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The Fashion Geek Podcast

56 | Shoebaker ATL Makes Sneakers In A Bakers Dozen

Reg talks with Nick Reynolds of Shoebaker ATL aka “The Baker” about sneaker customization and why he only makes a baker’s dozen of a style. This episode is coming hot out the oven.

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00:00 Introduction and Welcome
00:32 Meet Nick Reynolds: The Shoe Baker
01:35 Nick's Journey into Shoe Customization
02:17 The Birth of Shoe Baker
03:42 Marketing and Scaling the Business
07:05 Challenges and Innovations
14:23 Thermoforming and Product Development
19:39 Customer Engagement and Feedback
28:02 Customer Questions and Product Evolution
29:04 Dapper Dan's Influence and Personal Style
31:41 The Sneaker Culture Shift
34:52 Custom Shoe Creations and Marketing Strategies
43:01 Legalities and Business Practices
48:43 Challenges and Future Plans
52:47 Conclusion and Personal Philosophy

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Nick Reynolds [00:00:00]: I wanna make something that, like, when people wear it, it speaks to who they are, not the hype. And and that's what like, I'm anti hype. Like, I like I really don't I I don't like it, and I think that that's what the shoe industry has become. It wasn't like that. Like, remember what the shoe game used to look like. Like, it it it wasn't hype. Like, it it it was the culture. It was creativity. Nick Reynolds [00:00:21]: And, like, now it's like people are, like, just, like, buying a shoe just because so and so made it or so and so said that it's cool or so and so wore it. It's like, no. Like, buy it because you love it. Alright? And so and and that was a trap I was starting to fall into when I wanted to go into, resale, Reginald Ferguson [00:00:37]: and so I'm glad that I got out of it. Hello. I'm Reg. And I'm Tiff. And we're the fashion geeks. Trying to make New York. And the world. Well, New York is the world. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:46]: A little flyer, one outfit Nick Reynolds [00:00:48]: And podcast. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:49]: At a time. I wear suits, especially pre COVID, Monday through Friday. When I'm slumming, I wear sport jacket. So I wear shoes between 5 to 6 years old. I'm suited and booted. On Sundays and sometimes Saturdays, I wear sneakers. So we're talking about really once a while. A while ago, I was doing some closet damage. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:22]: I'm coming to find out, I have 15 pairs of sneakers. 15 pairs. How the heck did that hack? I don't even think I had that many of a kid. I barely wear. I have Nikes, boomers, Adidas, and that's what I'm saying. I have high top and low. Take that. Next move. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:50]: I don't know how this happened. Have I become a rollercoaster fan on the v f? Hello. This is Reg Ferguson, fashion geek number 1. How are you? Welcome to the ride. Thank you so much for listening. Please tell your friends about us. Please tell them to subscribe Share an episode and please give us a review on Apple podcast A special shout goes to our producer search and everyone down with the fashion geeks if you have a question or a story suggestion you can email me at podcast at nyfashingeek dot com or hit me up on the insta@newyorkfashiongeek. Today, we're gonna talk with Nick Reynolds of shoebaker ATL aka the baker who is in the a Atlanta. Reginald Ferguson [00:02:42]: We're gonna talk about something that the everyday man should be considering and incorporating in their lives. We're gonna talk about custom sneakers. The baker in the building. How are you, man? Nick Reynolds [00:02:57]: Yo. I'm doing good, man. This is a it's a really good day. I mean, it is raining, but it's a good day. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:03]: Oh, okay. It's just cloudy here. So we had rain yesterday, so we passed it down to you. Nick Reynolds [00:03:11]: Yeah. But not all as well, man. Just, you know, just working through, trying to create every single day. I took a break from fulfilling orders today and just, you know, just wanted to focus on just making something for me, which is something I find very important. It keeps me from going crazy pretty much. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:28]: Well, first of all, I really appreciate the time. I know we were we were kind of playing, interview tag, but now here we are. So before we go into our topic, please tell us, so what do you do? Nick Reynolds [00:03:56]: So, I started off as a shoe customizer. I still do customize shoes, but, I was actually a youth pastor. I still am. I'm still a youth pastor here in Atlanta. I've been doing that for since 2016. And when, yeah. Yeah. When COVID hit, I believe I started Shoemaker back in July. Nick Reynolds [00:04:22]: So I was actually customizing shoes and just posting stuff on my personal page, getting orders, and I enjoyed it. But the more I looked at it, I was like, man, like, no one's really scaling this. Like, it it I mean, there are people scaling it, but, like, let let me try to scale it. You know? So I started Shoebaker in July, during COVID. And Wow. Yeah. We started at 0. It was, like, 0 followers and everything. Nick Reynolds [00:04:45]: And I already had an LLC. I've been, like, sitting on the same LLC since, like, 2011. And I just, like, funnel all of my, you know, projects through that. But, like, Shoebaker is a, like, a DBA of the, the Cool Life Living LLC. Then Reginald Ferguson [00:04:59]: Oh, nice. Nick Reynolds [00:05:00]: Yeah. So we started in July, and it just blew up. I just implemented things that I knew, and I was just being myself in front of the camera. And just really, I think what really captivated people was me, you know, just, like, simply being myself and being in front of the camera, but then also I just made interesting shoes. You know? The I made art pretty much, and that's the way I like to define it. I'm not necessarily a shoe customizer anymore. I'm more of a designer slash artist who just, like, I just put out, you know, things that either either people hate or people love. Reginald Ferguson [00:05:29]: So to be clear, when you're saying shoes, Nick, you're saying shoes as in sneakers? Nick Reynolds [00:05:35]: Yep. Yep. More so Air Force Ones, Nike Blazers, dunks, and stuff like that. I'm more so stayed with the Nike niche. I haven't moved on to another one because I'm trying to get Nike's attention. It'll be sweet to just, like, work on a project with them. So I'm just more so just, like, staying in my lane by doing that. Reginald Ferguson [00:05:57]: You bring up a good point immediately. So first of all, for the audience, I want to make clear the way I found Nick usually I would say was on the Gram, but that's not the case. I found him on Clubhouse, which is a platform that I'm starting to utilize and I hope we'll continue to grow. We have a club on their classic men's wear club, so go check it out. But I met you on the Sneakerheads Anonymous Club, which I joined. Yeah. I joined kinda on a whim because I wanna make it clear. I don't consider myself a sneakerhead anymore because I'm grown. