Letter to Ed Hochuli

Ed Hochuli is FOM and he doesn't even know it.

Ed Hochuli is FOM and he doesn't even know it.

The first letter of support I ever wrote was to Mike Tyson in the early 90s. He’d thrown a tv against a wall while in jail — I wrote to support him throwing a tv against a wall.

This weekend the wrong call was made in an NFL football game — the Referee, Ed Hochuli, made the call and admitted his mistake.

I exchanged an email with Ed today — the boring email is after the jump; his class is throughout.

Call Home:

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Anya and Masha are from Russia.  This picture is only posted because they are nice and this is in the maax store.

Anya and Masha are from Russia. This picture is only posted because they are nice and this is in the maax store.

Over the last nine years we split maax into three divisions:

1. maax The original visors, belts and other clothing.
2. maaxCustom – a custom clothing for people (mostly sports teams)
3. maaxMusic – you guessed it, we make clothing for bands.

Money is tight right now; we’re selling different parts of the company to raise capital, aka pay bills, aka eat more mac and cheese.

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The Conference Table


Wednesday Lunches:

We’re selling assets at maax, trying to raise money.
Translation = we spent too much money and didn’t sell enough.

Yesterday a guy came to see about buying our conference table, the $2,000 conference table which we traded 24 tee shirts for. We never really had meetings, let along conferences, so it seems like a good asset to get rid of.

Dressed in sweatpants, tee shirt and the air that anything less than a mahogany table from the redwood forest would be beneath him.

He felt the table, looked it up and down, pushed on it.

I smiled and wanted to say: “If you really cared about good furniture you wouldn’t be at a tag sale.”
But said: “Lot of great memories at this table.”

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Mornings at the YMCA

The Loft

The Loft: We built this. Jeb lived on top of this for two years, I slept on the couch below it.

1999 – We lived at maax HQ for the first two years, sleeping on a couch and a mattress in an old mill building in Manchester, New Hampshire. There were no showers or kitchens at our offices, we’d wake early, so the employees wouldn’t see us, and walk to the YMCA to shower.

The YMCA gave my brother and me a scholarship, letting us pay about $50 for a year’s membership. It was a necessity at the time and a gift we’ll repay some day. Support your local YMCA … after 9:00 am.

As the years went on the YMCA became a great place for me, lunch basketball in particular. Every day for an hour the locals, businessmen, mailmen, drug dealers and the unemployed, would skip lunch and play basketball, not talking business.

But the mornings, I’ll never forgot those, in particular the YMCA locker room.

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The votes were 3-1, against the grand idea; telling the story of maax, as it happens.

September 2, 2008 (yesterday)
6:00 pm – Jeb and I decide to share the maax story with the public online; I write/post entry online the maax website.
6:35 pm – Jeb calls, he changed his mind: “Please take down the post.”
6:35 pm – Me: OK. Hang up phone, ignore Jeb, walk to friend’s house, borrow lawn mower and mow grass. It’s been two months since I mowed it.
8:32 pm – Jeb removes post.

Being nervous is good. Which means this must be an amazing idea. Jeb, Mom and Dad are really nervous.

Very good.




Maybe we’re going out of business?

Here’s the back story, my brother Jeb and I started maax.

We began selling visors door-to-door, then we sold tee shirts at Red Sox games, then we slept in our factory for two years. Nine and half years ago, we started maax.

It’s been amazing.

That part of the story we’ll tell more in earnest, we promise, we’ll talk about the failed relationships, about the fights, about firing our other brother, although he really quit because I was a jerk to him, which was after firing my best friend, and before firing Dustin at the Screen Printing machine one day; that’s a story worth hearing, and one that will probably get the labor board visiting our factory; they wont be able to find it.

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