Adam Steiner “Camper Dan” attributes much of his success of his store The Campus Shop to his extremely energized, unapologetic and unique personality. He demonstrates this through his character, Camper Dan, combined with his generosity to his fellow community members.
Steiner himself grew up in Grosse Pointe, attending the public schools. He was exposed to his father’s apparel business his whole life and after already having many of the materials to start his own clothing business alongside his father and brother, the Campus Shop was opened in May of 2019.
“When I came into the business I was really interested in developing like a more retail side,” Steiner said. “So we had all the equipment. We had the presses we had, you know, sewing machines and stuff like that. So it was just kind of something that we have been working towards for a few years.”
After originally majoring in musical theatre at Western Michigan University and working on Broadway prior to his current career, Stienter was able to implement those skills into creating a social media character that would draw business in and help grow The Campus Shop, and be something available to him at any time, anywhere.
“I was like, ‘How am I going to take pictures in front of the sign at the store every day when I’m not there?,’” Steiner said. “I’m not a planner so I’m not the kind of person that would take like 12 pictures and be like ‘This Tuesday, this one (post this picture).’ It’s like every day I just come up with it and do it. So I thought I just needed to make somebody up where I can be anywhere, and just a person connected to the store.”
According to The Campus Shop employee Charlie Groustra ’23, this business and advertising approach is in fact the reason for many peoples’ interest in the store.
“(The Camper Dan persona) definitely livens up the workplace as a whole as well as it’s brought a lot of people to the store because they see him on Instagram doing all this funny stuff,” Groustra said. “It definitely brings more sales in and just livens up The Campus Shop in general.”
A different side of Steiner however can be seen in his involvement selling and then donating the profit of ‘Finn It Forward’ merchandise to honor South student Finn Huston who tragically died in fall of 2019.
“I was asked ‘Could I contact Adam at The Campus Shop and see if he can make that, and like put it on T-shirts or sweatshirts or something to help your family as a fundraiser for you guys?’” Huston’s mother Jamie Baker said. “He was like ‘Yeah, awesome. I’ll totally do that.’ And those things sold like crazy. He ended up donating to us about $7,000.”
According to Baker, Steiner’s generosity paired with his extremely outgoing and lively personality contributes a lot towards community members’ love for him.
“I think with Adam I don’t think there’s anything hidden,” Baker said. “I think it’s all just out there, like, what do you see is what you get. Which is good in a way for sure. The Campus shop is awesome, Adam’s awesome.”