The Holy Grail

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Every sneaker lover, sneakerhead, sneaker connoisseur, sneaker collector, whatever you want to call yourself, has a “Holy Grail”. If you are none of the above, I will explain to you what the “Holy Grail” is to sneakerheads. The Holy Grail is the MUST HAVE, above anything and everything else, sneaker. Usually the Holy Grail can’t just be bought without hesitation with a click of the mouse or a trip to the local shopping mall. Either you can’t find the shoe anywhere or when you do, it’s not in your size, or its beat to death (worn so much you won’t mow the lawn in them). Or you CAN get the shoe with a click of the mouse or a trip to your local consignment shop but not without selling your textbooks, your PlayStation, 3 other pairs of sneakers, and working a few hours of overtime. Anyways, everyone has their own definition and opinion of what the Holy Grail is but that is the gist.

I wouldn’t even label myself as a “sneakerhead”. I kind of stumbled into the community and fell in love with it. My first pair of Jordan’s my dad bought me were a youth sized pair of original Cardinal 7’s from the outlet at Athletes Foot when I was in the 5th grade. Yes there was once a retail sneaker store called “Athletes Foot”.  After working in the industry for over 4 years now I like to think that I have a good feel for things sneaker related. Personally, my “Holy Grail” changes from time to time and most of the time doesn’t exist.

Recently the Adidas NMD runners came out. The one that really caught my eye were the “Glitch Camo” color way. When I first saw the pictures of them on Instagram I had that feeling that I HAD to have them. These, at this time, were my “Holy Grail”! When they actually came out, I saw the price tag on them were about $350 on eBay. I told myself no way am I paying $350 for those when retail was under $200. Normally I don’t buy any sneakers off eBay because I just can’t trust a random seller. But of course when you want something bad you do irrational things that you cant explain yourself. You just NEED that shoe.

A week later I check eBay and the price’s skyrocket to $500+. So a couple months later the market is flooded with NMD’s and I figure I can try to grab the Glitch Camo NMD’s for a reasonable price. So I go on eBay and find a brand new pair in my size for a posted price of $350. The seller had around 100+ positive feedbacks and nothing negative said.  I bought them knowing there was a high probability they were fake. So I get them and bring them into Sole so my awesome coworkers can legit check them for me. They barely took them out of the box and everyone there said they were no good.

How embarrassing to be working at Sole Supremacy and buy fake sneakers?! My coworkers probably think I’m a fool for that one. I hear this phrase so often at the shop “The fakes are just so good nowadays”.  So luckily eBay and PayPal protect me from these types of situations but not only is it embarrassing but just a hassle to go thru. We hate seeing people get worked over or tricked for spending their hard earned money. So learn from me, if the deal is too good to be true it most definitely is!

Notes:

Below are some of the actual pictures of the shoes I received off eBay. Should have checked @fake_education on IG also, could have told easily.

IMG_1651 IMG_1650 IMG_1715

 

 

 

Categories: Sneakers

The Intern

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In August of 2011 I started as an intern at Sole Supremacy. I was living at home still at my parents while going to school. I was in my last year of undergrad at San Jose State University and I needed to figure out what I wanted to do as a career. Like many out there, I had absolutely NO idea what I wanted to pursue. I knew that my friend Derek who I grew up with playing basketball, owned a sneaker business so I asked if I can intern for him. I loved being on social media like everyone else and saw that at the time Sole Supremacy could have used some presence from being on there as well. I just wanted to find my niche and learn how the business ran.

I started by taking random pictures at the shop and posting them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Little did I know that Sole Supremacy already had somewhat of a following online. I started using twitter and we had maybe 50 followers. My knowledge for Jordan’s at the time was pretty much none. I knew which number Jordan was what but didn’t know the color ways or the nicknames. I noticed that we would always have a table stacked with used shoes waiting to be cleaned and put on eBay. DLew had me go through them and select a few to post on Twitter. Every day I would ask DLew “yo what are these called?” and post them on Twitter for X amount.

My office as I like to call it was a 2-and-a-half-foot filing cabinet that I placed my laptop on. I sat on a metal folding chair too at the time. Hey, it was a start. I did a bunch of random stuff at the shop when I first started. I just brainstormed anything and everything that might possibly work. DLew always gave me the freedom to just run with it. I did stuff like canned food drives at the shop during thanksgiving. If you brought in a can or more you would get $10 beans off your purchase. I did a shoe drive as well where we encouraged people to get rid of their beaters or shoes they don’t wear to give back to the ones who could use them. I did giveaways for reaching a certain amount of followers, random things like that. It helped boost my confidence that I was actually contributing to a real business, which in a way I kind of was.

This trend picked up pretty fast and we were able to move shoes quickly that way. By the time we moved to our 2nd location I had my own “specials” section, where we sold what I like to call “worn heat” or mainly more sought after sneakers. I felt pretty good because I had my own little rack, own corner desk, and a REAL desktop computer. If my coworkers TPN or X needed to move some personal stuff quickly they would just have me post it up on specials, tweet it out, and in a matter of days it would usually sell.

I had a valuable experience as an intern at Sole. I learned how a business was ran and got hands on experience of applying things I learned in school or just ideas that I thought would work. For young readers out there I really recommend interning or even volunteering in an industry that you have a passion for pursuing.

Notes: Few random pics from the first Sole shop, DS Bin Jordan 5s for $650 and DS Space Jam’s for $425 was what we were selling these at the time on Twitter.

bin5 spacejam13

 

 

Categories: Sneakers

Purpose

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It’s 2016 and we are living in the digital age of YouTube and Instagram so why start a blog? I’ve found inspiration from other sites such as Grantland (RIP), the Players’ Tribune, Vice, Hypebeast, just to name a few. I understand the value of organic content in this industry. Every other sneaker blog or Instagram account reposts other users pictures to gain likes or attention. I want to create organic content that brings value to the sneaker world. I’m not going to review every upcoming release and give my opinion on them (might do it sometimes here and there). I’m not going to rehash popular stories to gain likes and exposure. For those who want to see the sneaker industry firsthand, keep coming back to the blog for more stories.

Every one of my coworkers at the shop are hustlers. They never stop trying to find ways to better themselves to provide for their families and futures. Let me introduce you to my coworkers, Derek (DLew or Darryl), Rob (Robear), Tony (TPN), Christian (X), Juan (Troll or JCP), Jeremy (Jer), Sanh (Bjourne or Reeeeeek), Scott (Scotty). I will continue to refer to them in this blog by their nicknames in parenthesis. Oh speaking of nicknames, they refer to me, Ryan, as Ree Ree.  I get inspired by these guys by their work ethic which is one of the reasons why I started this blog. It really is true when people say that if you surround yourself with others who always try to better themselves it will rub off on you as well.

My vision for Tucked Laces has yet to be fully determined. I am thinking bigger picture so I will not limit myself to the topic of sneakers but sports, pop culture and fashion as well. My short term goals are to engage our audience and provide them with not only entertainment but a valuable insight as well. I have a million different ideas on how to make this blog stand out from the hundreds of others. Hope you all enjoy!

Categories: Sneakers, Uncategorized