In this next installment of our Hip Daddy Spotlight, we had the pleasure of sitting down with a world-class marketer, business leader, and amazing Father, Chris Lindner. This man has helped build brands like Nike, Bauer, Converse, Saucony, Sperry and now Keds. He knows creativity and he knows family. So let’s get down to business…
Tell us about your kids. What’s it like being a Dad?
I’ve got two amazing daughters, Ivy (14) and Charlotte (6). They are different in so many ways (age, interests, personality) but so close and connected. Ivy just got accepted into a great high school in New England and is really into art, music and volunteering at a raptor rehabilitation clinic. Charlotte is a precocious kindergartner who loves acting, dance and sports. She’s definitely the comedian in the family.
I absolutely love being a father and spending time with my girls. Goofing around, singing, laughing. As the old proverb goes, the journey is the reward.
Talk to us about your parenting style.
I was raised in the Midwest in a pretty strict household and attended an all-boys, Catholic, military, high school — so I guess you could say we have a few rules in our house. My poor girls! It’s important to me that our kids have good manners, respect for others, work hard in school and get involved in activities. We want them to build confidence in themselves and we try to provide them with every opportunity possible.
I find my parenting style is very different now with our 14 year old, trusting her to make more of her own decisions and trying to move into a support and friendship role over the longer term. With our younger daughter, it’s all about balance. Letting her be the free spirit that she is while providing direction along the way. I love it all.
What’s the one thing you cannot live without as a Dad?
FaceTime! Hands down. I travel quite a bit for work so to be able to see the kids from half way around the world is invaluable.
You have led some amazing brands, and more recently the iconic footwear company, Keds. What’s the latest and greatest coming out of Lexington?
We’re working on a new brand platform for Keds that I’m really excited about. The company will be heading into its 100th anniversary in 2016 and we’re going to celebrate our heritage as a brand dedicated to women with a fun, fresh, fashion-forward campaign and new product direction. I’m excited to see it come to life around the world as we take our first step into the next century for this iconic American brand. Stay tuned!
Many Hip Daddys likely have a child that loves Taylor Swift. Given Taylor is a supporter of the Keds brand, tell us, are you listening to Taylor right now?
I have to say that I absolutely love the new album. Plus, it’s given me something fun to share with my daughter…although she hates that I know the lyrics. I guess you could say I’m officially a “Swiftie”.