EXTRA BUTTER x SNEAKER FREAKER INTERVIEW
Published: Jul 4th, 2008
A Tribe Called Quest said it best on their hit If The Paper Comes, “Hot butter on what, say what, the popcorn”. Now a gang of well-educated sneaker heads have taken the term we used to describe how fresh our kicks were, and applied it to their movie inspired store Extra Butter. These guys don’t do anything by halves. Thirty minutes from the hype of New York City, these Long Island cats are killing it with only the finest in street apparel and ‘extra buttery’ kicks! Having just had the honours of scooping their own Bo Jackson inspired Nike Tee, we find out why Butter Knows!
How buttery is life in Long Island these days? Long Island is straight gorgeous in the summer and life by us is very smooth. Our town has been growing with more shops and places to go out and eat, making Rockville Centre an even more buttery place to be.
Just how different is it operating a store in suburban New York, when you are 30 minutes away from the city? Is there any competition?
Well the city way seems to be about staying on the grind, but it’s no different out by us, we’re relentless and passionate about what we do. That “never not working” mentality couldn’t possibly apply to us more, but we wouldn’t want it any other way. As far as competition, Long Island is less congested, but competition is inevitable but we don’t worry about that. We thoroughly enjoy what we’re doing and just stay focused on that.
Where did the name of the store arise from?
Haha I usually enjoy listening to people’s own theories on our name, or watching that feeling of gratification they get when they piece things together and it starts to make sense. But essentially, it comes from our culture itself. “Butter” was always an adjective used to describe the very best of things, particularly in regards to style.
You guys are obviously influenced by movie culture with the fit-out complimenting the store name. Whose idea was it to come up with this concept and how did you foresee your customer base being drawn to the idea?
I believe that going to the movies is both very exciting and medicinal for people, and growing up I developed an enjoyable dependency on that, which even lead me to give birth to my b-boy name, “Cinematic”. The same could be said about going to get new sneakers, or even resurrecting an old pair, which evokes a similar feeling to seeing a great film for the first time or watching a classic film you haven’t seen in a while. The connection between the two is the other component that adds to the duality of the name “Extra Butter”.
Tell us a bit about the crew that run Extra Butter. Is it true that there is a long line of sneaker business knowledge and expertise in the team?
The crew is comprised of the absolute smoothest individuals that I’m endlessly thankful to for forming like Voltron on everything we do. We all got our start working for a “mom and pop” shop that has been around for 25 years. We learned from pros about providing reliable, neighbourhood customer service, catering to the athletic needs customers had, as well as the business ends involved in operating an independent sneaker shop. The invaluable experience gained helped advance our knowledge way beyond simply pining for retros and limited editions. We each stand for and offer far more than our latest buys or boastful collections, and we’ve developed an undying passion for the footwear business and are soulfully scientific with our involvement with the culture overall.
How did you choose what brands to rep for the store that would excite your customer base and how important was it to lace the ladies as well?
Well I’m not one to ignore the ladies in general, but how could you these days?? There are so many females doing big things for our culture….designing sneakers, running and representing streetwear brands, DJ-ing… (Hi Mafia!), it’d be an injustice not to fairly cater to the female needs in our community. When choosing brands I tend to look for companies whose style, personality and message compliment our own. I think the buttery treatment we put forth when we debut these brand’s new lines, makes our connection to them evident.
You guys recently had the honours of receiving your own Butter Knows tee exclusive from Nike for the crew. The You tube posted on your blog is hilarious, how many “wow’s” can one man say? Was it really a complete surprise or had Nike chatted to you guys prior to the shirts coming out?
Hahaha, since then the “wow’s” have become even more rampant and part of the standard conversation that takes place between us and our clientele. It’s also been enjoyable to exchange stories or teach people about the legacy of Bo Jackson, which the program pays homage to. I’m thankful to have been working with Tony Forte of Nike since Butter’s beginning and he let me in on the secret of this campaign. I decided to surprise the fam with it’s unveiling because we’ve worked so hard as a relatively new shop on the block, and I knew how much they’d appreciate that level of recognition.
Will you have the opportunity to work with Nike on a shoe collab? Are you looking to hook up with brands to expand the Extra Butter name?
That would be blockbuster, but only time will tell. We’d like to spread butter as much as possible, but our approach remains to let things grow organically and foster natural connections with the companies we work with.
Tell us about some of the dope events you have had poppin’ off in store. Extra Butter seems to know how to hold a dope launch man!
They’ve become staple to our store culture. A personal favorite of mine was my birthday party. Everyone who came through dressed up as a character from a movie, something I’m hoping now becomes tradition. The film screenings/parties we’ve done with VLNY have also been fresh with the party theme and films directly connecting back to the line. Our grand opening party was a precursor to all of this when we first rolled out our red carpet and the shop was packed and partying from wall to wall.
What’s Extra Butter on the scene right now as far as footwear is concerned?
We love the recent rollouts by Puma . Their classics have prompted us to do photo shoots, gather around lacing up in a million different ways, and even throw dance parties and give breakdance lessons to the kids in our community. We’re also big fans of the brilliant Blaze of Glory you Sneaker Freakers designed! Air Jordan also looks to have a strong rest of the year with heavy hitting countdown packs and the much anticipated “6 rings” still up ahead. There’s also other buttery treats that we’re excited about….coming soon!
Where do you see the store progressing? Will you expand to online sales and also open a store in the city, or are you guys content on where you are at right now?
We insist on growing on many levels, online sales being one of them. Even within a short amount of time we’ve developed a global customer base that we need to keep feeding. Shouts to everyone over at Sneaker Freaker, and those who’ve been supporting and a part of the Butter family thus far. We believe the “Extra Butter” experience is a special one, so if you can’t make it to the show, it’s only a matter of time before we come through to a theatre near you.