Tiger Beat to Living Room Seats: Christopher Knight
You might know Christopher Knight better as Peter Brady from “The Brady Bunch,” which was a staple during my youth. Everyday after school, I’d race home at 3:30pm, just in time to catch the show, and ironically, my own sons followed suit, many years later. The show was “must-watch TV” for me, and I think I connected with the show because I could see myself in Cindy, because we were both the babies in our respective families.
The Bradys were meaningful to me because they reflected what I DID have (siblings!), and what I DIDN’T have – an Alice! I was so jealous that they had an Alice, someone to run the household and to keep everything clean and organized. And I’m still jealous!
I also loved the show for its enduring quotes and I’ve used lines throughout my life including:
“Something suddenly came up.”
“Mom always says, don’t play ball in the house.”
And of course, my all-time favorite Peter Brady line, “Park chops and applesauce.”
My love for all things “Brady” goes beyond the quotable. Peter was my favorite of all the Brady Boys, and I had a poster of him from Tiger Beat on my wall…. I spent a lot of my teen years gazing at his dreamy face…
Fast forward to decades later, and I’m working at Overstock. In 2013, a buyer told me, “Christopher Knight is in the building.” And I was like, “Peter Brady????! What??!” I quickly checked my makeup, fixed my hair, and asked, “Why is Peter Brady here?” to which he replies, “He’s starting his own furniture line.”
My brain quietly says “perfect,” while aloud I calmly inquire, “Which conference room?”
I booked it to the conference room, fling open the door, and there he sits, calmly and confidently at the table in the conference room at the company that I run!!! (How did this happen??!)
I was giddy inside, singing “Who was busy with three boys of his own, doot, doot, doot” while Peter Brady is in front of me, all grown up, looking exactly as he would have if he had married me. Swoon. You know all the feels you get with those childhood crushes? I got to remember those and viscerally feel them. I’m so grateful for moments like these where I can actually feel a memory or experience that solidly reminds me of feelings I had as a kid, the innocent feelings. Like I had actually hoped this guy would marry me.
Now Peter Brady is expecting to meet an executive of the company, but I brought my 10 year old self. I was like, “Dude you’re my favorite Brady. I had the biggest crush on you!” Then I might have grabbed him and hugged him or maybe kissed his cheek. No way was I wasting that girl crush love! (PS. This is a greeting that never would’ve happen in the post #MeToo world.) I never would have guessed that working at an e-commerce company would lead to me meeting a celebrity crush from childhood!
After the shock of my warm (and slightly aggressive) welcome wore off, Chris shared some of his journey from “The Brady Bunch” to Overstock with me. He had spent 20 years in the tech world, working with a variety of companies. Most recently, his college buddy John (who is also one of my favorite people and freakishly smart), was working with a furniture manufacturer outside of Long Beach, which sparked Chris’ interest in creating his own line. He immersed himself in the design process, influencing the look, feel and brand, and then embarked on the learning process on how it would all work within the e-commerce world. So it was happening – Chris was creating a furniture line and putting his name behind it, www.ChristopherKnighthome.com and premiering it exclusively on www.Overstock.com!! We said yes!
Chris was totally committed to the process, and was 100% involved in the operational aspects of his line and its movement on Overstock.com. He was the epitome of professionalism – he went to the merchant conferences, participated on calls, and knew all of us by name. And his hard work paid off – Chris’s launch and line was one of the best success stories I’d ever seen at the O. It was unmatched in the growth it experienced over the first two years, and the following two years were equally successful. It was a great example as to what can happen when you do things right and follow through. It was the perfect storm and quite perfectly timed. But timing doesn’t carry a line for seven years – you have to have legs. Chris Knight brought the legs.
I was lucky to work with him and witness his design success. I’ll always be proud that Overstock was the vessel to launch him and together, we did a great job. You can now find his furniture on many websites, and he continues to expand and evolve his collection.
While I’ve been lucky enough to have some great moments with Chris, my favorite memory revolves around attending a Wounded Warrior Project Gala with him. It was awesome to hang with him outside of work because it gave me the opportunity to see how truly genuine and kind he is. And one more thing, if I said his friend John was freakishly smart; Chris is like an encyclopedia. He knows something about everything interesting, he’s like a super cool Cliff Clavin. When he came to the studio when we recorded this podcast in late-February of this year, I finally got to meet his wife, Cara who was his girlfriend back then. She’s become his business partner and is a badass too.
I really loved having Chris and Cara for Lunch in the studio and I can’t wait to have dinner with them when Covid hopefully subsides.
So thanks Peter Brady for being an untouchable childhood crush. And thank you Christopher Knight, for eventually crossing my path and being an approachable, cool dude.