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Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Cards safety Adrian Wilson also sells shoes

By Stacey Pressman
ESPN The Magazine

Adrian Wilson
You can find the Cardinals' Pro Bowl safety at his store on Tuesdays during the NFL season.
Editor's note: Welcome to "My Second Job," a recurring feature from ESPN The Magazine that focuses on the off-field ventures of pro athletes.

The Cardinals are surprisingly undefeated after three games, and they beat Philly this past Sunday without five-time Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson. Impressive, since the 33-year-old was rated last season by Pro Football Focus as the best cover safety in the league.

When he's healthy, Wilson spends six days a week knocking people out of their shoes. But on the seventh day, he flips the script as the owner of High Point Shoes in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Wilson recently spoke to The Mag about his second job.

Adrian Wilson store
Wilson opened his Scottsdale boutique in 2007.
A hard-hitting NFL safety opens a trendy boutique in Arizona because ...

It was something I wanted to do, but I’m not sure everyone else wanted me to do it -- my business manager, wife and everyone else who is close to me. We opened the shop at the beginning of the recession four years ago, so the first year or two was tough. We had to figure out who we were, find our identity.

And you have the time to do this how, exactly?

I only pop in every Tuesday during the season, just to see how everything is going. How last week was, how the weekend went. I want to make sure that everything in the store is fresh and up-to-date. So I really just look for the latest trends. I also want to make sure my employees grow outside of the store, not have the store be their life.

Adrian Wilson store
The store is named after Wilson's N.C. hometown.
The obvious call: Naming the store after yourself. Your call: High Point. Explain, please.

The shop isn’t about me. It stands on its own. So it’s not the Adrian Wilson store; it’s High Point because my hometown is High Point, N.C. I’m proud of where I’m from.

Your teammates: Into it or not into it?

My teammates like the store, but I don’t push it on them. But my old teammate Steve Breaston (now with the Chiefs) wants in. We’ve talked a few times about it. If I do anything with another player, it will be with him. He’s into fashion. He’s a big sneaker-head. He kind of has the same vision I do. There are other teammates who want to get involved, but I’m picky about who I let in.

One teammate most in need of a style intervention is ...

Sam Acho, linebacker. He’s a guy who is notorious for dressing horribly. I look at him sometimes and say, “You can’t wear that.” I finally said to him, “Sam, go to my store, pick out some shoes, pick out an outfit, whatever you want it’s on me." He came in here last week and got himself a nice outfit, and I paid for it. Now he’s all swag.

The toughest part of the job?

It’s hard selling fall and winter wear in Arizona.