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:39]: But back in the day but back in the day, let's say high school, I definitely was. And particularly as a native New Yorker, particularly living in the Bronx with my late grandparents during the 1st generation of hip hop. Nike certainly was one of my brands. It wasn't the only brand, but Nike is a very significant urban brand, as you know, and I know. I, you know, I saw you on there, and you were talking about this one set of kits with butterflies. And one of the moderators, Cash and Carrie, was like, yo, do you have any more? And you said, no. I do a baker's dozen. That's it. Nick Reynolds [00:07:23]: Oh, yeah. I remember. Yeah. I Reginald Ferguson [00:07:25]: remember that. And he said, what? You blew it. Yeah. I remember that. Nick Reynolds [00:07:29]: I was just like, man, what type of like like, I was I was like, almost offended. I was like, like, I messaged the guy after that. I was, like, I said, if anything, you should respect the fact that, like, of integrity, you know, that I didn't just, like, sell you a pair of shoes just for the money. You know? And, like Reginald Ferguson [00:07:45]: and he said he was Nick Reynolds [00:07:45]: just playing that he was actually just trying to plug me. But, like, for a while, I was, like for a minute, I was offended. I was like, bro, like, no, I did the right thing. Like, I didn't I'm not just about the cash, like, give you a pair of shoes when 13 people already bought that pair. But, yeah, I remember that day. Reginald Ferguson [00:08:00]: Right. And as an individual who had no stakes in the game, I'm here to tell you, I thought he was playing as well. So I just I just wanna let you know that. I don't think he was trying to I don't think he was trying to come at you, but I immediately and, you know, that's the beauty of clubhouse. And for people who aren't on it, you can get on it through an invitation. And if you have an iPhone and iPad Touch or an iPad, you should jump onto this network. The point is, I immediately went onto your Insta and saw your stuff, And it kind of clicked with me. I said, oh, my gosh, this guy is doing customization. Reginald Ferguson [00:08:39]: And then I started doing a deeper dive. And I hope if I'm lucky and also with your assistance, you're going to be kind of part 1 of maybe a part 2 topic of discussion on this. So what led you to decide? Because now I realize and I didn't realize it before, your business is less than a year old. Yeah. You launched during COVID. What led you to decide to your point that this was something that you wanted to ramp up, that you wanted to scale? How did you realize there was a market for this? Nick Reynolds [00:09:20]: So it actually started, like, 2 years before I started Shoebaker. And, I was I was I I wanted to get into the sneaker trade, you know, the buy and resale. And so, I found out about stock x. And so, I didn't know how it worked. All I knew I just saw numbers and I didn't know, you know, there was a pair of, Air Max Susans dropping. And I really liked them. The first mistake I made was that I bought them in my size. Right? If you're trying to resell, don't buy this, you and your size. Nick Reynolds [00:09:48]: But I I was out to lunch with with a friend and, like, I was like, man, I'm about to do this. You know? And, like, the Susan was it it was dropping, I think, in, like, the next day or 2 days. And, like, it was, like, $600. And I was like, oh, yeah. Well, I mean, like, at this time, I do graphic design. So, like, I was, like, I had money, like, in my business account. So I was like, well, I'm just gonna buy it. I said, you know, if it's 600 now, I'm like, if people keep talking about it, it's gonna be so much more. Nick Reynolds [00:10:13]: You know, not understanding how stock x works. So I buy it right there, and then the number jumps to 1300. And I'm like, man, I just doubled my money. Right? Like, that's what I'm telling. I'm like, I just doubled my money. And, And, like, I'm sitting there celebrating, you know, and then the shoe drops and the number drops. And, like, and so what I realized what I realized afterwards was that the the spike in the number was the next person selling the shoe. They just made it 1300. Nick Reynolds [00:10:40]: So I just bought a $600 shoe. The shoe wasn't worth $600. In fact, the resale the the resale value of the shoe, maybe, like, 500 now, I think. But the resale value, like, when it dropped is, like, 300. So I technically lost, like, 3 to $400 because it like, I think after taxes, it was, like, 700. And so I was like, dang. Like, and, like, I I had to tell my wife because, like, when I thought that made it come up, I text her. I was like, hey. Nick Reynolds [00:11:07]: I just doubled my money. You know, I'm texting her and telling them I made this money. And so she was like, okay. You know, she's skeptical, and they come to find out, no. I lost $400 or I lost $700. So, I did what any man would do that dropped $700 on a pair of shoes. I kept them. You know? And I'm like it's like, I'm not about to resell these. Nick Reynolds [00:11:28]: So, like but I made up my mind. I was like, well, I see a lot of people doing customs. And, like, at this time, I'm doing a lot of, like, graphic art and illustrations. And so I'm looking at people painting shoes and it's like some of them, like, man, I could do way better than that. You know? So I figure out that people are using Angelus, watch a few videos, order the materials, and I start. And I make money. You know, I'm charging a 150 plus the cost of shoe, and people are buying it. I'm like, man, like, this is nice. Nick Reynolds [00:11:55]: You know? I set me up I set up a little shop in, like, our spare bedroom, which is now my daughter's room. And then from there, I moved to the garage and I'm painting. And, our Christmas rolls around or December rolls around. And I'm getting, advertisements for Glowforge. And, like, I'm like, man, like, that's sweet. Glowforge is they're not Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:12:17]: Can you explain what that is? Nick Reynolds [00:12:19]: So, technically, it's a laser engraving company. Like like, they sell laser engravers. Now that I worked with them, they're not they don't sell laser engravers. Like, they're a marketing company that sells laser engravers. Because the way that they push their product, like, you wanna buy it. And and it like, you know, I'm not trying to bash Glowforge, because obviously what they what I got got me to where I am. But, like, like so I bought a Glowforge. It was another thing. Nick Reynolds [00:12:45]: So I bought a Glowforge. Didn't tell my wife. Told her when a Glowforge got there. She's like, got you out of your mind. You know? This is like I bought the basics. It was like maybe I think it was 25100 or $3. And so, like, yeah. I got it. Nick Reynolds [00:12:55]: I said, I wanna put a shoe in it. You know? Got the glow forge, figured out I couldn't fit a shoe in it. So, like, I gotta figure out what to do with this thing. You know? I'm gonna figure out how to incorporate like, I wanna incorporate laser engraving with the shoe. And so I start making shoe charms, which is pretty much a key chain. It's a key chain on a shoe. I just changed the name. Right? And people loved it. Nick Reynolds [00:13:15]: I when I was literally, like, hand drawing, like, different Jordans and the Air Force Wands and Fear of Gods and cutting them and putting a ball chain on them and selling them for, like, $10. And people were buying them. And so, this is still on my old page. And so, like, I figure out I have something there. Like, you know, people are buying this. And what really did it for me was, because, like, fast forward, like, I come up with the name Shoemaker. And I was like, man, that just sounds sweet. I have to do something with it. Nick Reynolds [00:13:46]: I started the IG page, and I believe it was September. It was it was September. This was after lockdown. But down here, I know up up north, it's a little more strict. Down here, it's a little more loose. And so there was this thing called, the sneaker exit. And so, like, a friend of mine, he shoots it to me and said, hey. This is in 2 days. Nick Reynolds [00:14:08]: You should do it. I'm like, no. This isn't like I don't have any shoes to sell. It's like just a single shoe charms. I'm I'm thinking it's not gonna work. But then I was, like, I'm gonna take my chance. I get a booth, and I'd like for the next 2 days, I'm just, like, stand up late nights cutting all of these charms, peeling them, like, beating them and everything. And then we get there, everybody has tables filled up, like, everyone has a table full of shoes. Reginald Ferguson [00:14:32]: And I'm Nick Reynolds [00:14:32]: like, man, like like, no one's gonna buy my stuff. Like, everybody whoever if somebody's coming here, they come here for shoes. And so we but we just still set up, you know. And then, lo and behold, we killed it. I think I bought the booth for, like, $60 and, like, we walked away with 800 selling Woah. Right? Selling acrylic pieces. Reginald Ferguson [00:14:55]: Oh my god. Nick Reynolds [00:14:56]: Yeah. It was nice. I was blown away. I was like, man. Okay. Like, we really have something. What what it made me realize is that, like, what I was doing, no one else was doing. Right? It was different. Nick Reynolds [00:15:07]: Like, and and my dad, he actually he was in town at the time. And, like, after he helped me with the, the booth, he said, I can't believe he said, I get what you just did. He said, I just can't believe it happened. Like, you literally just took a key chain and called it a shoe charm and people Right. Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:24]: That's marketing. That's marketing. Nick Reynolds [00:15:26]: Exactly. Yeah. And so, I think at this time, we we we weren't even at a 1000 followers. I was trying to get to a 1000. I think we Reginald Ferguson [00:15:33]: were at, like, maybe 600. And I was like, when we hit a 1000, I wanna do a 100. And I was Nick Reynolds [00:15:35]: like, when we hit a1000, I wanna do a giveaway. And so, yeah. So, like, it just let me know that I had something and, like, we just kept pushing it in, just marketing. And I would the next thing that I dropped, what really put Shoemaker on a map is that, like, I I really did something that no one was doing. Obviously, the key chain thing, anybody can do it. Anybody could do the next thing I'm about to say, but this, like, really, like, this coined me as the guy who just does different stuff. And, I I was in my garage with the with the laser engravers, and, like, I work best when, like, my wife takes the kids to, like, a friend's house, and it's just me. And I remember just sitting there. Nick Reynolds [00:16:14]: I was like, man, like, it would be sweet if I made a grill and put it on the front of the shoe. You know? And like and so I learned at this point, I learned how to, thermoform, Which I'm not the first person to do it. I I think that I'm probably the most known for it though. So I saw someone else do it. And, like, I reached out, like, hey, I have a laser engraver. How do you do this? They didn't respond. And so I was like, okay. Well, I hit university YouTube and found out how you thermoform acrylic. Nick Reynolds [00:16:43]: You know? Reginald Ferguson [00:16:43]: And So so stop right there for the audience and more importantly for myself. What is thermoforming? Nick Reynolds [00:16:51]: So thermoforming is the process of heating up the acrylic to a certain temperature so that you can form it to whatever shape you want. So not like clay, more like, what's a good example? Like okay. Say I have a flat piece of acrylic. I can turn that acrylic into a circle. Or what I do is I have a flat piece of acrylic shaped like a Nike check. I can now form that acrylic to the side of the shoe So that it's not just flat, but it's actually flush to the shoe. Reginald Ferguson [00:17:24]: Okay. Nick Reynolds [00:17:24]: Right? So it's it's great. Not many people do it. And people who do it don't necessarily put it on shoes. And so, I do that. And so, I don't even think I'm selling I wasn't even selling Nike checks at the time. Because here's here's the issue. Is that like you have to use a screw to put it in your shoe. You don't have to. Nick Reynolds [00:17:46]: I could've sold it. I could've, like, I could've, like, used, like, thread or, fishing wire to sew it to the shoe. But I was thinking I was like, okay. The thing is I want to mass produce this. Right? So if I wanna do that, I have to make it as easy as possible for the person receiving it. I have to make it so that they can install it within 5 minutes or less. Right? So I bought 5,000 screws and 400 mini screwdrivers. Like, I've made up my mind that I was I was like I was like, I'm just going to go all in. Nick Reynolds [00:18:16]: I'm gonna take all of my money out of this business account, and I'm just going to buy everything I need. So I bought Polly Millers. I bought the stickers with the branding. Like, just everything. The the, screwdrivers had my branding on it. This is like keep in mind, like, I have less than a 1000 followers. Right? And so, like, I made up my mind, I'm going to convince people that this is the new wave. And so I did. Nick Reynolds [00:18:40]: And so I took, so the idea was that putting a fang on a shoe. We were approaching Halloween, and so I made, like, fangs. Like, vampire things that, like, that faced up. Oh. It went around the toe box. So, like, the teeth curled around the toe box. Until the thing is, like I was like, okay. So you you screw it into the rubber. Nick Reynolds [00:19:03]: And so the beautiful thing about screwing it into the rubber is that the rubber closes back up when you take it out. It's like a very tiny hole. And so I was like, so I'm gonna start here. And so, like, I'm already I'm post I already posted stuff that I created as far as shoes on the, on my page. And I'm getting a little bit of traction. I'm making, like, donut shoes and stuff because I'm the shoemaker. But then I start posting about this. And if you go to my page, you can see the progression. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:27]: Oh, I've gone I've gone through your I've gone through your page. That's why I have notes for my paper. Nick Reynolds [00:19:31]: Yeah. Like, Reginald Ferguson [00:19:32]: you need to bring it to life. Nick Reynolds [00:19:33]: Yeah. Like, you you can see the progression. And so, I put the fangs up, and it gets this attention. And people are like, oh, man. This is crazy. Like, what is it? What is it? Oh, and then you get people saying, well, I don't like the screws. You need to figure out a way how to do without the screws. And, like, I'm getting irritated because it's like, okay. Nick Reynolds [00:19:48]: You figure out how to do without the screw. You know, like, but I bought, like, a bunch of, different forms of adhesive, the 3 m tape, I tried magnets, I thought about doing clips. But everything that I did, the only thing that truly worked was using a screw. Because I could put it on the leather. I could put it on the, the rubber, push in a little bit, and screw it in. And I've I've made videos where literally the video is 5 minutes and it shows me screwing the fang into the shoe. Right? And it's like, that's the easiest solution. Because when I use a magnet well, what happens when, like, you bump something and it falls off? Now you lost your fang. Reginald Ferguson [00:20:25]: Now if Nick Reynolds [00:20:25]: I use 3 m tape, like, that's not strong enough. Like, the the, the rubber is too porous. So it's like none of that was working, but the screw, it literally grips the rubber. So it works. So I was like, okay. Well, this is what I'm doing. So the people who say they don't like it, that's not my target audience. My target audience are the people who are saying like, who are putting fire emojis all on it. Nick Reynolds [00:20:45]: And so I reach out to maybe, like, 3 or 4 of them. And, like, and then, like, I try reaching out to people, like, bigger people who had, like, you know, the 10 ks and Reginald Ferguson [00:20:55]: Of course. