An Informative Guide on Starting a Custom Sneaker Business

An Informative Guide on Starting a Custom Sneaker Business

An Informative Guide on Starting a Custom Sneaker Business


The sneaker market is one of the biggest markets in the shoe industry, which amounts to $55 billion every year. As a matter of fact, the secondary market for sneakers is an industry that amounts to $1 billion. Be it kids, young adults, or middle-aged people, custom sneakers are increasingly becoming popular.


Custom shoes are a thriving business that seems to be growing with the passage of years. Different kinds of people are willing to pay hefty sums of money for these exclusive and unique hand-painted custom-made sneakers. If you also wish to start your own custom sneaker business, check out our guide to help you begin.


Growth of Custom Sneakers


Recently, the New York Times article published that custom sneaker artists all the way from California to Connecticut to Cleveland have established their personal customized shops. Here, the talented artists design immaculately painted shoes that are sold both from the store and online. They even take up tailor-made orders and provide amazing personalized shoes just the way you want them.


In an epoch where social media and the internet are at a peak, several athletes and celebrities like to purchase such cool and chic customized sneakers and show them off to the public. This kind of publicity engages more activity and drives increased business for the artists who designed these kicks.


An average pair of customized and hand-painted sneakers can sell at a three to ten times higher than the standard retail price of a couple of plain sneakers. For instance, BStreetShoes in Costa Mesa, CA, sells its custom-made Nike sneakers at a starting price of $250, moving up to $800 for one pair of sneakers with more intricate designs. This is a massive profit margin for any artist allocating a few hours of his/her time designing customized sneakers.


4 Simple Steps to Start a Custom Sneaker Business


  1. Start painting your shoes.


Sneaker artists who can be categorized under the list of celebrities become renowned because they are amazing at what they do. Their exceptional creativity, talent, work ethic, and self-promotion enable them to take things up a notch and be noticeable. One way to get better at painting and designing sneakers is to commence doing it.


Invest your time in designing


The more sneakers you paint, the more likely you are to get better doing it. It took hundreds and thousands of hours for some of the best artists to be so good at hand-painting sneakers. When you paint more and more different kinds of sneakers, you will be more aware of the brush strokes and come up with more unique designs.


Experiment with colors.


Choose a beginner’s paint kit for your custom sneakers and simply play along with the colors. You can even start with a pair of your old, worn-out shoes that are lying in your closet instead of buying new plain sneakers. Your first dozen pairs of customized sneakers will not sell for a high price of $5000-7000 like Cleveland artists. Still, you can generate a decent profit margin.


  1. Try to befriend people within the custom sneaker circle.


To effectively advertise yourself as a noteworthy customer sneaker artist, you need to befriend and roam around with the present and famous sneaker artists. It is crucial to be able to surpass them, if required, to create a name and generate a larger pool of customers for yourself.


Now it is time to search and follow the most prominent sneaker artists of Instagram and check on what they are up to. However, if you are utterly clueless about where to start, here are a few names to begin with.


Follow people on Instagram


Open your Instagram and start following JBF Custom’s Jacob Ferrato, Mache Custom’s Dan Ganache, and BStreet Shoes’ Black Barash. If you are aware of any locals who are also designing custom-made sneakers, it is a good idea to reach out.


Interact with the locals


Try to be friends with the local players who are most likely to be your target consumers. Another brilliant idea is to try to acquire a potential mentor or business partner who can give you a boost to start and run your novel business.


Having friends in this field of business or getting contacts can be a significant source of help. This way, you can acquire potential customers who can purchase your designer sneakers and market your product.


  1. Market and advertise your services and products.


Once you feel you have become good enough at customizing, designing, and painting your kicks. You are comfortable to display your artwork to the public, it is time to promote and publicize your talent. First, you need to generate a catchy and attention-grabbing name for your business.


Use your social media accounts.


Next, it is always easy to start with your social media accounts. Start working on your social media accounts and try to create a buzz about your startup business. Begin with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Follow more accounts that you think are likely to spread word of mouth about your work and recommend your business to other people.


Create a Craigslist ad.


You can also make Craigslist ads to sell your already painted sneakers. You can even advertise your work and expertise on custom shoe panting. The customers will inform you about their own design, pattern, and color preferences. Upload a portfolio of your art and paintwork in the listing. This will allow your talent to be broadcasted to all the near and far budding customers and other artists who are just like you.


Craigslist is one of the easiest ways to score your first dozen kicks. The fantastic news for you is that Craigslist is completely free. Sometimes your client likes your design, but you do not have the specific color they want it in. You can always purchase individual color bottles and paint them in the color they like.


Create a website.


After you have successfully sold a few pairs of custom sneakers via Craigslist, you can now use the profits and invest it on your own website. WordPress and SquareSpace offer a few easy layouts to start making your website. A good website results in increased sales and opens a door for you to begin catering on a national and worldwide level.


