Header image courtesy of Sole Exchange Canada
After the eventful early morning, off we went to the Sole Exchange Ultimate Sneaker Show “March Break Lace Up). I thought I would first give you an inside look at the work involved in getting to the show!
For me, I always want to have some sort of theme or idea to try to organize my sneakers around. I don’t want just a mish-mash of shoes. This time, the choice was obvious. Air Max month = Air Max themed display.
I also really want to be able to distinguish my table from those who are selling. It helps to cut down on the questions from people looking to buy or getting annoyed that I’m not selling. In my mind, I always have these BIG ideas! But it has to be a balance of something interesting with something I can transport easily. So big shelves or stacks (which I would really like) are out of the question (for now). This time I went with my standbys of a black table cloth and some stands made out of foam core.It takes a few hours of shopping, cutting and taping to get the stands all made. Easy to make, easy to transport and somewhat impactful on the table.
Starting about a week before the show, I begin selecting which shoes I want to bring. I start taking them out of boxes and then spend the next few days cleaning them all and then packing them up neatly. I also start picking out my favourite boxes to round out the display.
The night before the show, I do the final packing up and going through my checklist (have to remember to bring a phone charger and water and some protein bars and all my Be@rbricks).
The morning of the show things tend to get really busy (even if I’m not lining up to cop a sneaker at the same time). We load the car (takes 3-4 trips) and head out to the show. Next the unload (3-4 trips) and the scramble to set-up. Every single time I end up bringing too many sneakers and some get left in the bag, If I’m lucky, we get a few minutes to chit chat and check out the other tables and then the doors open and the onslaught begins.
So why do I go to all this effort? Is it worth it? I wonder that every time, usually when I have 40 pairs of shoe in various states of cleaning all over the floor.
I can say that it is 100% worth it. Look, sneakers is a crazy hobby. We do crazy things to get shoes and pictures of shoes and shoe accessories. It feels good to be with a community of people who don’t need that explained to them. Everyone I talked to on Saturday understands this hobby – understands why it was so important to me to get the Atmos Air Max 95 Animal pack to complete my set. No explanations needed. This time in particular I had a lot of great conversations with people who love Air Max as much as I do and appreciated the work that went into building my collection. Every shoe brought back memories for them and for me.
People like to complain about ‘the kids’ in sneakers, especially after a sneaker show which is attended by a lot of young people. As someone with a smaller shoe size, I tend to interact with a lot of ‘kids’ – buying, selling and just talking to them. In my experience, I have had almost only positive interactions. Kids who want to learn about the sneakers they aren’t familiar with, who want to make sure they aren’t getting ripped off and who want to wear something cool. I actually had a few sneakers for sale this time (space is becoming a problem) and the kids who wanted to buy them were so polite. I decided I just couldn’t make a profit off a twelve year old and ending up selling all the shoes at retail.
I encourage everyone to go to the next Sole Exchange with an open mind. Connect with other sneakerheads like you and develop the relationships with people that are so key to getting the sneakers we love.
I had a great time for the whole 6 hours and I am already looking forward to the next one.