Ahmad Muhammad is not only a student at Florida A&M University, but a business owner with fresh ideas in an old profession.
Muhammad has had a passion for sneakers since he was young with customizing his own shoes, and pretty soon others took note of it.
“It was kind of a hobby,” Muhammad said. “I started making designs and people really liked them, they started bringing me their old shoes and I would make them look like new.”
Muhammad, a second-year MBA student from Cincinnati, Ohio, is also the owner of the shoe restoration store called “Funky Fresh Footwear.” Muhammad said they specialize in buying, selling, customizing and restoring shoes.
“A lot of people don’t know what restoration is,” Muhammad said. “We take an old beat up shoe and make it almost brand new.”
Funky Fresh Footwear has three levels of services; the deep clean, the medium restoration and the full restore. The prices ranges from $40 to $100 for the services.
As far as competition goes, Muhammad said there is only one shoe restoration store in Tallahassee called Retro Repair.
“A lot of competition is located in California and New York.” Muhammad said. “There are only four in Florida.”
Michael Jackson, who is the co-owner of the business, a typical day includes a lot of marketing and hard work.
“It’s a constant effort every day,” Jackson said. “In a five to six hour day, we market and do a lot of research."
Muhammad said that balancing both school and a business can be difficult but with the right organization and schedule it’s possible to be effective.
“The best way to balance is good time management,” Muhammad said. “I set my schedule according to my class and work schedule.”
He said his dad was the one who pushed him to have a business type of mindset when he saw what he did with the sneakers.
Muhammad said he and a few friends came together with a name and the services they would provide the sneaker world.
Muhammad is pleased with the results that Funky Fresh Footwear have recieved.
“It has been a great experience thus far.” Muhammad said.
Recent customer and roommate of Muhammad, Stephone Baker, said he has supported since the inception of the company.
“When he shot me his idea, I thought it was great,” Baker said. “He was a solid dude from the start and I wanted to help a black business.”
Funky Fresh Footwear is located at 5003 Tennessee Capital Blvd.