April 25, 2024

Advancing Business Excellence

Pioneering Corporate Success

Breanna Durand ’24 Finds Her Stride as a Sneaker Entrepreneur

Bentley student and sneaker entrepreneur Brenna Durand
Photo by Kevin Maguire.

What inspired you to buy and resell sneakers? 

During the past couple of years, Nike, along with many other retailers, has preached this idea of fairness in their distribution of sneakers and related products. As many customers have come to see, this effort to ensure fairness does not seem to play out because the market is dominated by resellers who solely buy sneakers at retail to resell at a profit and then there is limited or no supply for regular customers and collectors who buy to wear or admire. 

To me, there’s no harm in wanting to make a little extra money here and there. I would purchase my sneakers to wear and enjoy most of the time — cleaning them often — and I realized they still held most of their value. But when it comes to bulk reselling, it’s a problem because most of the product ends up with fewer individual customers. In high school I recall waking up at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday mornings to enter first-come, first-served sneaker drops on the Nike SNKRS app and losing most of the time. The same people would win time and time again, and it led me to question how and what could be done to make this industry fairer. My goal was to level the playing field and allow sneaker enthusiasts like me the opportunity to buy the shoes they love without paying inflated prices. 

What are some barriers to purchasing during a popular sneaker drop? 

A big issue affecting consumer access are sneaker bots: coding software and applications designed to help individuals purchase limited availability stock. Once a sneaker has dropped, the bots are preprogrammed to checkout and input card information almost instantly to secure pairs. As a result, within just seconds or minutes of a sneaker dropping, it will be sold out. This leaves almost no room for regular customers to even touch a pair, making their chances close to zero.  

You started your entrepreneurial venture reselling sneakers to help increase access for consumers. How did this evolve into launching a marketing business to serve individuals in the sneaker niche? 

I noticed a shift in the sneaker community — from collecting and wearing pairs to buying sneakers just to resell them at higher prices. To address this, I created an Instagram account focused on sneakers and offered a growth service for those looking to build their sneakers or streetwear businesses on Instagram. My goal: to connect individuals interested in sneakers to small businesses within the same niche and a true passion for sneakers.  

I also organized campaigns sponsored by these smaller businesses, where participants had a chance to win a pair of sought-after sneakers. This created an incentive for individuals to follow and engage with these accounts, but also fostered a community where businesses passionate about sneakers and streetwear were able to come together for one purpose. In the sneaker community networking is invaluable, and I was able to create a platform that bridged the gap between sneaker enthusiasts and legitimate businesses while creating an opportunity for individuals to win coveted pairs.