NFL player turned fashion designer Glenn Pakulak has teamed up with fellow former NFL kicker Owen Pochman to launch Football Chains. The limited edition line of chain necklaces are made exclusively out of the collection of footballs the stars amassed during their pro days. Break me off a piece of that! Pakulak took a time-out to talk about everything from the best business lesson he learned from the NFL...to the latest "Most Eligible Dallas" updates...to his fashion inspiration.
MM: Congrats on Football Chains. Did you and Owen meet during your NFL days?
Glenn Pakulak: No. We have all these similarities…like our last names have been mispronounced our whole lives [laughs]…and we’re both left kickers, which is pretty rare. But our paths never crossed during football. It wasn’t until I moved to LA when a mutual friend of ours suggested we meet up for coffee. It was bromance at the beginning [laughs]. We’re both into fashion and film and football.
MM: What sparked the idea for football chains?
GP: We were talking about our next play after football. We had both amassed a lot of footballs from playing in the 16 teams between us [laughs]. We wanted to make something unisex that would appeal to the widest audience possible. It had to be sexy enough for girls to want to wear, and masculine enough for guys to rock.
MM: These are 100% straight out of the NFL footballs? Incredible.
GP: Anyone can buy an NFL football, but we were fortunate and lucky enough to actually play, and this is a way to give fans an official piece of the NFL.
MM: Do you have a design background?
GP: No. You can spend all your life in design school but I think life experience trumps it. Owen and I are both journeymen. We’ve played all over America and Europe and picked up fashion along the way.
MM: What’s the process of football to an actual football chain necklace?
GP: Each football has 4 leather panels. 2 panels have official NFL writing engraved in the leather. The other 2 panels are blank, and people can customize it with their names or we put cool words on it like “hope” or “love.” We unpick the stitching, then take the panels to a chop shop in Los Angeles.
MM: Has your NFL background helped you launch your business?
GP: In order for you to get to the level of athletics required in the NFL, you have to be driven and persistent. That’s the key to anything in the world. Owen would say the same thing. If you stay driven and be positive, eventually it’ll crack.
MM: “Most Eligible Dallas” question. Do you still talk with your co-stars?
GP: I talk to all of them. Courtney [Kerr] has a big fashion blog. Drew [Ginsburg] is up in San Francisco. Still see Matt [Nordgren] now and then. Talked to Neill [Skylar] last week. What’s really funny is that we weren’t that close going into the show, but after going through the experience it bonded us.
MM: You were just in Las Vegas for the Be In The Know About Bullying event. Extremely cool. How was it?
GP: It was a group of ex players trying to bring awareness to bullying. I found out that 250,000 kids don’t go to school every day because of bullying. There’s no room for any of it. I’m a very faithful person and believe that we’re all created equally by God and unique. It’s ridiculous to spend any time ridiculing or picking on someone else or putting them down.
MM: What’s your advice to aspiring fashion designers/NFL players?
GP: Follow your heart. Life is too short for regrets. If you follow your heart and get there – awesome. And if not, at least you spent your life doing something that you loved.