Shark Attack in the Midwest

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Bringing the 90210 to the 417

Written by: Hunter Keys | Photography by: Eleyah Slavens & Jaylen Early

Sharks Surf x Supply carries exclusively designed shoes found only in store.

Sharks Surf x Supply carries exclusively designed shoes found only in store.

Sharks Surf x Supply is a clothing store dedicated to bringing new and exciting brands from the moto and surf culture, here to the Midwest. Sharks started in Lawrence, Kansas in 1989 by Chris Cox and a little over two years ago, Steve and Megan Schoepflin bought the shop from Cox.

They recently opened a second store here in Springfield, Missouri with their end goal being to open 10 shops in the Midwest. Sharks sell their own branded apparel, including shirts for $22-$28 and hoodies for $52, as well as other well known labels.

Sharks Surf x Supply custom designs shoes that are exclusively available in store. They also have an assortment of outerwear, sunglasses, shoes, and hats, in addition to names like Vans, Timberland, Reef, Clever Fools, and Ray-Ban.

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We had an opportunity to sit down with Steve Schoepflin, one of the owners, for some more insight on Sharks Surf x Supply.

Q. Do you think growing up in Kansas has influenced your perspective as a business owner rather than someone living outside of that area? Like the East or West Coast?

Schoepflin: “Yeah, definitely. That's why I came back to the Midwest to open these stores because I grew up in the Midwest. I've lived on the East and West Coast, I’ve lived everywhere and decided I needed to come back here and bring this type of fashion to the Midwest.”

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Q. What was your mission when you first decided to buy Sharks Surf x Supply?

Schoepflin: “Mainly to bring fashion and brands that aren't in the Midwest to the Midwest, to make sure they’re affordable brands that bring high quality, and are kind of that Midwestern mindset. Got to be affordable, got to be quality, got to be good stuff.”

Q. What has been your greatest obstacle as a business owner/designer?

Schoepflin: “Just driving traffic into the stores, getting people to know you’re there. Marketing.”

This graphic tee features an original design from 1989.

This graphic tee features an original design from 1989.

Q. What made you want to do this for a living? What are your influences?

Schoepflin: “I have been in the retail business for 20 plus years and I just wanted to work for myself and do it the way I wanted to do it.”

Q. What are your company’s goals?

Schoepflin: “In the next 5 years I hope to have at least 5 locations and the next 10-15 years I hope to have 10 plus locations in the Midwest.”

Q. If you had one piece of advice to someone wanting to start a business in the clothing/fashion world, what would it be?

Schoepflin: “Make it unique. Make it something customers can’t get any place else.”

Make sure you follow Sharks Surf x Supply on Instagram to keep updated on all the new product and cool fashion they're moving to the Midwest.