DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A Cedarville University graduate took the lead as the primary designer for a collaboration between country music artist Luke Combs and Crocs.

Nicholas Mahek never thought his love for shoes would lead to a dream role, but after pursuing a degree in industrial and innovative design, he found a career that combines his passion for sketching, teamwork, shoes and country music.

Following a four-month design internship at Crocs post-graduation in 2021, Mahek was hired by the shoe company as a full-time associate designer in the concepts and personalization department.

Although only employed at the company for a short time, he was asked to be the primary designer on a collaboration project with Luke Combs.

“I grew up on his music and was a huge fan, so it was an exciting project to be thrown into,” Mahek said.

“Collaboration really requires you to understand what the client wants, so I had to adapt my design to Luke’s vision…I have loved working at Crocs because of how central teamwork is to its process. I was on a solid team of designers and co-workers who pushed me to ask questions, adapt, and provide a strong end product.”

For Mahek, this mindset not only allowed for effective collaboration, but a wildly successful launch.

The Luke Combs X Crocs 2022 collaboration was promoted by Combs on his Instagram and sold out the entire 50,000 limited edition shoes in a little over a week.