Interview with JGoods Customs Shoe Customizer Jon Goodman

If you are either wanting to get into customizing sneakers or need one of the cleanest sneaker artists around let me introduce you to JGoods Customs. Since we are not all in person your gonna have to read my recent interview with Jon aka JGoods to see how he can help you try your hand at customizing or maybe wear some of his clothing line that is set to release soon.

State your name, age, where you are from and or grew up?

My name is Jon Goodman and I’m from Minneapolis, MN. In the sneaker customizing world, I’m known as JGoods.

What if any art based education have you had?

Aside from a couple color design courses in college, I guess I’m a self taught artist.

When did you start and what got you into customizing?

I was always in to the latest Nike shoes when I was a kid and eventually wanted something more exclusive. I started customizing about seven years ago and got my first break in the NikeTalk Sneaker Customizing Contest. It was the same event that put SBTG on the map. Before that, I really admired Methamphibian’s and KVN’s work. I would say those two really helped to bring customizing where it is now.

Is customizing a full time gig? If not what pays the bills?

Customizing is a full time gig for me, but I’ve diversified into to other things under the JGoods brand so I don’t have to sit and paint for months at a time. Customizing can take a lot out of you if you’re not careful.

I’ve read hints on your site that JGoods is growing to include a clothing line, is this true? If so what can we expect to see?

Yes. The JGoods Clothing Line is a collection of articles that myself and my business partner want to wear that no other clothing lines are making. We draw inspiration from music, sneakers, and many other things.

Have you learned, gained, or experienced anything significant as a result of customizing?

I’ve learned a lot in this business. Like any business, there are ups and downs, but you always have to keep moving and putting out products or styles that you believe in.

You are a customizer that has a very distinct style, where do you think this comes from or where do you get inspiration for your customs?

I get inspiration from all types of places. I look for ideas in nature and all forms of media. My friends tell me that I can be a poor listener at times because my mind is always off somewhere.

What are ways you try to spread word of JGoods, or way in which you market yourself?

I try to market myself in many different ways. I do some online advertising and I was just at the MAGIC Fashion Show in Las Vegas last week promoting the brand.

Craziest customizing request?

I don’t get as many crazy requests as I did when I was first starting, but I think one of the craziest was a guy who wanted a marijuana leaf on one shoe and “420” on the other. I had to respectfully decline that one.

You’ve mentioned a relationship with Nike ID, how did this come about? Any hints on future projects?

Yeah, the people at NIKEiD have been very friendly to me and we’ve done some promotional events showcasing my sneakers and the possibilities with the NIKEiD. We will be doing more of these in the near future because it is a mutually beneficial relationship. I always wanted to be part of Nike in some shape or form so I was real excited when this came about.

You are one of a few customizers that have developed and sold their own paint. How long did it take you to get a quality formula and what gave you the idea to start selling it? (Or just share any info you’d like about Jgoods Paint)

I started selling my paint because people used to constantly send me e-mails asking what my paint mixture was. Throughout the years, I’ve changed formulas because I’ve always been looking for the best leather paint possible. I believe that my newest paint is the best paint for sneakers because of the tests we’ve put it through. We’ve tested it the same way that major shoe companies test their colored leather in order to make sure it won’t chip, crack or rub off. (Buy his Customization Kit here)

Do you listen to music while working? If so what’s on your customizing playlist?

Absolutely. Listening to music while customizing is important so I don’t go too crazy painting for hours at a time. Jay-Z and Gangstarr never really leave the playlist, but I’m always looking for new music. I’ve currently been listening to Mayer Hawthorne’s new album and I’m very excited for Brother Ali’s new album. He’s a Minneapolis rapper and I think he’s one of the top rappers out right now.

Most memorable or famous customer you have had?

Doing shoes for Jay-Z was a dream come true. My goal when I first started was to do a pair for Jay-Z and it happened about four years later. It was surreal.

My favorite experience while customizing was doing shoes for Cam’Ron because I was able to hang out with the whole Dipset crew for a couple hours. They were real cool dudes and it was nice being in an entourage with some of the biggest bodyguards I’ve ever seen.

What are your favorite clothing brands or styles?

I’ve always liked Undefeated and I think Crooks & Castles have some extremely talented designers. Not all of their stuff is exactly my style, but a lot of it is real nice.

Name a book you would recommend?

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. The book was written in the 1940’s and it is a great book for anybody. Everybody worries a little bit.

Anyone you would like to work with?

I’d love to work with Banksy except nobody really knows who he actually is, so that could be tough. Other than that, I’m willing to work with anybody who is a fan of my work.

10 years from now, where do you see yourself, and or JGoods customs?

I don’t really know. I don’t know where I’ll be a year from now. I’m just happy to be doing something that I love and I don’t have to work for somebody else.

Any advice for those beginning customizers or those wanting to start customizing?

Buy a JGoods Sneaker Customizing Kit. Just kidding. My best advice is to do designs that are original and ones that you believe in. You have to keep going and eventually good things will happen.

Final thoughts, shoutouts, or news you’d like to share?

Just keep checking out my site: I have some really crazy customs coming soon as well as some original apparel. We also just finished developing the JGoods Sneaker Restoration Kit. It works wonders on old sneakers.

Big thanks to Jon for his time and answers. Seems as though 2010 is going to be an exciting year in the JGoods offices! For your own JGoods customs or to try out his Customization or Restoration Kits visit his site: HERE!