If you’ve ever dreamed of turning your passion into profit, then one man’s success in the E-Commerce world might just be the inspiration you need to get your start.
Jimmie Da Plug, owner of the online shoe store Gym Kicks, came on the scene about two years ago and has been taking the designer sneaker world by storm. What started out as reselling brand-name sneakers transformed into creating a brand of his own.
Getting his start in 2020, Jimmie says “I always wanted to find my own lane after watching my father work hard day in and day out at his craft […]. So, I decided to start this business due to the sneakerhead boom during the pandemic. Everyone in the house was bored looking at shoes so I decided to start making my own signature line. You can now see sneaker culture relevant everywhere, so as the culture grows my business will grow with it.”
Don’t think Jimmie Da Plug just came on the scene a couple years ago, though. He’s been a sneakerhead for the last 15 years, and saw a market for helping consumers get the shoes they wanted without having to wade into business with shady sellers.
“I’ve been into shoes since 7th grade,” he says, “over the past 15 years I’ve watched the sneaker culture change for good and bad. Everyone is now aware of the culture, but at the same time you just have people in it to make money which I believe is unethical. When I was reselling sneakers, I just wanted to make sure everyone got the shoes they wanted. It was never about the money for me.”
One piece of advice, he says? It’s all about drive and mindset.
“When starting a business, you must be all-in. I strongly believe when you’re 50% invested into something mentally it will never work. You must be ready to always give it your all, no matter what. Some piece of advice I would give is don’t jump into a business you don’t have love for. You will quickly find yourself unmotivated to do anything that pertains to your business. Find something you’re passionate about, and put out the best product you can. I kind of compare it to finding a career. A lot of people are unhappy in their career because they chose it based on a salary.”
This doesn’t mean he’s not making any money, though. In fact, Jimmie Da Plug says that his business is giving him the kind of financial freedom that most people dream about. Not having to keep checking on his bank accounts every day, and not constantly worrying about going in the red, gives him the time and space to focus on bringing the best possible product to customers.
This might be what makes Jimmie Da Plug so different from other designer sneaker brands on the market. When you ask him how he feels about his consumer base, he says, “the difference between myself and the competition is that I care about my consumers’ opinion. I don’t release anything without getting an opinion from my consumer. They are buying the product, so it is best that they can have their input. When I make something bad, I love the feedback that I get so I can deliver a better product. I believe this will create longevity for myself in my industry. A lot of creators believe their opinion and their way is gold. I think the total opposite, I believe the consumer should have a say.”
Of course, Jimmie Da Plug has big plans for 2022.
“I plan on expanding into high fashion clothing. I really want to design a high brand that is not so outlandish but distinguishable. I am in the process of finding that medium to create the perfect clothing brand in my eyes. My second project will involve NFTs. I want to release ETH based NTFs on OpenSea. My NFTs will come with perks, such as discounts and special releases.”