Oakland Teen’s Business, Fix My Kix, Is Tapping Into $16B Sneaker Industry
Have you every scuffed your favorite pair of kicks and thought it was all over? Especially if they were made of suede or some special material? Oakland teen James Green, 19, has a literal fix for that. His company, “Fix My Kix,” is a gift to sneakerheads everywhere.
Through it, shoe connoisseurs can connect with shoe artists, restoration techs and cobblers in their local communities, reported the New York Post. The innovative app, which centralizes this exchange, will launch later this year.
For now, customers can use the company’s services through its website, which describes Fix My Kix as “an online mobile marketplace for shoe restoration and shoe art.”
“There’s (sic) artists everywhere who have this valuable service, but right now they’re all marketing through social media – Instagram, Facebook and those platforms are not solely for the purpose of selling the service of sneaker restoration. There could be a better place to sell this service,” Green told the Post. “I was like, ‘Oh.’ That’s where Fix My Kix hit me and the sneaker industry is a $16 billion dollar industry, so that means there’s money to be made for regular folks like us.”
Services range from cleaning, deoxidation and glue repair to dyeing, repainting and custom art and design. In addition to restoring sneakers to mint condition and pimping them out with great designs, Green’s company helps eliminate waste.
“In a world stunned by fast fashion, it’s time to start interacting with alternatives to throwing shoes in our landfills,” the website says.
Though he’s a successful social entrepreneur now, the 19-yeard-old didn’t always envision the path his life is on. He grew up in poverty and had trouble in school. At one point he was a drug dealer who dropped out of high school.
“I didn’t have big dreams for myself. I was ready to not graduate high school … There was a point in time when I was mentally preparing myself to be in the streets of Oakland all my life. Deconstructing that mindset was one of my biggest obstacles in itself,” Green said.
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Thanks to The Hidden Genius Project and the Youth Impact Hub’s Social Entrepreneurial Program at United Roots, Green’s outlook changed. He went from getting picked on about his secondhand sneakers to getting props for making profits in the sneaker industry.
“Coming for a day of school getting bullied about your sneakers … those same people talking mess, those same girls was (sic) like, ‘James I see you, I see you and it’s like, ‘Oh snap!” Green exclaimed.
Now he wants to take what he’s learned to empower other Black youth, using his own experiences to show them they can be successful too.
“It pains me to think about my whole educational experience, I was told that I wouldn’t be successful (and) for that to be a regular norm for Black men in high school in Oakland,” Green said. “So for me it’s so important that we learn that we can start a business. It’s just dope to be coming up out the hood, not having food on my table and to have sneakers be my vision of success.”