As a nation at war, each member of our military shares a common goal but sometimes where you come from is how you begin to identify and relate to one another. While forging bonds within the special operations forces (SOF) community, Sean, Mike (Accounts Director), Adam (Operations Director), RJ (Resource Director), Drew (Brand Director) and Kevin (Media Director) all found common ground in their passion for skateboarding and the various facets that come with its subculture.
“At the core we all enjoy skating, just like the kids and people that hit the skate parks, roll around in the drive way or commute to work on a long or short board. There is a commonality with that,” says Mike, Accounts Director.
Working together in SOF and as overseas contractors(except for Kevin, who is “a JTAC enabler for a SOF unit. I’m not trying to get my ass beat on YouTube over stolen valor by dudes in velcro hats and Danners,”) the Snake Farm crew began making plans for the brand name that had evolved from deployment jokes about doorknobs, bordellos and actual vipers. Unfortunately in April of 2016, Sean passed away in a tragic accident just as the project was starting to take shape. When asked about long term and short term goals, the first thing that came to mind was not about units or commercial growth, but rather honoring the friend they began the journey with. Mike states that even before attempting to penetrate retail markets or make personal gains, Sean remains at the forefront of all of their ambitions.
“The main goal for myself and the rest of the guys would be to see Sean’s daughter taken care of in the long run. Obviously there is no monetary replacement for losing your dad, especially a guy as special as Sean, but if we can continue to put money in the trust for her long term then that is a major. Next would be to keep Sean’s name and story alive.”
For guys who haven’t known much else besides war for the better part of a decade, their clothing company bears little resemblance to anything on the veteran market. No sheepdog rhetoric, no bacon and no beards.
“I think what makes us different is that blending of our military backgrounds into the skate culture,” says Mike, “all of us have been around so I think we’re bringing this attitude of we’re going to make things that we like first and that guys from our background would like.”
The first run of Snake Farm merchandise resembles a cross between Vietnam-era special operations unit insignia and 1990’s skateboard apparel. The T-shirts, hoodies and hats in the first offering aren’t particularly flashy or busy; they’ve got a classic appeal to them. The second offering includes all of the same merchandise with some tanks in time for summer.
Snake Farm has come a long way since the winter of 2015, when the name and concept spawned out of several different deployment gags. Needless to say, with the release of the first run the website is being redesigned to hold more than just a picture of Sean pushing through an L.A. tunnel with the text, “It’s lit… FTW.” Acknowledging the demand in December 2016 after coworkers admired the first several t-shirts, Snake Farm got serious and made an order of 60 units to appease the masses. After that a larger order was made available to the public and the preorder sold out to friends before it could even go live. With a group of guys, trained to anticipate the competition’s movement and drop bombs on them, you can expect that future clothing drops won’t fall short or disappoint.