Fat Joe, DJ Khaled, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, French Montana, Lil Durk, Future, Fetty Wap. What do all these names have in common besides music? They’ve all gotten sneakers from this 19-year-old reseller from the suburbs of New Jersey.
"It’s gonna be a store within a store," Fat Joe said of the venture, which opens in September. "It’s gonna be like a museum that no one’s ever done before; this is one of one."
How did this kid get in Fat Joe and other rappers’ good graces? Through sneakers, of course.
"Fat Joe is my big brother," Spina, who goes by Scotty Kickz, said. He added that he was originally introduced to the rapper through a mutual friend. "He supports everything I do and even gave me a Terror Squad chain."
It all began one day in 2013 when Spina went to the mall with a couple friends to buy the "Kilroy" Air Jordan 9. After waiting hours in line, he finally got into Foot Locker and purchased the shoe but he noticed that some people were walking out of the store with three and four pairs. After asking his friend why, Spina learned that they were going to resell the shoes for profit.
A few months later, he was off to the races selling shoes through his Instagram account and Craigslist. Things really took off when he got an Instagram DM from Super Bowl Champ and former New York Giant Brandon Jacobs asking him about a pair of shoes. Jacobs didn’t even believe how young Spina was and asked if he could deliver the shoes to the Giants facility.
From there, Jacobs spread the word to his teammates and Spina began to gain notoriety among other athletes and friends. This led to him connecting with entertainers as well, gaining relationships that would be important to his business.
"Teachers were laughing at me saying, ‘You’re not doing anything, you’re just hanging out with the wrong people.'" Spina recalled. He was even held back a grade. "My goal was to prove people wrong and I let that motivate me."
The teenage entrepreneur claims he’s already made six figures on sneaker reselling, but declined to give exact numbers. He also has plans to start college this fall to get a degree in business.
"The only fear I have is running out of people to sell sneakers to," the 19-year-old said. "If things don’t work out, there are other channels for me to move on."