Entrepreneurship at Latin: Ioannis’s Sneaker Business

Tejas Vadali You’ve seen them on feet, you’ve seen them in streets; sneakers amplify one’s self in today’s world, dominated by mass media and self-expression. They’ve risen in demand for their comfort, as well as status symbol due to some shoes’ rarity. Some “sneakerheads” at Latin have purchased trendy sneakers–such as Yeezy’s–from our very own in-house entrepreneur: Ioannis Paranikas. As many know, Ioannis is the owner of a profitable business, buying and reselling limited sneakers. Like others, I was curious how Ioannis runs his business, and how he exemplifies Latin’s theme of leadership in the process. He stated, “I originally became interested in buying and selling limited sneakers through Steven Schwartz, a 2017 Latin graduate.  I was fascinated by his business of reselling sneakers. I didn’t know it was possible to run a business as a kid; I thought that was something only adults did. After I had talked to him, I spent a ton of time researching how to buy the shoes and started identifying the limited releases I could try to buy and sell for a profit. Initially, I failed and would miss out on every release I went after. I must have gone three months before I was able to get my hands on one pair of shoes. When I’d gotten them, I’ll never forget the feeling I had. For the first time in my life, I had genuinely put in months of effort and time into a project and had finally seen it pay off. From then on, I was hooked, and over the past four years, I’ve managed to become much better at getting shoes–to the point where I can get hundreds per release now.” Ioannis added, “Regarding leadership within my business, I deal with it every day. I have made connections both domestically and internationally with different developers, so coordinating with them is challenging–sometimes involving late night or early morning Skype calls to discuss the best way to secure the next release. My business has taught me how to lead people I have never met from different parts of the world through the internet. Developers in Istanbul and London have drastically different styles and ways to receive information. I’ve also found ways to connect with just about anyone, which has helped me think on my feet, pun intended.”  ]]>