We're back with the next installment of our new monthly series, highlighting a Reshoevn8r retail partner on the blog. Today we're hanging out with Culture Street, from Denver Colorado.
R8: How long have you been in business?
CS: 2 Years. June 15th is our anniversary.
R8: What made you want to open a sneaker store?
CS: I didn't. As a sneakerhead, I was consigning sneakers at another shop, and they asked me to come on board as a partner. 3 months later, the deal fell through, but I had designed a vision, and impulsively signed a lease to start my own shop. It was foolish, and almost forced me into bankruptcy.
R8: What are some of your top sneakers you own right now?
CS: Reverse Shattered backboards, Bred 1's, Blacktoe 1's. Ive had a lot, but I'm down to 30 pair right now. I've sold a lot of my size 12, especially in the really really lean times...
R8: What is the significance of this location, area?
CS: Denver is an under served market. My shop is on the east side, and is located in an outdoor mall. Although downtown might seem a better fit for a sneaker shop, but with plenty of parking, close location to the interstate, and it not being in an in-door mall have turned out to be positives for the business.
R8: What brought you into selling sneakers?
CS: My love for sneakers.
R8: What are some challenges you faced prior to opening and also after you opened?
CS: Not many prior. We probably should have spent more time planning, but from decision to start a shop, to open was 6 weeks. We had no accounts. We depended mostly on consignment, and I spent $50,000 on local Denver brands. It was bad from the beginning. Most sales were consignment, and at 10% consignment fee, we were quickly losing money. I had 3 partners and and never really clicked. I severed ties with them 6 months after opening. We almost closed several times. But we limited consignment, started trading and buying, including pre-owned. and chipped away at our debt. Today, we're booming..
R8: What brands do you currently stock?
CS: We are a resell shop. We mostly carry Jordan, Nike, Yeezy, Supreme, Bape. We have a couple Denver brand accounts, Dro, and Community. We just picked up international brand, SuperDry..
R8: What have been some top sellers for you?
CS: Jordan 1's , 11's, and Yeezy 350's.
R8: What are some ways that your store connects with the city?
CS: As a young shop, not much. Our instagram is our strongest connection. We are growing at a rapid pace. The vision has community involvement as a core element though. We're working on a Voter Registration Booth in the store as we speak.
R8: Any big moments in the store’s history?
CS: The pandemic is our biggest moment. Before that was mere survival.
R8: How has the Pandemic affected you and your business?
CS: It's crazy. We're booming. We received a PPP loan and used it to buy the right product. After re-opening, we are doing on average 10x better in sales.
R8: Are you online? How have sales been?
CS: The lockdown gave us enough time to make an online store. Sales from the site are insignificant, but we are getting a lot of sales from people checking out our website, then coming in store.
R8: Any new learnings from the pandemic regarding business and customer’s behaviors?
CS: I can't quite narrow it down, but it looks like Sneakers and Hype have turned into a commodity.
R8: Did you get hit by the riots? What are your thoughts on what happened?
TL: We did not. Our location shielded us.
R8: How are things now? How are you navigating the business during these uncertain times?
CS: Booming! We've grown into new problems including finding more product to stock the store.
R8: Where do you see retail going, post Pandemic?
CS: More niche, More services, More education.
R8: What was your biggest challenge when first opened and did you ever think of quitting?
CS: Overcoming poor purchasing decisions in the beginning. Accrued $80,000 in debt in the first 6 months. I thought of quitting at least 10 times. There were several times that I warned my employees, that this weekend may be the last.
R8: Fast forward 5 years, what is your ultimate goal with your store/brand?
CS: To be Denver's spot. Every major city has its spots. The shops you have to go to if you visit a town. Denver doesn't have that. We're starting to see it. We get quite a few customers from surrounding border states. Then, to go international. We envision Culture Streets with there own unique cultures to be all over the world.
R8: From a reseller aspect, what was your biggest win or come up?
CS: We don't have an incredible come-up story, but more of a consistent come-up. We have come up with a buying/trading system that consistently allows us 40 to 200% profit.
R8: Where do you see sneaker culture going in the future and what are your thoughts?
CS: Growing. Humans love there foot coverings. They love rarity. They love compliments.
R8: What advice do you have for the next generation looking into the sneaker/streetwear business?
CS: Work at a shop first! Learn as much as possible. Don't open a shop until your 30. Life experience is the #1 asset in operation a streetwear/sneaker business. Not sure of other areas, but the life expectancy of shop here is 6 months. Its not easy.
Culture Street Carries the Following Reshoevn8r Products: