Breakout: Asa Rice
On Facebook, Asa Rice’s bio reads, “If you don’t grind and you don’t shine,” and nothing has proven more true. Rice began his career as a part-time brand ambassador for Adidas, and worked his way to regional visual merchandiser for the company in less than five years. But, a sweet job with a major shoe giant wasn’t enough for Rice; he had dreams of his own to pursue.
So, with nothing but his hard grind and determination to shine, Rice dropped everything to make a name for himself in the city of dreams. Less than two years later, he is now the vice president of marketing for Sprayground and has also become the manager for celebrity fashion designers Coco & Breezy. The self-proclaimed “skinny kid from the south side of Minneapolis,” is definitely grinding and shining his way to the top.
UPTOWN Professional caught up with this rising star to talk about his journey, work ethic and aspirations.
UPTOWN PRO: First, what is Sprayground?
ASA RICE: Sprayground is a backpack and accessories company based in NYC. Sprayground started as a company focused on making backpacks for Graffiti artists to carry their spraypaint cans in, but has since grown into a dynamic backpack brand with a much broader fashion appeal.
How did you get involved with the company?
I met owner David Ben-David at the Agenda Tradeshow back in summer 2011, and we hit it off pretty well. He was looking for ways to grow the brands image, so I helped him put together a deal with Young Money recording artist Lil Twist as well as a collaboration with designers Coco & Breezy.
Who’s wearing Sprayground?
Who’s not wearing Sprayground? It can be seen on everyone from Chris Brown, Soulja Boy, Teyana Taylor and 50 Cent to Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne. We are also in all of the top sneaker shops, like Foot Soldier and Shoe Gallery, and boutiques, like Kitson and Toy Tokyo.