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Chase Reed had a cash flow problem like many teens do. But in his case, his addiction to sneakers would turn out to be the thing that ultimately helped him solve that problem. When he wanted money to go out, Reed’s father would hold onto one of his pairs of expensive sneakers for collateral until Reed paid him back. He soon figured out that other teens might want to do something similar. And that’s how Sneaker Pawn USA was born.

By age 14, Reed and his admittedly indulgent father, Troy Reed, had helped him amass a sneaker collection worth approximately $30,000 in resale value, Chase told But his father, who owned a barber shop, convinced his son to to sell the collection to start the store. It turned out to be a good move for the both of them. Troy now says he works for his son and told CNBC “It’s the best job I’ve ever had.”

Troy and Chase Reed

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Now 16, Chase is a sophomore at Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem. (We feel sure Douglass would approve.)

“It was hard to let go of the collection because I was 14 years old with 200 pairs of sneakers, and all of the sudden you have to go back to zero. But it was just part of becoming a young man and an entrepreneur,” Chase told CNBC. 

Shoes like the Air Jordan 2 High DB “Charity, Doerabecher,” 2007 have a resale value of up to $1,200. Chase and Troy’s partner, Rahsaan “Uncle Bless” Capers owns three pairs of Air Yeezys, and has been offfered up to $17,000 for them, the New York Post reported.

Sneaker Pawn USA acquires its sneakers from the public as well as from dead-stock (discontinued shoes) and gives the sneaker’s owner the money they need – the NY Post reported they’ve acquired sneakers from folks looking to finance everything from a prom to a funeral. They typically check out the sneakers for quality and wear and then pay the owner. The owner can get their sneakers back for what they borrowed plus up to 20% or can sell for 80% of whatever the final price negotiated is. The store gets the other 20%.

“I don’t look at it like a business. It’s what I do. It’s what I breathe,”  Chase told the NY Post.  “It’s an idea that’s right in front of your face. It’s just about bringing the idea to life.”

Annual sneaker sales are projected to rise over $4 billion this year. Check out Chase and Sneaker Pawn USA HERE.

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Harlem Teen Finds Profit In Love Of Sneakers By Opening Sneaker Pawn Shop [VIDEO]  was originally published on