Once, entrepreneurs were adults that had gained life experience and the business skills needed for success. Now, there are more young entrepreneurs than ever as teenagers use their passions to begin earning money from a young age and set themselves on the road to success and financial security. Fashion is just one of the industries that are attracting young entrepreneurs to begin trading or launching their own businesses, and sneakers are the current trend among young traders.
One such young entrepreneur is Mitchell Sozio, who is only 15-years-old. He lives with his family in an apartment on Fifth Avenue in Upper East Side. In his room, he has a walk-in closet that is dedicated to his sneaker collection.
Among the collection are two towers of brown boxes that are instantly recognizable to those in the know as containing Yeezy sneakers. These are the line of sneakers designed for Adidas by rapper Kanye West. The shoes Sozio has in stock change constantly as new shoes are released. They don’t sit around for too long as the teen usually sells them straight away. In fact, he now has customers that pre-order new shoes from him.
Sometimes, Sozio struggles to juggle all his commitments. He is still at school during the day and he has homework and a social life after hours. When new shoes are released, he is especially busy as the young entrepreneur must keep up with his orders. One reason that selling these sneakers has allowed Sozio to enjoy success is that he has taken advantage of the sneaker brand’s business model. Yeezy only ever sells limited quantities of shoes as it makes them more desirable.
They often become available online with very little warning of their release. This means that each new release usually sells out within minutes, leaving lots of disappointed customers who are desperate to make sure they can buy the next Yeezy release. This has led to owning a pair of Yeezy sneakers becoming a social status symbol.
Sozio and other young entrepreneurs have flipped this market to create a secondary market, based on the premise that people are willing to pay top dollar to get their hands on these limited-edition sneakers. By getting their hands on the sneakers first, they can sell them on for vastly inflated prices. While the recommended retail price of these is around $200, the young sneaker traders can command prices of around $2000 a pair.
It is now three years since Sozio began trading in sneakers as he first caught on to the market when he was in fifth grade. At that time, sneakers and hipwear were becoming the next big thing and he was one of the teens that desperately desired a pair of Yeezy sneakers. He got hold of his first pair through a dealer and his classmates asked if he could get them the same sneakers. That was the start of him selling the sneakers himself.
There are many more young entrepreneurs who have also realized the potential in the sneaker business, including Max Brody. The 17-year-old from New York attend the private Riverdale County School and is among a privileged set of young people. He makes his money by selling Nike sneakers made in collaboration with Off-White and clothing from the retail brand Supreme.
Brody first started his business when he was a freshman. He bought two pairs of second-hand Nike Air Jordans using winnings from a fantasy football league and then resold them on eBay. ON the sale of the sneakers, he made a profit of $250.
He realized that he could make money by reselling shoes and chose the brands that had the best potential profit margin. He chose Supreme because of their exclusivity as they usually only sell their products through their own website and stores. This exclusivity makes the products that Brody sells highly desirable.
It is no wonder that young entrepreneurs are focusing on the streetwear market as it is currently the dominant force in the apparel industry. According to research, the athletic footwear industry has seen a growth of around two percent annually. Also, market researchers claim that streetwear is a primary cause of the growth in the luxury goods market. Forbes has put an estimated value of $1 billion on the secondary commerce system for sneakers.