Since we’ve all been stuck in lockdown since March, it has given so many people the opportunity to show a bigger interest in their hobbies and find a new love in their work. Even before lockdown, some people discovered this new chance to showcase their talent. If you spend all of your time on TikTok and Instagram like we do here at Fashion North, you will have noticed more and more people customising and painting their plain white trainers. We’ve seen it all, from a SpongeBob theme to Travis Scott’s face, there’s nothing these artists can’t create. Many people even redesign shoes into a luxury brand like Burberry or Louis Vuitton.
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We spoke to some people who have successfully made a business out of customising trainers.
Stephen Peecher who is based in North Carolina, runs his business through his Instagram page @peecher.customs. When we asked why he decided to make a business out of customising trainers, he said,
“I never wore a pair of regular black old school vans or white Air Force ones because I always thought they weren’t ‘cool’ enough for me. I was having a hard time finding shoes that were crazy enough!”
Emilie Roe, owner and founder of AF1Boutique (@af1boutique) was a student who first customised a pair using diamanté’s.
“I had lots of compliments on the trainers, so I decided to begin selling them on Depop where they sold extremely well, and it became a good side hustle for me.”
After seeing all the weird and wacky designs, we asked the artists what their most strange requests have been from their customers.
Stephen Peecher said that one customer wanted cats on skis to be painted on their trainers. While Emilie stated, “It wasn’t so much a weird request, but I was asked to design a pair for a bride to wear to her after party, with her name featured in diamanté’s.”
Everyone who is running their own business utilises their platforms to engage more customers and expand their brand. We also spoke to Emily Stallard, owner and artist for @customtrainerss, about how she promotes herself and her work.
“I only started out on Instagram and expanding on Facebook, then I started my own website. My friends also promote my work through their social media by giving me shoutouts.”
If you’re interested in starting a business like this yourself, having experience in marketing and how the system works is certainly beneficial. Emilie (af1boutique) told us: “I have a marketing degree, so I know about social media marketing. I use both paid promotions (Facebook ads and Instagram promotions). I also use organic techniques like competitions and influencer marketing.”