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This PEAK scholar is building relationships - and his future - with one pair of shoes at a time

Many teens have a hobby they pour themselves into - skating, video games, sports. But not Kevin, one of our PEAK scholars from the Class of 2022.

“I don’t have a hobby,” the PEAK senior said. “I have a brand.”

For the last two years, Kevin has been building up his own successful business buying and reselling high-quality, in-demand athletic shoes. He loves the whole process – from standing in line to buy the product to visiting the neighborhoods where his customers live.

He’s become an expert in the market. He regularly scours Chicago-area shoe stores looking for shoes he knows young people want, looking for deals to build his inventory and then marketing to customers online. He gets feedback and much encouragement from his mentor, Kevin Harrington, who works for CIBC advising small business owners.

You can get to see Kevin by tuning in to this year’s virtual “Coffee With PEAK” at 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 27. For more information and to join in on the fun, please go to

During the pandemic lockdown Kevin heard about people starting “side hustles” to make money while at home, and he started searching for ways to do the same. When a friend asked him to go with him to a local shoe store to search for shoes to resell, Kevin’s curiosity was piqued; he checked online businesses and saw the market for athletic shoe resales was booming.

Sneaker reselling is a huge market, largely because the limited editions designed by the likes of Nike and Yeezy are in short supply and only a few pairs are distributed to each shoe store. Those willing to trawl multiple stores in search of the prized sneakers can command high prices from people who lack the time - or access - to do so but are willing to pay for the kicks of their choice.

Kevin’s dedicated to the search, and has spent countless hours scouring shoe stores and departments to provide customers with their ultimate sneakers. He’s been successful enough in his side hustle that he’s turned a profit since he began - and his business continues to grow.