Over the course of the past six years, Christopher has established Dead Stock Sneakerblog as one of the leading sneaker-related websites in Germany. What started as a hobby has turned into a full-time occupation – even allowing Christopher to branch out with ventures like his own clothing brand. For our DIY issue of SNEAKERS MAG, we talked to the Krefeld native to trace back his path and also pick up some tips on how to hold your own as a sneaker blogger.
Christopher, can you fill us in a little on your personal background? What did you do before starting Dead Stock Sneakerblog in 2013?
I started as a trainee in a medium-sized company. I was about 17 or 18 at that time and worked as the head buyer’s assistant in this company, after I finished my time in school. We used to import kitchen and household stuff from Asia, and traveled to the factories every year. I became the head buyer some years later, changed company twice and yeah…now I am here.
And what made you start this new chapter? How did it begin?
I changed my job after my first employer shut down the whole business, and I never became really happy in my new companies. I always did a good job, but sometimes you have people around who prevent improvements to certain things or work processes. And I left my last job after five months because my boss was one of these people. It was a loud, but very happy ending for me. I started to work full-time on Dead Stock, and the company went bankrupt one year later.
Do you still remember your first couple of posts?
Yes, of course! I remember them all, because it took me hours to finish each one of them.
How has your approach to blogging changed over the course of the last five years?
In the beginning, we only used pics from others to tell our stories or opinions about certain releases or sneakers. Now we prefer our own content – in our style, with our own pictures or videos.
At what point did the blog turn from a hobby into a full-time job for you?
In my mid-20s, I started to feel bored as a buyer and decided to study after my job. I always wanted to start my own business, but never had the ideas or financial background to put my hands on it. I already had an income through Dead Stock during my last job, so I decided to try it after I quit my last employment as a managing person – I couldn’t imagine to face a new, stupid boss again. That was a terrible option for me. I guess that was the point where I decided to try it.
What was the last big change for you in the way you work professionally?
Things like algorithms, social media platforms, taking pictures or creating content vs affiliate? Yeah, Facebook is a bitch. Sorry to say so, but this isn’t funny anymore, and we are all affected by it. But social media is always changing and moving, and there will be other possibilities to reach a lot of people. I don’t have any worries regarding these changes.
From the blogger’s point of view, we think that original content is still the best way to get the attention from our followers. But in these days, we also have a lot of people who are only following us to know everything about the latest releases. They have their own taste and only want to collect or resell. They don’t care about nice pictures or wordings, they only care for themselves.
No, I don’t take all the pics by myself. Mario (AKA sixnine) is working on most of the campaigns with me. We are a well-practiced team, and both of us know what to do. The “daily business” will be done by me and two other friends who are living in my area.
And how did you get started in photography yourself?
I don’t know how I exactly started, but I was tired of asking others to go out with me. I decided to give it a try by myself, and it worked out pretty well. Maybe because my “new job” really urged me to do it. I don’t know, but it is always a lot of fun to hang out with the guys and take some shots.
Being a full-time sneaker blogger sure sounds like a pretty chill and fun job to a lot of people. But is it really? Can you describe what a typical day of work looks like for you?
It is a pretty chill and fun job, but it involves a lot of work and time when you become bigger and bigger. I had about 50 flights last year, start to work at eight in the morning, have to be online at the midnight releases. I literally work seven days a week. So I don’t like it when people think we just hang around, get all the shoes for free and do nothing except social media. I show 20% of my life on Instagram, and invite everybody to work a week with me. This will be fun.
With the growing popularity of social media content creators and influencers, being a sneaker blogger surely became sort of a dream job for a lot of younger heads. Is there any advice you would give to aspiring sneaker bloggers?
Be yourself; stay true to your own taste and style. Don’t change your opinion on this and that, and if you change it, have a background or well-understandable reason for it. Don’t be one of these #boostislife boys and change to #nikeboyzwelit because all others do. Stay true to your roots, be faithful and work hard. This is the key to success for everything.
If Dead Stock Sneakerblog wouldn’t have gained the following it eventually did, what would you be doing for a living today?
Puuuhhh, what a deep question. I guess I would be a classic businessman with a suit and a tie. But I am sure that I will never do any more imports from Asia. That job took a lot of years of my lifetime.
How do you see the importance and influence of sneaker bloggers like yourself today, especially compared to when you first started out five years ago?
The whole sneaker industry is so big nowadays that we more and more become the speakers of the brands and stores. Especially the sneaker bloggers have to spread all the latest releases every week, inform the people about this and that, raffles here and raffles there. It’s important to keep the own taste and the own style, which is really not easy currently.
I am sure that some people in Germany have the ability to influence certain new styles or models into a bad or good direction. But at the end of the day, the real stars – like Drake, Kanye, Rihanna – are the guys who are really important and inf luence people to change the whole opinion about a brand. We just inform the “sneaker world.”
Let’s also not forget another one of your projects. How did the step to start your own clothing label, “Dead Stuff,” come about? Was that something that you always had in mind?
Me and my close friend Holger always wanted to do something together. Caps, shirts … something like that. Holger is running his own textile business in Krefeld, so we decided to create Dead Stuff and designed the product range from the beginning. We want to offer a little bit wider range of products with every drop, so we chose some accessories which were selling really well.
To what extent are you involved in the brand yourself? Do you handle everything from design to marketing to PR yourself, or how is the clothing label set up?
Yes, sure! We handle everything on our own. We develop the first mock-ups, decide if we can go ahead with the first samples and we also prepare the marketing and sales. Me and Holger also do the packing for every order, while we eat pizza and drink beer.
You’re of course not only a sneaker blogger but also an avid collector. What were your three latest pick-ups?
And your three all-time faves?
Can we say current faves?
- adidas Yeezy 700 Boost Wave Runner
- Acronym x Lunar Force Pink
- SNS x Converse One Star Purple Camo
As someone who covers all of the latest releases on the regular, which shoes have been your favorite drops during the first half of 2018 so far?
The whole Nike Easter pack, consisting of the AF1 and a blazer, was perfectly executed. The different materials and the high-quality workmanship is on point. The 1/97 was a great shoe, especially concept-wise. The YEEZY 500 is a much better shoe than most of the people think – so underrated, and currently my most-worn pair.
Most of the people still don’t believe me, but I buy a lot of stuff. 95% of the hyped releases for example. The most things we get are the general releases, but it is still an advantage to get them early. But the truth is that I own too many pairs, and I want to get rid of half of them at least!
Wow, good luck with that! And what’s next for Dead Stock in 2018?
After years of intense work, I try to enlarge my team more and more. We also started our WhatsApp newsletter, which is working well, and we’re thinking about redesigning our homepage. We are planning new things for Dead Stuff, too! 2018 will be fun.
This story first appeared in our July 2018 issue of Sneakers Magazine – available now!