Marriott Alumni Magazine

Summer 2020

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AN UNEXPECTED CONVERSION Miyasaki became friends with Calyann Barnett through former nBa basketball player Dwyane Wade. Barnett is Wade's stylist and creative director, and she would collaborate with Miyasaki on designs for Stance. "One night we were talking at a café in Miami when Barnett said, 'Tell me about this church stuff. I can't understand it. How could someone as smart as you believe in some- thing so dumb?'" Miyasaki says he jumped into all of it, from the First Vision and the Book of Mormon to modern-day prophets. "That's the stupidest thing I ever heard," Barnett said. "Give me one of those books so I can prove you wrong." "I'll give you a Book of Mormon if you promise to read it," Miyasaki said. She agreed. Barnett started reading and would follow up with him on comments on how weird it was. One time after some razzing from her, he'd had enough. "Just give me the book back," he said. "No, I told you I'd read it," she replied. About a month later, however, things changed. "She sent me a picture of her crying, and the text said, 'This is my Jesus-is-real face,'" he says. Miyasaki baptized Barnett a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in June 2019, and Wade—a Christian—gave the closing prayer at the baptism. "Going into this crazy world of celebrities and athletes, I was super worried about stick- ing out," Miyasaki says. "I thought people were going to think I was so weird, but no one's like that. As soon as you own who you are and what you believe, people respect it." "As she was about to tell me no again, I slid the envelope across the table and told her, 'You're gonna cash that next year when we're the official sock of the nBA,' " he says. His persistence paid off. nBA players sported Stance socks from 2015 to 2017, and Stance also secured the contract for all MlB teams starting in 2017. "We were the first company to have a logo visible on court that all players wore," Miya- saki says. "Getting our logo on the world's best players is definitely the coolest thing I've done." the right thing, the right reASon Whether it's negotiating deals or collaborat- ing with celebs, Miyasaki believes authentic- ity has been key to his success. "I never tried to be anyone I didn't want to be," he says. "When you come across as authentic, people are drawn to you." He also believes luck coupled with hard work have been foundational to his career. "I've been in the right place at the right time," he says. "I've worked really, really hard. Those elements plus caring about other people and nurturing relationships—not in a manipulative way, you can see through that from so far away—gives you a huge leg up on what you're doing in any business. "Be a normal human being, be nice, be respectful, and figure out how to meet their needs, how to make it so both people win," he continues. "It's the same formula of being authentic and treating people the right way." When Miyasaki meets people, they get the sense he's going to do the right thing for the right reason all the time, says Kearl, now a managing director at Pelion Venture Partners. "It doesn't matter who he meets, they quickly realize they can trust him, and they feel comfortable doing business with him," says Kearl, who notes he feels deep appre- ciation for Miyasaki and for their once-in- a-lifetime friendship. "It's like your mom said: you absorb the habits and values of the people you surround yourself with. You want Clarke to be one of those people." About the Author Emily Edmonds is a former editor of Marriott Alumni Magazine. She's one of those people who organizes her socks by color. 22 MARRIOTT

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