We're back with the next installment of our new monthly series, highlighting a Reshoevn8r retail partner on the blog. Today we're hanging out with The Laboratory, from Dallas, Texas.
R8: How long have you been in business?
LDTX: We opened our first store in Oklahoma City, OK on October 15th, 2016.
R8: What made you want to open a sneaker store?
LDTX: I've also been into sneakers and fashion since I was a kid! I've also been inot Hip hop/Rap culture as well as sports. i think those two play a big part in the sneaker culture. I started noticing you can make money by reselling sneakers around 2011/2012 in high school. Started to sell locally around that time vs Facebook groups, craigslist, as well aw Ebay! 2013 I started a small business called Cultural Kicks with one of my good firnds who actually got me into reselling. My sister opened a designer store in 2014 called The Factory and I really looked up to her and the lifestyle she was living owning her own business. She helped me a lot with giving me the confidence that I could do the same and gave us a huge platform right off the bat since she had already had a store in OKC for 2 years.
R8: What was the first sneaker store you had ever been to?
LDTX: The first sneaker store I've ever been to was GRP Fly in Oklahoma City! It was on a smaller scale but I always loved the selection they had.
R8: What is the significance of this location?
LDTX: Dallas has always had a huge sneaker culture! I just moved here when we opened up the Dallas location in March of 2019 but I’ve been traveling down here for years to attend Sneaker Events like Kicks 101, Sneaker Con, etc.
R8: What brought you into selling sneakers?
LDTX: I’ve always been into sneakers my whole life but in High School a good friend of mine showed me you can make good money by Reselling in 2011/2012. He always had a crazy collection of shoes but was also always reselling to pay for his collection or trading up. Once I started that it started to become an addiction.
R8: What are some challenges you faced prior to opening and also after you opened?
LDTX: In the beginning it was finding trust from your consignors to leave your product with us and trusting us to take care of their product and actually getting it sold. I'd say after being open the biggest challenge was to keep your store relevant and different and making sure our employees see the possibilities of what our store can be one day.
R8: What brands do you currently stock?
LDTX: Currently for clothing we sell a lot of different Streetwear brands. our main sellers are Bathing Ape, Supreme, Off-White, V-lone, ASSC, Vintage Clothing, and Tour Merch. For sneakers our best seller are Jordan Brand, Nike, Adidas, Yeezy, etc.
R8: What have been some top sellers for you?
LDTX: We've had a store open for 4 years now so things change over time. Currently our best sellers for clothing is Bape, V-lone, and Travis Scott merch. For sneakers it's definitely Yeezys, Jordan 1s, Off-White sneakers, and Nike SBs are currently really hot right now.
R8: What are some ways that your store connects with the city?
LDTX: I think we stand out with our customer service, we treat everyone the same and make them feel welcome and try and make sure they walk out with a smile even if they don't walk out without buying anything.
R8: Any big moments in the store’s history?
LDTX: We've been blessed and built a good following over the years and had many celebrities/athletes coem to the shop. To name a few, Trippie Redd, Ray J, Ariana Grande, Playboi Carti, Ski Mask The Slump God, Gunna, Shoreline Mafia, Blueface, Wale, SuperduperKyle, Pierre Bourne, CardoGotWings, Sterling Shephard, Jae Crowder, Nick Young, Ezekiel Elliot, Amari Cooper, Cee Dee Lamb, Bol Bol, Waka Flocka, Tory Lanez, Kyler Murray, and many more!
R8: How has the Pandemic affected you and your business?
LDTX: During the month and a half having to be closed down it as hard. We had to find new ways to make income to pay rent/employees/etc. Now that we've been open since June we've had our best 2-3 months in business!
R8: Are you online? How have sales been?
LDTX: Our Oklahoma City location started a website early this year (Thelabokc.com) and it's helped tremendously. For our Dallas location, we are in the works of a website, but currently we do ship just right through our Instagram page.
R8: Any new learnings from the pandemic regarding business and customer’s behaviors?
LDTX: A lot of people are out of school and work and have been getting those checks from the Government and seems like everyone is just ancy to get out of the house and spend that check.
R8: Did you get hit by the riots? What are your thoughts on what happened?
LDTX: In March of this year we opened our 3rd location in Los Angeles. We got hit really bad the same weekend all of the other Resale shops did. unfortunately we had to close down that store. For OKC and Dallas we cleared the shops before the rioters showed up but they still came. Our security scared them off in Dallas before they did any damage but OKC they shattered a few windows.
R8: How are things now? How are you navigating the business during these uncertain times?
LDTX: We are doing great! Super blessed to be open still since so many other business had to shut down.
R8: Where do you see retail going, post Pandemic?
LDTX: I think it's going in the right direction, and doesn't seem to be slowing down at all. People also love to be able to get all of these exclusive shoes and clothing in person rather than waiting a week or 2 or even longer when they shop online.
R8: What was your biggest challenge when first opened and did you ever think of quitting?
LDTX: I think we stand out with our customer service, we treat everyone the same and make them feel welcome and try and make sure they walk out with a smile even if they don’t walk out without buying anything.
R8: Fast forward 5 years, what is your ultimate goal with your store/brand?
LDTX: I think these next 5 years we really need to actually Brand ourselves and push our own clothing line. As well as branding to really get that online presence. We want to be bigger than just a store in OKC and Dallas.
R8: From a reseller aspect, what was your biggest win or come up?
LDTX: I think my biggest come up was being able to secure 15-20 Yeezy 350 Static Blacks. Definitely one of our best sellers in the store so it was an easy flip.
R8: Where do you see sneaker culture going in the future and what are your thoughts?
LDTX: I think we are just scratching the surface in the Sneaker Culture. With Social Media being so big it has gotten more and more people into sneakers, including Women. It's not just “sneaker heads” buying these kinds of shoes anymore.
R8: What advice do you have for the next generation looking into the sneaker/streetwear business?
LDTX: My best advice is to build that trust and following in your own community and people will always be willing to shop and consign with you. It looks easy from outside in but it’s really an everyday grind and you have to be willing to put in the time and work to be successful in this business, Also you have to really love the sneaker/streetwear culture or it will always feel more like a job than a passion.
The Laboratory DTX carries the Following Reshoevn8r Products: