While some view social media as addicting and competitive, I see it as a tool for discovering new things and finding information. While doing my daily scroll through my newspaper aka Twitter, I saw a tweet by a woman stating “First black female owned sneaker store in our country with two stores” with an arrow pointing towards her profile picture. Soon, I was exploring her page and came across an eBay 25th anniversary highlight, detailing her journey from selling online to securing two physical store locations.
Tamara Baker is her name. Based in Grenville, South Carolina, Tamara Baker is a successful sneaker seller on eBay and an all-around sneaker lover. Her love for sneakers kicked off at the early age of three and hasn’t stopped since. Struggling in college financially in 2013, she looked toward her closet full of sneakers as the light at the end of the tunnel. She selected 10 pairs from her closet, took pictures, and named her eBay store. Upon waking up in the morning, every pair of sneakers had sold. Thus, Sneaker Solecial was born and so was Baker’s entrepreneurial spirit.
As her eBay store grew and became more successful, she soon sold everything in her closet and began to work closely with those in her community, molding relationships with other sneaker shop owners and one-on-one with individuals in order to keep stock flowing. Since 2013, Sneaker Solecial has sold over 2,500 items and collected $365,600 in revenue. Just this year, she earned over $53,200 in sales alone.
Sneaker Solecial was more than selling sneakers, Tamara Baker saw it as an opportunity to further her education and help Black people in her community. Baker went back to school to earn her associate and bachelor’s degree in business and is currently pursuing her Ph.D in higher education with a concentration in leadership. With her degrees, she hopes to one day become a professor for e-commerce and provide more Black people with increased opportunities in education and business owning.
Tamara Baker is expanding her online sneaker successes into a brick-and-mortar location called Everyday Kicks LLC. Everyday Kicks will have two locations, one in Orangeburg and one in Greenville of South Carolina. However, it looks like the grand opening will be at the Orangeburg, South Carolina storefront. Baker plans to operate the Sneaker Solecial on eBay and the physical store Everyday Kicks simultaneously, splitting inventory in evenly for both channels.
Be on the lookout for more from Tamara Baker and check out Everyday Kicks on December 11th if you find yourself in Orangeburg, South Carolina! Follow @solecialgirl and @everydaykicks1012 for more information.