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I tried to do the same thing. Nick Reynolds [00:20:58]: They won't respond. You know, it's just like, like and I'm kind of the same way now. But I I I try to respond to everyone, but they used to get people who are just, like, trying to, like, just piggyback. But, like, they wouldn't respond. So I I would, like, partner with people who are just a little bit above me. Right? And so I would say, hey, I'm going to send you these things. Can you, like, just try them out? And so I'll send it to them. They'll install them. Nick Reynolds [00:21:26]: Man, these are sick. Like, people love them. And so I'll send them another set. Hey, this time can you just record a video? It doesn't need to be edited. I just need like a basic video of you installing the fangs in a shoe. And just tell me how easy it is in a video. And they do it. And they post it. Nick Reynolds [00:21:42]: And I share it. And so I'm building up this, like pretty much I'm building credibility. Sure. I I would do polls. Actually, so here's here's the marketing back then. Right? Because, like, you sometimes you'll post a question or a poll, and nobody will respond. Like, now I'll post a poll and get, like, a 1000 people, you know, answering the poll and getting that data. But, like I'd love to be you. Nick Reynolds [00:22:07]: Back then, I I would do it and, like, get, like, like, nobody ever wants to be the first one. You know? Especially when you only have, like, I think at this time, I might have had a 1,000. I have to go back and look at the Gram. The Gram is the timeline. But, yeah. So, like, nobody ever wants to be the first one. So I will go to my personal page and ask the questions that I know people are asking, but they they're not posting To to, like, the questionnaire in the story. And then I would go back to the Shoemaker page and I would answer that. Nick Reynolds [00:22:36]: Or like, hey. Well, am I gonna fill the screws? Go back to the shoemaker page. Nope. I literally took a old pair of air force ones and cut the shoe in half and showed them this is where the screw goes in. There's no way you'll fill it. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:48]: You know what? You you just hit it. I I'm immediately have thought about it whether it's the screws there or the screws on the side for the check. Mhmm. The customer cannot feel anything. Nick Reynolds [00:23:01]: They can't feel anything. No. So and it's it's about the placement. Right? So if you put it along the side of the toe, you're gonna feel it. But, like, a way to avoid that is that you just use small washers to just pretty much just like you just wanna grip the leather, but I I never put it up there. I always put it on either the check or, like, the back panel or the heel. Because I literally dissected, Air Force 1 just to see the anatomy. And see, like, okay. Nick Reynolds [00:23:27]: Wow. There's, like, board here. There's cloth here. There's foam here. This is the best place to put it. Right? And so, like, I'm but I'm showing that. And I think that that's important. Like, I'm literally showing people, like, hey. Nick Reynolds [00:23:39]: I'm willing to cut like, I literally took a saw, cut the Air Force 1 in half, and, like, showed it to them. It will like, with with the screws in it, like, where's the screw? And then I would take the screw out and say, hey. You see that tiny, tiny, tiny dot there? That's where the screw was. It doesn't ruin your shoe. So now I start generating sales. A lot of my sales are, like, coming from, like, New York. Of course. Actually, I forgot. Nick Reynolds [00:24:06]: Yeah. You're in New York. A lot of my sales are coming from New York. And, actually, a lot of my sales still do come from either New York or UK. And, like, actually, it's all over now. But, yeah. So, like, I'd like that was the beginning stage. And I think, like, the whole term fake it until you make it. Nick Reynolds [00:24:21]: Like, that's what I did. Right? Like, I I the product is real. But, like, I think that, like, if you wait for people to ask the questions publicly, they won't. So I became like, I pretty much switched between the mindset of the the customer and me. And I was having a dialogue with myself, but they didn't know it was me. But they were having it was clearly the question that they, like, that they were asking. Right? So then people were ordering. So, like, now it's funny because, like, actually, I put it in the store yesterday. Nick Reynolds [00:24:47]: I was, like, hey, should I bring the fangs back? And, like, I think, it was, like, over a 1000 people hit, and answered the poll. And, like, 84% of the people were, like, yes. And so our response is like, I hear you. So it's about might be actually bringing them back. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:01]: Cool. Now Go ahead. When you when you bring those back, I mean, if if you do, will you just bring them back permanently or you make it kind of like seasonality with the Halloween motif? How what's your plan if you do revitalize Nick Reynolds [00:25:15]: them? So I wanna bring them back permanently. I'm just looking for a better solution because the thing about the acrylic, and honestly, I I like like so we put in the bio that, hey. This is not indestructible. It's acrylic. Be careful. It can crack, especially being on the the toe box issue. So, like, some people, their their fangs cracked. And so we put in the bio, hey. Nick Reynolds [00:25:34]: We'll send you another set if it cracks. But after the second time, you know, you just have to buy another one, which I believe is fair. The only reason I stopped is because I was working with the Glow Forges, which are super slow. And the thing is they're hobbyist machines. You know? And so, like, it it's it's great for where I was at, but then we hit once I moved into the warehouse, because, like, we I started in the garage, then I moved to an office space, And within a month, we outgrew the office space and we're in that warehouse. And now we outgrew the warehouse, and so now we're look looking for a retail spot. Reginald Ferguson [00:26:04]: Holy cow. Nick Reynolds [00:26:05]: And so, like, I, I bought a, a commercial engraver and that thing flies. I haven't named her yet, but I need to name her. Reginald Ferguson [00:26:13]: Her. You should. Nick Reynolds [00:26:14]: But, like, it flies. And so, like, now that I'm able to, like, like mass produce these things, then it'll be easier because the struggle was that, like, it was 2 things. I was preforming the, the things before. Like, people would put in their shoe size, and then I would form it to that shoe. So I had, like, every size, air force 1. And I was like, man, like, this taking up too much of my time. It's not worth Reginald Ferguson [00:26:37]: 35 hours. There's no standard there's no ability to have one standard FANG size to cover all AF 1 sizes? Nick Reynolds [00:26:45]: No. No. No. Well, I mean, unless they heat it up. So so now okay. So that was the problem. Right? And so, like, so entrepreneurship, it's it's a, it's a art and a and a science. Right? And and, like, honestly, entrepreneurship in itself is creativity. Nick Reynolds [00:26:59]: And so that was my problem. So, like, I was like so people ask, like, hey. Can you do the night check? And so I'm like, well, yeah. But, like, I don't wanna thermo I don't wanna preform a a check. So I said, hey, here's the deal. If I drop this check, I'm gonna teach you how to thermoform. And it's two reasons why I did that. 1, to teach the people so I don't have to I don't have to do it. Nick Reynolds [00:27:18]: And 2, it was almost like this clap back to the guy who never responded to me. Because it was like, I made up my mind. It was like, man, I'm not gonna be the gatekeeper to this. Like, this guy was being a gatekeeper. And I was like, man, like, all you had to do is just tell me. Like like, you know and so I was like, well, I'm going to since you didn't tell me, I'm going to teach everybody how to do it. And now it's no longer a secret. Right? And so until I did that because I didn't wanna create in turn, he created a competitor. Nick Reynolds [00:27:45]: And so we, like, we tripled. Like, we we, like, far outgrew this guy. Oh. Yeah. Like, he wasn't happy about it. Like, he hit us up in the DMs and everything. He was pretty sour. He was like, okay. Nick Reynolds [00:27:54]: That's on you, you know, being a poor sport. But, like, so think he he he created a competitor that he couldn't compete with. So learning from his lesson, I'm not going to create competitors. I'm gonna, create, collaborators Reginald Ferguson [00:28:11]: who are Nice. Nick Reynolds [00:28:12]: Concerned customers. Right? I'm gonna teach you how to thermoform. And so when I like, I kept the the, the things around, but then I brought out the Swoosh. And the point of me bringing out the Swoosh was to see, hey. Are people capable of doing doing this? Are they willing to, you know, put their acrylic into an oven or use their heat gun? And they are. We get orders every day for, you know, the swoosh. And so, like, now that that's the case, if I do bring back the things, they're not gonna be preformed. I'm I'm just gonna show them how to form it and how to put it on the shoe, and that's gonna save me time, and it'll actually make the $35 worth it. Nick Reynolds [00:28:46]: Because now I'm just, like, throwing in the machine, and then I'll have, like, one of my interns peel the, peel the paper off. Because it's like it keeps it from singeing. Reginald Ferguson [00:28:56]: The Fashion Geeks are hosted and powered by Blueberry. That's Blueberry, b l u b r r y. Thinking of launching a podcast? Want your episodes to be deployed smoothly? Go to, type in the word fashion, and get a deal on us. Just put in the word fashion. Blueberry always host fly. So to be clear, when you first when you first launched the acrylic checks, you were doing them yourself, meaning for the customer. But now you wanna empower the customer to do it themselves. Is that correct? Nick Reynolds [00:29:33]: So not so the acrylic checks, I never predid it for the customer. So the acrylic checks was the test to see if it paid. Reginald Ferguson [00:29:40]: Oh, okay. Nick Reynolds [00:29:41]: Okay. And, it was I preformed the things. But, you know, when I dropped the checks, it was like, if they can do this, then I can, like, literally just cut and send out the material. Reginald Ferguson [00:29:52]: Oh, so it was always it was okay. Alright. So it was always a DIY for the customer. Okay. Alright. I was confused. Nick Reynolds [00:30:00]: Yeah. And so so but now there was a challenge when it came to the checks because, like, it's one thing to put a screw into the rubber. It's another thing to put it into the leather. Reginald Ferguson [00:30:10]: Sure. I can imagine. So I had to Nick Reynolds [00:30:12]: the same way that I did the, the things as far as, like, the dialogue. And this way, like, I was a little bit more further along, so people were actually submitting their questions. But, like, you know, like, I was just answering those questions, like, do you fill it? No. You won't fill it if you put it here, here, and here. Right? And then I'll show them, like, you like, how hard easy it is to install it. Do question. Do I have to pre drill a hole? No. The screw does the work for you. Nick Reynolds [00:30:37]: Right? How long does it take to install? 5 minutes. Let me actually go live or make this video with a timer to show you that it takes 5 minutes and there is no pre drill hole. So it was just like just pretty much answering the questions that the the customers have, and then they love the product. And so then we start coming out with different designs, the Kraken, the snake, the thunderbolt, you know, the star. Like, it's just all these different ones. And so now I'm at a point where, like, we are like, I'm I'm hiring individuals to actually carry out this work, like, the production side of it so I can keep creating. Reginald Ferguson [00:31:11]: I saw I I looked on your instant. I looked on the site. So you have them to your point, you have them in different colors. You have city skylines, including the best city in the world, New York, of course. And then I saw you did it for the A as well. There's so many different directions I can go Here's one of them. Would you say that all the things that you're doing currently and I know you have some other future plans, How much of this do you feel you're inspired by Dapper Dan? Because I totally feel that what you and people are doing in this space with this customization, you're dapper Dan's children in my mind. Bro, are you serious? I have no idea. Reginald Ferguson [00:32:03]: Okay. That's a homework assignment for you. I want you to Google that. But I will also give you a quick answer. So back in the day, if you remember in the Golden Age of hip hop, Eric B and Rakim, now you got it. That's Dapper Dan. How much of that would you say, though you didn't know who his name was, and we're not gonna call you out at the meeting. Nick Reynolds [00:32:27]: Yeah. Just edit it out. But, Reginald Ferguson [00:32:32]: I would've added it out, bro. But Nick Reynolds [00:32:34]: I ain't trying to get, try to get canceled by the culture, man. Reginald Ferguson [00:32:38]: I immediately, when I started deep diving, I said to myself, this is a direct influence from what he did. Mhmm. But you're doing it for shoes. Would you agree? As I, you know, I'm hipping quickly, but Yeah. Nick Reynolds [00:32:52]: No. Actually, I would agree. I wouldn't say that I was directly inspired by him. But, like, I definitely I can, I can align with his, like, his spirit? Right? Because, like, it's like like, for me like, actually, my friend, he's actually in here right now. He's, like, doing some video editing. But, like, every time, like, we'll go out to eat or something like that, he was just like, I'll I'll order. And, like, he'll laugh. He say, man, like, your entire life is customized. Nick Reynolds [00:33:18]: I'm like, bro, like, no. It's not. As the waiter, like, waiting for me to, like, finish my order. You know? And, like, you know, it never really hit me like that. It's just like like but that's just how I like, I don't I don't I want to stand out. You know? Like, I like, I don't wanna just, like, I don't I don't wanna wear everything that somebody else is wearing. Like, I like, I wanna create something that, like, like, when I walk out the door, this is me. You know? And so, like, I'm looking at, Dapper Dan's fits and, like, and that's him. Nick Reynolds [00:33:45]: Like, everything about Oh, that thing is nice, bro. You got the, come on, man. Cheetah print, like, handkerchief. But yeah. So, like like but it's, like, just stuff even Cheetah print. Like, actually, like, my my, I have, like, a Cheetah print jacket. And so, like, people look at me like, oh, man. Like, isn't that a woman's jacket? Like, I don't care. Nick Reynolds [00:34:03]: Like, this is like for one, it's not a woman's jacket. But who said that only only women can wear a cheetah print? But, no, I can I can align with that? You know, just like, I wanna make something that, like, when people wear it, it speaks to who they are, not the hype. And and that's what, like, I'm anti hype. Like, I, like, I really don't I I don't like it. And I think that that's what the shoe industry has become. It wasn't like that. Like, remember what the shoe game used to look like? Like, it it it wasn't hype. Like, it it it was the culture. Nick Reynolds [00:34:31]: It was creativity. And, like, now it's like people are, like, just like buying a shoe just because so and so matored or so and so said that it's cool or so and so wore it. It's like, no. Like, buy it because you love it. Alright? And so and and that was the trap I was starting to fall into when I wanted to go into, resale. And so I'm Reginald Ferguson [00:34:48]: glad that I got out of it. Well, you hit on something that you can speak about a heck of a lot more intelligently than I. I would also say that StockX and Goat probably have a lot to do with this shift in the culture. Would you would you agree? Nick Reynolds [00:35:07]: They do. Yeah. They they made it more accessible. They, they've influenced people who weren't resellers to become resellers. Right? And so, like, now for people who wanna buy the shoe and wear it, they're missing out because there's somebody who's using a bot to buy it so that they can sell it on that platform. And I think that Nike is trying to get away from that, that, you know, like, you kinda see it in the way that they're moving. But, like, yeah, like that that they definitely they influence that heavily. Reginald Ferguson [00:35:37]: Well, when you say that to me, then we briefly have to talk about West Coast Streetwear when you talk about resellers. So that whole kerfuffle with the kid and his mom working for Nike, I'm sure you know the story far better. So I think that clearly they took a blind eye. They looked the other way. So for someone like myself, right, who again, I'm suited and booted, dog. That's who I am. I can't even imagine the number of sneakers I have now. And I'm like, how did this happen? Because I may wear a sneaker one day a week if I'm lucky. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:24]: But the thing I realized is I've accumulated I think I have 15 pairs of sneakers, which for me means I'm a sneakerhead in my mind. I know I am not, but I'm just like for a guy who wears shoes and boots all the time. I'm like, how did this happen? What the heck? Like, you know, and I argue to myself, I've lived a life. You get a pair here, you get a pair there. Nick Reynolds [00:36:48]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:48]: Yeah. I always get my pairs on sale. I could give a Dawn about a Jordan number, but I also could give a Dawn about a Jordan because I'm a Knicks fan. Nick Reynolds [00:36:56]: Take that. Take that. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:58]: Hey, never wore a pair of Jordan's, never will. No way. Impossible. But it's interesting how you've made it clear. You said, hey, right now my product line is Afones, Blazers and Dunks. I've worn 2 of the 3, And you're trying to see hopefully one day you'll get to Oregon somehow, some way. What I'd like to kind of transition. We've talked about the accessorizing, but you also are doing custom shoes. Nick Reynolds [00:37:35]: Mhmm. Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:37:37]: So and, you know, so let's let's talk about that. Let's talk about that migration, that transition. Nick Reynolds [00:37:44]: As far as, like, making custom shoes? Reginald Ferguson [00:37:47]: Yeah. Because, like, for example, I look through your gram and your stuff is crazy. I mean, and I wanna be clear and I wanna the reason why I'm saying is crazy is because let us talk about the killer kruger a f ones, the Friday 13th a f ones, the air Jason's. Like, a nightmare on Elm Street. Like, it's like Nick Reynolds [00:38:10]: I like that. So you have, like, different customizers. Like, you have some, like, this one guy named Color Me Fresh. Like, he does a lot of, characters, like, anime characters. He's he's, like, flawless. Like, his work is amazing. I I can't do that. I can draw, but, like, I've I've never trained myself to draw on the curvature, like, on the shape of a shoe. Nick Reynolds [00:38:31]: And, honestly, I don't have the patience. Like, I asked him one time. I said, hey, man. How much time Reginald Ferguson [00:38:35]: do you put Nick Reynolds [00:38:35]: in your shoe? He says, like, you know, like, 20 hours, you know, 24 hours. I'm like, bro, like, you you are the most patient man in the world. Like, I can't do that. You know, like, I like to create and see my creation. Like, you know, but then that doesn't take away from what he's doing. But I'm a theme creator. Right? So, like like, I'll make a donut shoe. I wanna make a cosmic brownie shoe. Nick Reynolds [00:38:59]: But then, like you said, like, the Air Jason. Alright? So it's a a Freddy Krueger not a Freddy Krueger, but it's a, a Jason shoe, the, the Friday 13th. And and that was inspired by the Warren lotus drop. And so, like, that that's part of what actually, like so the Fangs the Fangs coined me as, like, the guy who's creating, like, just weird like, you know, I've never seen this before. But when I dropped the Friday 13th now here's where the marketing comes in. Right? Actually, the marketing came in, but here here's the brilliance of the Friday 13th. Because a lot of people think that, like, oh, like, he's not like, he doesn't have any more ideas. No. Nick Reynolds [00:39:32]: I have a ton of ideas. I'm just too busy fulfilling Friday 13th orders. So what I did have you are you familiar with the sigmoid curve? Reginald Ferguson [00:39:41]: No. Can you please explain? Nick Reynolds [00:39:43]: So the sigmoid curve, every everything everything has a life cycle. So just imagine just, you know, a hump. Right? And so, on the left side of that hump, at the bottom, is the birth. And then you also you have the growth. Right? And then, like, somewhere along that growth, it starts to plateau. And that's when you reach the top of the hump. Right? And then it declines, and that's the death. Right? And so this like, this is the same thing with us humans. Nick Reynolds [00:40:10]: Right? There's a birth, a growth, a plateau, a decline, a death. Alright. Now in business, everything has this curve. In business or in leadership or just culture in general, everything has a birth, a growth, a plateau, a decline. Now, in order to keep things going, you wanna catch it right when you think that it's about to plateau and then you instill a new curve. So when it came to the Friday 13th, I dropped that, actually I dropped 2 shoes, last October. I dropped 2 shoes. I dropped the night thing and I dropped the Friday 13th. Nick Reynolds [00:40:43]: I personally thought the Night Fang was going to be the hit because I made them the same night. And this was one of those days when my wife took our kids to our friend's house, and it was just me in a garage. And I was like, okay. Peace and quiet. I can do this. And so I knock out these 2 shoes. I make the night thing first. I'm like, this is beautiful. Nick Reynolds [00:41:01]: Like, I like, I put the I put the fang on the front. You know, I I like I I don't like to use liquid rubber. I use a different substance. It, like, it looks like blood. Like, it, it Reginald Ferguson [00:41:11]: it Yeah. Your stuff looks like blood, dawg. It really does. That's what you're doing. Yes. It's freaky. It's like Nick Reynolds [00:41:17]: the shoe is bleeding. Yeah, exactly. Yes. And so some people love it. Some people hate it. But, like, yeah, it looks like look. So, like, so, like, I have the blood dripping off the thing. I have, like, the, you know, the, on the tongue, I have acrylic. Nick Reynolds [00:41:31]: I think I put I put a half of a bat wing on the the back heel of each shoe. And so it looks like one bat when you put it together, and then I didn't put Reginald Ferguson [00:41:41]: a Nick Reynolds [00:41:41]: swoosh on it. I put a swoosh on the inside. It was like a dripping red swoosh. But on the outside, I took a drill and I drilled a hole through it. 2 holes. And then I put some eyelets in it. And then I made some blood dripping out of it because I wanted the shoe to look like it got bit by a vampire. Halloween was coming up. Nick Reynolds [00:41:59]: And and and I loved that. I was like, this is beautiful. I think I wore my pair once. I shouldn't have. I should've I shouldn't have worn it. It was beautiful. And so I was like, well, now, you know, Warren Lotas is getting sued at this time, and his suit should