Get Familiar
As a small, independent brand, almost all our business is based on personal relationships. As true fans of sneaker culture, we are deeply invested in this retail game. We have strong connections to everyone we work with, and to introduce the people behind the tight circle of global Patta stockists, we decided to include retail partners in our Get Familiar series. This time we're sitting down with Jem, the founder of Crossover, read down below what the Malaysia based retailer had to say.

How did you guys start?
It was back in the year 2005, in my hometown JB, Malaysia. I started off with a store, didn’t think much on going big or anything of such. I was fascinated with the fashion subcultures and wanted to have a platform to share it with the community and those with the same interest.  

What attracted you and your founders to retail? 
I have always been interested in retail. What I did was to take that interest and see how I could combine my passion into a retail setting. So, I created Crossover, a platform for us to connect with the community, grow as a brand through our own way.  

What’s the thought process behind your brand mix? 
Our thought process behind our brand mix revolves around this concept of niche-ness or selective interest. Crossover is about individualism and being different, we strive to bring niche products or something that does not necessarily appeal to the masses but have their own unique values & spirits that we believed in.  

What do you look for when adding brands to your portfolio? 
We see our partnership with each brand as a long-term commitment that requires a lot of support and years of cooperation. These brands are different in their own ways, identities and sets of value that resonates well with what Crossover stands for.    

What made you want to carry Patta? 
As I mentioned above, I saw that Patta possess its very own identity that I find very interesting. This brand exudes authenticity and individualism, which we have the highest respect for. And the partnership Patta establish worldwide is really admirable and the brand is indeed on the right and relevant path in the industry.

How did you learn about Patta? 
Patta is a very well-known brand that needs no introduction. At the same time, Patta has established many partnerships with a lot of good brands. We have been observing the brand for a while, and since the brand started, we can see that Patta remain true to their principles, with strong momentum throughout the years.

Since most business is conducted online these days, set the vibe of your store for us.  
To us, physical store remains essential to a brand. We admit that with the current growth on online platforms, revenue is shifting towards online purchases. However, our main focus at our offline store is on giving exceptional shopping experience, that human-to-human interaction that only our offline stores can provide, and this may lead to a sense of satisfaction that is not possible to be attained through online exchanges. The vibe that you would most probably get when you step into our store is great music in the background, incense burning at a corner to set the right mood and ambience. 

What do your customers look like, what music is playing, how do the store clerks approach us?  
Our customers are a mixture of the older well-seasoned fans of the brands we carry & a much younger generation that is just too curious about the brands we carry. The music that would be playing mostly will be of the indie genre; from post-punk to hip hop, nothing too commercial or mainstream. Our retail team are made up of individuals that are more than happy to share their passion for the brands and how the customer themselves can relate to a specific brand that appeals to them.  

What sets your store apart?  
I guess what sets our store apart from others is our brand selection. As mentioned before, we aim to bring brands that are different or collections that are limited or not easily available here. And for most of the brands, we are a sole dealer here in Malaysia and we also hold the highest tier for a lot of the sneaker brands and a few selective Japan names such as Wacko Maria, Neighborhood, Challenger, Mountain Research & Kuumba.  

How did you experience COVID-19 as a business? Has it hit you hard?  
Yes, we were hit hard since March. We had to cease operations of our offline stores due to the lockdown. But always looking at the brighter side of the conflict, we found that our online platform increased tremendously. Of course, as the situation slowly returning to normal, and our stores are gradually resuming business, we are constantly looking to give our customers the reason to return to our stores.  

We are all about empowering creatives and aspiring entrepreneurs: Do you have any piece of advice for anyone wanting to open a store themselves?
There is no one successful formula that all need to follow. I guess from my experience, what I can advise for anyone wanting to open up a store themselves is to first have a clear direction of your brand and your store, at the same time try to bring something new into the industry. 

From my experience, stick to your brand’s identity. In the longer run, those with the same principle and relate to your spirit will recognize you and connect with your business. 

3 Favorite Patta items selected by Crossover:
The Patta Arc Logo T-ShirtPatta Acid Eve T-Shirt & the Patta Sport Quilted Jacket.