Recently I came into contact with some gentlemen from Nebraska that have started their own lacrosse-lifestyle clothing line. These guys are very dedicated to the growth of the game. Along with the sweet shirts they include links to videos to help you increase your own game and help you along the way. I sat down with one of the co-founders Zach Schaefer to find out more on the new company.
KS: Tell me about yourself. How did you get started into the lacrosse world?
ZS: It’s actually kind of crazy, I went to Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne originally and I graduated from there. I’m originally from Bellevue Nebraska and I wanted to go to Dental School, but I needed some additional classes to do that, so I enrolled at the University of Nebraska. There, I met a guy, who just happened to also be named Zach Schafer (same name different spelling), who played on the team and saw him shooting around so I asked him about it. I have always been a fairly natural athlete so lacrosse couldn’t have been more of a natural fit. I started going to practice and gave it a shot.
The first year I spent six or seven hours a week just playing wall ball and a bunch more time working on other stuff to get me ready to play. While I didn’t see much playing time that first year, I stayed with it and worked my butt off all summer. Now in my third year with the team my goal is to be All-Conference in the GRLC this year. I had the pleasure of playing with David Redfern and now having him as a coach as well as Jake Smith as a coach has been a blessing, I don’t see how anybody couldn’t get good with them coaching you.
Tell me what Knobbs Iconic is about. How did you guys get started?
Sam Jura (who is a midfielder for Nebraska) and I were talking one day about how we just didn’t think there were enough good lacrosse-themed lifestyle type brands out there. We kind of left it at that for a while and then one day we started talking about it more and we both had some really good ideas and so we put them in motion. We did a ton of research finding the best way to make our shirts and we have a lot more great stuff on the way, we have shorts designed and are really close to put those in production. We’ve even looked at doing a line of accessories.
What are your big goals with Knobbs Iconic? Where do you hope to see your company in the future?
We wanted to start small and not get in over our heads. Ideally, our first goal is to get our stuff into stores and on some lacrosse retail sites. We want to focus on that and not to do retail only through our website. I would love for it to get decently big, but I’m not planning on putting the rest of my career and life goals on hold for that. If it did happen and we got that big, it would be awesome, but I realize that is a really lofty goal. For now, we want to get as big as the consumer market will allow us to.
For right now though, we’re just working on getting our name out there and getting people to see that we have a really quality product that looks sweet and feels great.
How did you come up with the name Knobbs Iconic? What’s the inspiration behind it?
Well, I better take this time to give a shout out to Brandon Reilley. It’s his fault [laughs]. When I went to school at IPFW I played softball in the summers and was the new guy on the team. Along with me, there was another new guy on the team who had a really nice Hulk Hogan-type mustache and used a bunch of Hulk Hogan lines. Naturally, both of us being new kind of stuck together, so Brandon, who is now my best friend nicknamed us Hogan and Knobbs. It caught on like wildfire. Everyone calls me Knobbs now.
Then, when thinking of a name, we said we wanted a name that seemed iconic. It hit Sam instantly. He said he loved the sound of the name Knobbs Iconic. It took us less than a minute of brainstorming.
When did the company officially kick off? How has the response been?
We officially kicked off about three weeks ago and have had a great response thus far. It’s crazy how fast everything started.
On your website you said that a portion of all the sales go to helping local lacrosse programs. How’d that get started?
Well Sam is from St. Louis and I’m from Bellevue, NE; not exactly hot lacrosse areas and Lincoln isn’t either. The youth and high school programs around here don’t have a ton of funding, so hopefully we can help a little bit. We both love the sport and in a short time it has become my most favorite thing in the world. I want more kids to get the same experience I have had. I wish I would have been introduced to it at a younger age.
If you could only have ONE person in the entire world rep Knobbs Iconic, who would it be? This is the sole person you can use in ad campaigns and they will be the only celeb/athlete wearing your gear… go! (Thanks to Connor Wilson for this one, he just knows how to ask good questions.)
Wow… I don’t know if I could narrow it down to one person. I could narrow it down to two though, Paul Rabil and Connor Martin. Paul Rabil is the best in the world and that would be a thrill to see him rocking our stuff and then Connor Martin is literally the best representative that the sport could hope for. He is an awesome player and an awesome person. His videos are definitely ICONIC.
Have a GRLC prediction for us this year?
I think the GRLC is wide open this year and I wouldn’t bet against the Huskers either. Our main problem has been consistency and it’s something that we are striving to fix. We have a ridiculously large amount of potential and we are starting to flow more and more. It’s scary how good we can be when we are flowing. It all comes down to consistency. We will play amazing for the first half and then forget how to play in the second or we will start slow and then come back to almost winning. We had a lot of youth last year that has matured incredibly this year. It’s not even that they weren’t good, it’s just that we didn’t have enough team chemistry last year. We are a lot closer off the field this year though so that will definitely help us.
Last one and it’s all yours. Tell the lacrosse world anything else you want them to know, about Knobbs Iconic, about Nebraska lacrosse or about the great partnership of Knobbs and Hogan.
I just want everyone to have a blast on the field and to sport some Knobbs Iconic gear. I have to pay for dental school somehow [laughs]. Oh yeah, I love my mommy and GO BIIIGGG REEEDDD!!!!
Thanks for the interview Zach, it’s great to see the lacrosse takeover continue. I already have my eyes set on that G Dub shirt, the Classic Argyle looks sharp as well. Merry Christmas guys! I hope the new year brings you great fortune and growth.