HARTVILLE – The term “sneakerhead” was adopted by Marvin Montgomery Jr.
He turned his love of shoes into a business. Montgomery opened Kicks N ‘Cuts in Cuyahoga Falls last year, offering haircuts and selling various brands of collectible sneakers as well as clothing and accessories.
For the most part, sneakers are worn for competition, exercise, comfort or style. For sneakerheads, shoes are stylish collectibles.
Fans are expected to descend on the Hartville MarketPlace on Saturday for SNKRville Ohio, an outdoor shoe-focused festival.
Montgomery will be there with a variety of shoes and other products. Store owners from Wooster, Youngstown and other northeastern Ohio communities are expected to be among the more than 40 vendors lined up for the event, along with sneakerheads who sell online or at home. It is a chance to buy, sell and trade.
“It should draw a crowd,” Montgomery said of SNKRville Ohio.
SNKRville, the event for the first time hopes to grow
Hartville MarketPlace is hopeful that SNKRville can become an annual event, said Kirk Greaves, event coordinator for businesses.
“The sneaker market these days, especially among millennials, is crazy,” said Greaves.
The event will coincide with the weekly flea market on Saturday. SNKRville vendors will set up in a tent on the north side of the market square. Elec Simon will be the host and DJ KOB will select the music. Four food trucks are lined up for the event.
More than a hobby
While SNKRville Ohio will showcase a “sneaker culture,” it also serves as an incubator for small businesses and young entrepreneurs, said Jon Mencer, who helped organize the event with Seth Coblentz, managing director of Hartville MarketPlace.
The shoes come from big companies like Nike and Adidas and are often named after top athletes or popular musicians. Interest in the sneaker collection developed in the 1980s and dates back to the introduction of Air Jordan shoes linked to basketball star Michael Jordan.
Collectors follow the shoes as they are released. Some have started to speculate as investors, predicting that a shoe initially sold for $ 110 a pair will rise in value due to style, brand, designer or name.
Teens and young adults learn about the business by buying, selling and trading the different shoes, Mencer said. Some, like Montgomery, might start their own businesses and others will take what they have learned with them while pursuing other careers.
Evolved from similar events
Mencer got involved because her 16-year-old son Patrick is interested in sneakers. They attended Sneaker Con Cleveland in 2019 and were eagerly awaiting an event in 2020 but saw it canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As the Mencers waited for details on Sneaker Con 2021, Jon Mencer spoke to Coblentz about interest in the sneakers. This led to the creation of this weekend’s event.
Mencer said SNRKville Ohio brings together several established sneaker vendors with locations in Northeast Ohio. There are also clothing designers with product lines aimed at sneaker enthusiasts.
An Amazon Prime film crew has expressed interest in covering the event, Mencer said. “We are trying to make this a great event to film,” he said.
WHAT: A one-day event with sneakers, clothes and accessories.
OR: Hartville MarketPlace, 1289 Edison St. NW, Lake Township
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday
- More than 40 sellers
- Elec Simon as master of ceremonies, DJ KOB with music
- Food includes Beach Bum Taco Truck, Blue Flamingo, Slim Chickens, Johnny Lote’s Latin Street Corn