look sweet. I can I can draw a suit similar to that, and I'm gonna make it out of acrylic? And I'm gonna put it on a black Air Force 1, and then I'm gonna add some adjacent mask on the back. Nick Reynolds [00:42:19]: And, like, I'm thinking, like, this is it's cool. Right? And so I put it out, and that thing blows up. Right? Like, I'm getting orders. Right? And so I'm getting orders. I'm getting featured on these other pages. And so at this point, like, I'm like going viral and stuff like that. And so now remember the sigmoid curve. So let's fast forward. Nick Reynolds [00:42:39]: Like, actually, I thought that after Halloween, my sales were gonna go down. Reginald Ferguson [00:42:43]: Right. Sure. I would have thought that too. Nick Reynolds [00:42:45]: Yeah. Right. Right. No. How November rolls around, my sales go up. December rolls around, my sales go up. Like, people keep ordering this shoe. So I'm like, okay. Nick Reynolds [00:42:59]: It must be because of the holidays. So, like, now at this point, like, we just we moved into the office space, and it's January. December or January. I can't remember. But, like, I remember I'm a youth pastor who puts blood on shoes. Right? Reginald Ferguson [00:43:14]: Yeah. Yeah. Nick Reynolds [00:43:16]: But I'm a youth pastor and, like, like, I remember we were in a meeting and I I I I'm looking at this thing just, like, just grow. And I'm like, hey. I was like, you know, like, I love what I do. I like so how about I was like, how about, like, technically, you fire me, but I'll just stay on as your volunteer, youth pastor. So really nothing changes other than the fact that you're cutting me a paycheck. Right? And so that allows me to go full time, like in business. And so, we we move into the warehouse and so he the issue is like, I'm like, okay. We have all this momentum. Nick Reynolds [00:43:52]: This shoe is taken off, but what if this is just a holiday thing? This is the fear in the back of my mind. What if it's just a holiday thing? And we hit January and sales go up. And so, like, during this time, the reason I was able to, like, keep selling this shoe was that just around the time that, like, I felt like that the design was plateauing, I would drop a Air Force 1 high. Same design. It's just now it's just a different it's it's just a, it's a bigger, like, a different, sizing of the shoe. Right? And so when the Jordan high the when, the high felt like it was plateauing. Right, I would say, like, after, like, 3, 4 weeks, then I dropped an inverted Jason. So now it's on a white air force 1 and everything is, like, inverted in color. Nick Reynolds [00:44:36]: So, like, what was white on the Jason, like, the swoosh is now black, and people people loved it. They bought it. And so the last thing I did was that I got the the Jordan 1, and that's when I dropped the Air Jason. And so, like, that just kept that thing going, like, all the way. So, like, I'm fulfilling a order. I have 2 of the, Air the I have Air Jason and Friday 13th, like, that I'm working on, now in a shop that I I need to get out. But, like, it's just that I think that's a part of marketing that people I think as a creator that, like, sometimes we just over create. Because I have tons of ideas, but why would I jump to another idea when this one is already scaling? Reginald Ferguson [00:45:18]: No. I guess so. I mean, you know you know you have others in the chamber, but you wanna max this and continue the vertical portion of the hump. So how much are those kicks retailing for, mister Reynolds? Nick Reynolds [00:45:36]: So so in order for it to be legal, I have to buy the shoe at retail. So I'll, like, order from Nike for, like, 90, so a $100 after, like, shipping and tax. And then, like, now I had to my my prices are I think I've increased them to either 500 or 550. So they started off at 250. Yeah. So, like, I did that because, like, it was just too many orders to handle. And so, I increased the prices and so pretty much less people are buying. But, you know, I'm cool with, like, I'm making the same amount of money. Nick Reynolds [00:46:07]: Right? And it's making it exclusive. Yeah. Because you're a margin. Exactly. And and this is I mean, honestly, I was gonna make this announcement. I'm trying to figure out when exactly to do it, but I might actually stop making shoes, just for a while. Just because, like, I'm working on something else. I'm actually working on making custom shoe box. Nick Reynolds [00:46:24]: I haven't dropped my full design yet. I'm actually working on a, a private, contracted, box. And, like, once this once this order is done, then I'm actually gonna you're gonna start seeing more designs. Like, I believe I have a Dragon Ball Z box I need to make, for Color Me Fresh, and then another guy wants a Captain America box. And the boxes now are going for 3.50, but then that too may increase in price, like, once I get the ball rolling. Reginald Ferguson [00:46:48]: Yeah. I saw that and maybe we'll have time to talk about that. You said something though just a minute ago that I need a clarification. You said to make it legal, you have to order the sneaker from Nike. Can you please explain that? Can you elaborate? Nick Reynolds [00:47:05]: Yeah. So the, the the West Coast street wear situation. Right? Yes, sir. The reason that that was so so messed up and the reason his mom resigned so fast was because he was buying shoes at a discounted rate. Reginald Ferguson [00:47:18]: Right. He was using not just the family, but other employee discounts. Nick Reynolds [00:47:24]: Mhmm. Exactly. Other employees. Their discount codes. Exactly. And so, like, like, that's illegal because, like, Nike's not making anything off of that. You know? And so, like, so you're buying this discounted shoe and then selling it for, like, like, 10 times worth the actual cause. Reginald Ferguson [00:47:40]: And so, like, that's Nick Reynolds [00:47:41]: why he was so illegal. Exactly. Yeah. But he he tried himself. So for it to be legal because, like, here's the thing. If I buy the Air Force 1 right now and go to the store and buy Air Force 1, I can pour gasoline on that shoe and burn it if I wanted to. I can roll over it with my car 1500 times if I wanted to. Nike can't do a thing. Nick Reynolds [00:48:02]: They have their money. I bought this shoe. This is my property. Reginald Ferguson [00:48:06]: Right. Nick Reynolds [00:48:07]: Alright? So when I buy shoes at retail, I'm selling artwork. And as well as this shoe that I Reginald Ferguson [00:48:15]: bought, that Nick Reynolds [00:48:16]: I own. So I'm transferring ownership of this shoe, but I'm also adding artwork to it, and I'm giving it to this person in exchange for money. And that's illegal. So that's the reason why all these brands Reginald Ferguson [00:48:30]: are not coming after any of you guys because you're making the purchase new and then doing the thing and selling it as artwork. Here's my immediate follow-up because I've been scratching my head about this as I've been doing research. So what if I gave you a pair of Afones? Is that cool? If I said to you, hey, hey, Nick, I've got a pair of a f ones. I want you to do your thing with them. Is that cool? Nick Reynolds [00:48:58]: Yeah. Because it's your shoe. Okay. Yeah. So yeah. So, like, now now at that point, like, I'm not selling you a shoe. Like, you're buying a service. Understood. Reginald Ferguson [00:49:10]: Mhmm. Immediate follow-up from that. Why is it? And I believe you're in this camp, and if you're not, you're gonna make it clear. Why is it so important that whether you buying it or me giving it to you, that the sneaker has to be brand spanking new? Why is that so important in your community? Nick Reynolds [00:49:29]: It's not I think Reginald Ferguson [00:49:31]: it's Okay. Because people are making listen. I'm looking at Graham's, and they're like, it has to be