ILWT readers?
– Behind the scenes are myself (Andrew Shapiro) and my twin brother and partner Ryan Shapiro. We like to consider ourselves the Tomahawk Twins
Your company has an interesting story behind your founding. Could you share it with
– We spent a lot of time in College buying shades from companies and paying crazy amounts for them. We always wanted colors and designs that were not available. I have always wanted to own my own business so we took the last paychecks we had and made this come to life
How did you come up with Louki the Yeti?
– Louki was a random thought. We always thought it was a cool idea to have a mascot and no one had anything like this
What were some of the obstacles you had to overcome to get your company off the
– Sunglasses world has a lot of competition. We had to find a way to make ourselves stand out and make the customers love us. We have found many ways to do that but times change and you have to stay changing with them
How did you get involved with the MLL and what helped you make the decision to become a sponsor?
– Ryan played in high school and we have many friends who also competed. We werealways fans but one day Greg The Beast reached out on twitter and we said hey that is a great market to breach into. Greg posted a picture with the shades and many lax pros followed and asked to get some.
What does being a sponsor entail?
– We are considered the Official Shades of MLL. We also have a license to produce custom shades which are currently available on tomahawkshades.com and we plan on coming out with a new Atlanta Blaze one shortly.
How many MLL athletes do you sponsor?
– As of this day we Officially have 25 MLL athletes all with different roles. We have guys like Kyle Harrison who play a role in consulting and development in the lacrosse world.
We try and make sure each athlete loves what they wear and some are coming out with Signature Lines and Inspired Designs
What other sports and athletes do you sponsor?
– We are involved in a bunch of different sports. We work with Major League Ultimate Frisbee, Disc Golf, MMA, Soccer, Crossfit, Hockey and the National Pro Grid League.
We have some big names like Brek Shea from the US National Soccer team, Paul McBeth who is the number one Disc Golfer in the world and Spencer Hendel who finished 5th overall at the Crossfit Games this year
Where do you see the MLL in 5 years?
– I would like to see the teams expand to 12 and have an eastern and western division. With all the new talent coming into the league every year, the kids are going to need a home to display their talents. More teams means more players and hopefully that means the sport is growing. Who knows maybe we can start the NY Yetis one day
How many different classes of shades are you planning on developing?
– We have endless possibilities here. We want to design whatever keeps up with the market and make sure we keep our price point. We have been working on making some snow goggles which everyone will be hearing about soon
Are there any plans to continue outside sunglasses?
– We have many shirts and accessories that are in high demand and potentially want to make a full line of shirts and designs. We have some cool ideas and projects that we are working on with some people that will be under the tomahawk brand, but its a bit too early to reveal
You excel at social media. How much does it factor into your business strategy?
– We are on social media all day long. From Twitter to Snapchat we are as involved as can be. We talk to all of our fans and make sure that they feel part of The Tribe. Its always enjoyable to see someone tag you or write to you and you want them to feel the same way. Most companies are not as active as we are when it comes to their followers, but we are as active as ever
What is the Nomad project and how can someone get involved?
– This is a very special project that we have been working on for a while. We are looking for College students who are outgoing and involved in college life. We basically send a box per month to the students to give out to important people on campus. They attend games, clubs and events and take pictures for us to use. We will have a section on our website displaying all the schools and pictures that they take. This is also a resume builder where the students can learn social media and guerilla marketing tactics. People can join by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!!!
Where would you like to see Tomahawk Shades in 5 years?
– We have had to change our 5 year plan about 8 times in the last year alone. Times are always changing and we are doing what we can to keep up. We would love to see ourselves dominating not only the lacrosse world but various other worlds like Rugby and Baseball.