Recently eatmoreshoes had the pleasure of catching up with the infamous MrShoeShotta (Tom), a big time collector and seller of rare adidas sneakers. We sat down with Tom and discussed his past projects – MrShoeShotta and RareAdidas – and his newly launched website BboyLaces.
Tom, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m from Southampton, south coast UK and I still reside there today. I spent a bit of time further north in Nottingham, and planned to move to a bigger city after returning to Southampton 6 to 7 years ago but it hasn’t happened yet.
What makes you so drawn to adidas trainers?
Simple answer is hip hop. Like many others, I got into sneaker culture through hip hop culture. For me adidas with their heritage and simple, classic designs were always the top brand. I found when I got more into the shoes that I had to pick a direction to focus on and that evolved to be adidas and in particular the Superstar.
Where’d you get your nickname MrShoeShotta?
The name came about when ‘shotta’ was being used quite a lot in underground circles (in this case for someone who sold stuff not shot people!), I had decided to become self-employed, needed a catchy name and thought it described the business perfectly.
Your two webstores – MrShoeShotta and RareAdidas – both stocked shoes, but are they different?
Yeah they were different. I liked the MrShoeShotta site to be well-stocked with newer models in good size-ranges, and as cheaply priced as I could afford to sell them. The RareAdidas site focuses more on individual models, either older or rarer items and also offers a consignment service – where we sell shoes for people. The goal was to create something similar to the US business Flightclub. But it’s never really taken off to the level I’d hoped. We still get lots of nice shoes coming through the store… the really rare stuff doesn’t hang around long!
We understand that you’ve shut down MrShoeShotta, can you tell us why?
The business was built around my link with one supplier – he dealt in huge amounts of credit and we dealt directly with adidas buying big amounts, selling them quickly and then paying the bills. When the recession / economic climate / credit crunch hit, this model was obviously doomed and my supplier soon went out of business. I’d started with nothing and soon ended up with nothing again – so unfortunately I was not in the financial position to source stock elswhere, although I tried for a couple of years. Ultimately it was my fault for putting too much faith in one person, lesson learnt.
Yeah, that’s too bad to hear. But RareAdidas is going strong it seems. What do you stock there?
On RareAdidas there is a lot of older releases, shoes from 2 to 3 years ago that aren’t avialable in stores any longer. Most are older, general releases, but there are limited editions too. At the moment there is quite a few models from the Muhammad Ali Values series, some from the Five-Two 3 series plus quite a lot of elusive Superstars and Pro Models. The real rare stuff tends to come through on consignment, with models from the Superstar 35th Anniversary and adicolor collections still as popular as ever. We have also just added a clothing section with a few garms and more to be added soon.
What inspired your new store, BboyLaces?
Hip hop culture again, I think of a b-boy as being more than a break dancer, a b-boy is a hiphop ambassador, a person who draws from a variety of musical influences to create their personal style. B-boys are notorious for customising and adding small bits of individuality to improve their look, particularly focusing on color matching, co-ordinating or clashing. Hence it suits the laces very well, although I’m a bit worried it could alienate those who do not know what bboy means or how to pronounce it.
Tell us more about your stock of laces.
At present there’s the three styles of own brand laces – 20mm XL fat laces, 15mm medium fat laces and the cotton vintage style laces. The XL fats are currently available in 6 colours and 2 lengths – 125cm and 140cm. The medium fats are available in 8 colours and 2 lengths – 125cm and 150cm. The vintage laces come in a natural cotton colour, plus I’m hand-dying small quantities which will be available when I’ve perfected the dying process.
There is also a selection of other brand / generic laces, with more being added ASAP, some lace jewels and also a shoe care product section.
I had to get a relatively small selection of lace colous for this first order due to financial restraints, I really hope I can add to this in the future but it will depend on how the business (and my other projects) work out.
Well Tom, big thanks for your time and good luck with your new venture… we’re wishing you all the best here at eatmoreshoes!
written by Dylan Cromwell
photography by errol