Chase Reed is going to spend the summer between his sophomore and junior years of high school working—not that he's mad about it. Come June 28, the 16-year-old will open the world's first sneaker pawn shop. He got the money to start the store, located in New York's Harlem neighborhood, by selling off part of his own collection of high-priced kicks—to the tune of over $30,000.
"I don't consider myself a sneakerhead" Reed told us when we visited the store, called Sneaker Pawn, this week. "I'm just somebody who likes to dress, and sneakers are just a part of dressing."
Of course, if your sneaker collection is worth more than what some people make in a year, you can't deny a keen interest in footwear. After getting his first pair of Nike Air Jordan 7 "Raptors" a few years ago, Reed became a serious collector. He eventually started reselling his sneakers to pay for newer, more exciting releases. When his dad, filmmaker Troy Reed, saw how successful his son was becoming, the two started traveling state to state to buy and resell shoes. Eventually, a sneaker maven named Rahsaan Capers (he goes by Uncle Bless) helped them develop the store.
"Sneakers are like the stock market: they go up and down," said Capers, the venture's self-proclaimed sneaker analyst. "So I check Flight Club, I check eBay, I check Craigslist, I call up a few people I know and that's how I figure out our prices."
Those prices can get pretty steep pretty quickly. Sneakers like a pair of Jordan 6 Retro "Cigar" styles have doubled in cost since being released this past weekend. And from the line we saw outside the not-yet-open pawn shop, it's not likely it'll be around for long.
And Reed is trying to make sure the attention he's getting won't go away. When we asked him about his goals for the next month, the high schooler said he wanted to establish "a frequent pace for the store. A lot of people have been coming in here, but we should have people ordering online, too."
Spoken like a true mini-mogul. A look at the five most expensive pairs in the store below.
Nike Lebron 10+ Crown Jewel (originally $275, now $1,400)
Nike Air Jordan DB 2 Charity (originally $140, now $1,000)
Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG (originally $140, now $900)
Nike Air Jordan DB 1 Charity (originally $125, now $800)
Nike Jordan 6 Retro Cigar (originally $250, now $500)