new. And I'm like, but my stuff is barely worn. Nick Reynolds [00:49:40]: Yeah. So like like, okay. So for me, like, I don't let people send me in shoes unless they like unless it's like like somebody the guy who sent the ear, Jason, it's hard to find them on the site. So he bought it off StockX and had it sent to me. But, like, it's just, like, nobody wants to paint on a, like, you know, like, you don't know that person stepped in. The sole could be all super dirty. And, you know, I engrave you shoes. If people send me the you shoes, I'll engrave it. Nick Reynolds [00:50:04]: But, like, it's like it depends on the wear and tear. Right? So if you send a shoe in and it's like like you wore it once, right? That's not a thing. Reginald Ferguson [00:50:14]: Yeah. I'm kind of that dude. Like, what I want to do is because I told you I want to do another interview, another set of interviews, so to speak, with people who are more on the artistic side. And you know who I mean. But some of them, they're so clear new. And I'm like, wait, what if I take a photo? Everything's fine. I wore them, like, twice. I have it. Nick Reynolds [00:50:36]: Yeah. It's better to see if that's a shoe because it's a blank canvas. Reginald Ferguson [00:50:40]: I don't wanna be punted. I'm not buying another darn shoe, not doing that. But you mentioned something about engraving, which I think from a bespoke, which again, I feel such a misuse word in a misuse word in the classic men's wear space. You're a shoe Baker. You do a Baker's dozen of a line, which means 13, but each one is engraved and numbered. Yep. Yeah. Each one of these. Reginald Ferguson [00:51:07]: So that really right. Which is really highlighting the exclusivity of your product. Nick Reynolds [00:51:12]: Yes. Exactly. And and I didn't always do that. Actually, I just started doing that, recently. And that that was after, like, that was after I lost my page. And so, like, when I when I lost my page, that it hurt. It hurt bad. So, what happened was, we like, it was just people who just don't I I think that the guy who quote unquote is the competitor, I'm pretty sure he sent some people over to troll us, And we called them out about it, then it stopped, but then it came back. Nick Reynolds [00:51:42]: And it's like they got our our page shut down. They kept marking our stuff as fraudulent and spam. And so IG shut us down and investigated for a month to find out that, like, hey, there's nothing about this page that's that. You know? Because they're like, we were messaged like, emailing them every day. You never talk to anybody from IG. Reginald Ferguson [00:52:01]: I know. Nick Reynolds [00:52:01]: We sent them emails every single day. We sent them our receipts. Like and so I resent them all of my receipts from Nike, like, showing, like, hey. Like, I bought all of these at retail. These are real. Like, these aren't coming from overseas. This isn't Alibaba. This is coming straight from Nike. Nick Reynolds [00:52:16]: These are my receipts. And I just send them all of this stuff and then they finally, you know, decided it's real. And so, like but while my page was down, you know, I did some soul searching. I was like, you know what? Because I I was like very overloaded. I mean, I'm back to being overloaded. But I was very, like, just like, I will have, like, 15 orders in a queue, like, every week. On top of the, like, the custom charms and the, the the Nike the, the swoops. The checks. Nick Reynolds [00:52:45]: The checks. Yeah. Say checks for legal purposes. The checks. And so, like, I was just overloaded, and then, like, I lost my page and, like, my numb my sales went from, like, all that to, like, crickets. Reginald Ferguson [00:52:57]: You know? Oh, of course. Nick Reynolds [00:52:59]: Uh-huh. Yeah. So it hurt because it was, like, that was, like, about the end of the month, by, like, week 3, like, you know, we started getting our numbers back. But, like, for the 1st 2 weeks, we it was just, like, 0 to no sales. I had to make another page, and I would go in and say, hey, this isn't spam, but people still thought it was spam. But then we grew the page to, about, like, 2, I think, 2 k or something like that. Reginald Ferguson [00:53:21]: Yeah. Yeah. Around 1800. 1800. Nick Reynolds [00:53:23]: Yeah. And then, like, one day, my wife called me. She's like, hey, who's the best wife in the world? I was like, well, it's you. You know? And she was like, the page is back. And so I'm like excited. I'm like, woah, this is crazy. Because, like, at this point, I I reached a point where, like, I was like, I didn't care anymore. I was like, you know what? I'm just gonna do the same thing to this page that I did to that page. Nick Reynolds [00:53:42]: I'm still I'm still the baker. I'm still putting out baked goods. You know? So, like like, the people will find me. A lot of people, they thought that I blocked them. That was the thing. Like, they would go look at me. And they thought I blocked them. Yeah. Nick Reynolds [00:53:54]: And so we got the page back. And so, but during that time, I realized, you know what? I wanna focus on making, like, premium custom, like, themed shoe boxes, and they look beautiful. Like, the ones you see now, like, I haven't even posted the pictures of the actual premium shoe box. The ones I posted were like those are like tests that, like, I got sold. But, like, the, the ones that I'm making are like double plated, double engraved, facing each other, story told throughout the entire it's beautiful. Lights at the top. So I'm gonna be dropping those soon. So I decided I wanted to do that, but I was like, well, I also don't wanna keep making the same shoe. Nick Reynolds [00:54:29]: So, I'm only gonna make 13. Right. I like that. And that's where I'm at. And so, like some of the shoes like the the Jason, not well, the the Freddie, the Freddie we dropped while we lost the page. We still got a few more spots for that. And then the the Friday 13th, I changed the design a little bit to restart that. And I I tell you, everything that was white on the shoe, I may glow in the dark. Nick Reynolds [00:54:58]: And so, like, note those are the ones that I'm numbering now. So, like, when I make those, like, 1 to 13, like, you walk and you walk in a dark room, the back heel tab and the swoosh are all gonna go in dark. It looks pretty sweet. And so Very cool. Yeah. But, yeah, the baker's dozen is is a must. It keeps me from burning out. Reginald Ferguson [00:55:17]: Understood. And we're gonna have to talk about the boxes in another conversation. I like to ask all my guests, mister Reynolds, what does the phrase always be fly mean to you? Nick Reynolds [00:55:31]: Oh, what does it mean to me? Okay. What does it mean what does it mean to me? Honestly, it's dapper Dan. Right? Like like, it's like, what's cool to you? It's cool life living. You know, like, uniqueness without exemption, being your own cool without being excluded. Right? I think that, like, just being fly has become, like, you need to wear this in order to be cool, But you're starting to see a trend of people just literally just, like, fashioning themselves. And it may look silly to others, but, like, at the same time, I think it's dope because it's like, I wouldn't wear it, but it looks good on you. You know? So it's like, when you walk out the door in the morning, as long as you're comfortable in your own skin and comfortable in a clothes that you're wearing, then you fly. You know? And so, like like, I I love that. Nick Reynolds [00:56:17]: Like, people who try so hard and they have all the latest hype stuff, like, I just turn my head into it. It's It's like, you pay all that money for my approval. You know, like, for what? It doesn't make sense. So yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:56:33]: Well said, brother.
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