Stadium Goods Founders Reveal the Secret to Its Success

Stadium Goods has come a long way in three years.

Since opening in 2015, the New York-based consignment retailer has made notable advancements in the sneaker marketplace, including securing financial backing from European luxury conglomerate LVMH Luxury Ventures, entering partnerships to sell kicks abroad (London-based Farfetch, China’s Tmall Global), and developed custom content for eBay, to name a few.

And along the way, its co-founders John McPheters and Jed Stiller have changed and grown as entrepreneurs. For the company’s third anniversary, the two (who made FN’s 2018 Power List) share three of the biggest lessons they’ve learned.

Rely on Your Network

JM: “My opinions of HR have changed in terms of who we want to bring into the organization and how we build the team. We started with a very tight group of people and we looked out into the world for a long time trying to find the best candidates through a variety of sources — recruiters, LinkedIn. We did everything we could to find that next round of hires. What we settled on it is the fact that network and real relationships and knowing people from outside of the business is a huge driver of success. We’ve doubled-down on our personal relationships and connections to find the newest people we’ve added to the team. That’s what’s driving our hiring practices today as opposed to casting out a wide net for candidates.”

Jack Erwin Stadium Goods
Jack Erwin, who joined Stadium Goods as its VP of content and communications in October.
CREDIT: Stadium Goods

Expect the Unexpected

JB: “Nothing ever goes as planned. Ever. Stay flexible, have solutions to every problem. If the door is shut, go through the window, you’ve got to find a trap door through the ceiling and crawl through the vents. When you own and run your own business, you’ve got to be creative and always be ready for solutions to problems that you didn’t even know exist when you woke up in the morning.”

Focus Leads to Success

JM: “Jed and I have been entrepreneurs for a long time, we’ve done a lot of different thing in the business, and it’s clear to us that success comes from focus; focus is everything. We’ve dedicated ourselves to one common goal, and that’s building Stadium Goods and chasing our mission here. That mission gives us clarity and it lets all other things fall by the wayside that aren’t important. When you’re easily distracted and have a bunch of things going on, little side projects or other things happening, you can’t take something the distance. That linear focus is something we see as driving our success.”

Stadium Goods
Inside Stadium Goods.
CREDIT: Stadium Goods

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