  1. Be patient, and take small baby steps.


Suppose you have the creativity and skill set to build amazing custom-made sneakers: In that case, the market will eventually figure out about you and pay you handsomely. People are simply obsessed with and adore buying rare and distinctive items.


Provide stylish custom sneakers and get compensated.


If you can provide trendy, chic, and one-of-a-kind tailor-made sneakers to sneaker enthusiasts, you will go a long way ahead. These customers are willing to spend thousands of dollars for unique things. Eventually, they will compensate you generously for your amazing talent.


Being successful requires patience.


Note that every life’s journey starts with small, baby steps. Starting and running a successful custom sneaker business also requires patience, time, and effort. Start moving, gather your supplies, paint your sneakers, make it fancy, and start gearing your custom sneaker business with a boom!


Essential Tips to Become A Prosperous Custom Sneaker Artist


The year 2020 has been the turning point for a lot of skilled shoe designers. Round about the same time, it has also generated terrific new opportunities for the budding custom sneaker artists. Contrariwise, a lot of people might be reading this article and be exposed to a whole new level of customization. If you also want to get into this business and become a custom sneaker artist and run a self-owned business, then you have arrived at the right spot.


It only takes a handful of ideas, clicks, skill, and the will to build enticing customized sneakers. A lot of excellent artists have already jumped into the bandwagon and commenced their journey. However, to rightfully establish your custom sneaker business in terms of sales or even simply want to know how to kickstart, here are five pro tips!


  1. Take attention-grabbing photos of your custom shoes.


Particularly with customized stuff, the most recommended way to build a unique and sought-after product is via pictures. Since custom-made sneakers are real works of art, buyers solely rely on images and flashy words to see what the artist is actually providing.


As a sneaker artist, you need to make your custom sneakers look as beautiful and wonderful as it can on pictures. This requires you to snap pictures of your sneakers from multiple angles on neat backgrounds so that a client will simply drool over your masterpiece.


Some smart add-ons like pictures, videos, and other facets, such as a page on “About the Artist” design process, can also promote your work.


  1. Use flashy words to describe your artistry.


Besides pictures, the next thing that works like wonder in boosting the demand for your product is the choice of words. For instance, the kind of paint you used, the sneaker material, and the deglosser, protectant, or sealer you used. These are just some of the areas you need to emphasize by using flashy words.


These juicy details that you will add to your custom sneaker work are worth adding in your product description box. In turn, this reassures the customized sneaker enthusiasts about the extra time and effort you have invested in one pair of sneakers.


It may appear like a total waste of time and generate little interest for some people. However, surprisingly, a custom-sneaker or plain sneaker fanatic would take a keen interest in knowing all the gaudy details about these shoes.


For devotees of this kind of art, even the inspirational journey behind making a shoe will inspire and move them. If you need guidance on how to define your shoe, you can check out Instagram pages.


  1. Make use of extra things.


The central part of anything always lies in the details. A few classics such as the off-white, red zip-tie, the Jordan hang ten, etc. were the minuscule details that stood out and turned out to be iconic. These tiny extras are added to make your exclusive product a tad more special.


People who make customized products already have a special and unique product in their hands. Still, it is always better to add something extra to bring that oomph factor. Think about all the extra things that you can include in your custom sneaker that will push your brand to the next level.


Customized tags, tailor-made laces, etc. are some tiny extras you can think of. Highlighting your name with branded labels and customized sneaker boxes are some other ideas. Minute details such as an appreciation note can also take your business a long way.


  1. Focus on professionalism and superior client service.


A customer will always be excited and thrilled about his/her custom-made sneakers and cannot wait to have them on their feet. However, the excessive amount of hard work and creativity does not happen at the snap of a finger.


Undoubtedly it takes a lot of effort and time to produce. However, to retain your customers and engage them in repeat purchases, it is essential to communicate a believable timeline and stick to it. Mailing and contacting customers when delays occur will take you a long way ahead, especially if the client expects an early delivery.


Moreover, do not overlook the significance of superior quality standards. Do your best in maintaining the quality standards of your first and last produced custom shoes and make sure they fit the picture. Keep an eye out for probable defects such as paint and glue stains, no matter how big, or small they are.


  1. Using social media platforms for creating awareness and advertising your product.


No businessman likes to stay in the same position forever; therefore, if you want to pursue the next level, you need to grow your brand. Use platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to create your own blog or artist page to create awareness.


The majority of youngsters are already specialists in handling social media platforms and have a vast number of followers. People who have little experience with social media need to realize the essence of how to use it to your advantage and get your product out there.


Your social media page will be the most helpful instrument of interacting directly with your target audience. This is an excellent medium for displaying your artworks, forming contacts, and building a network with several other customizers.


Lastly, remember to stay confident, continue creating the fantastic works of art, and see your customer base grow.


An Informative Guide on Starting a Custom Sneaker Business

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published