Andrew Lewis IV is making game-changing moves as a student entrepreneur. The 19-year-old is the founder of Sneaker Renegade, a resale outlet launched on June 7, 2018, in Tampa.
Lewis has had a burning passion for sneakers since he was a child. He recalled not always being able to afford the sneakers he wanted, which is what led him to become a reseller. Sneaker Renegade began as a way to earn money and afford more shoes for himself, but soon turned into a lucrative business.
“We give customers that missed the initial release of rare, high-demand products a second chance to own them,” Lewis said. “The goal for Sneaker Renegade is to become a recognized powerhouse, in the rare-sneaker market.”
Recently, Lewis has been receiving 40 to 50 orders a week, 95 percent of his sales coming from online. As a full-time business administration student, Lewis admits it’s sometimes stressful being a business owner. But, with the help of Excel spreadsheets, the Reminder app, his planner, and a supportive family and girlfriend, he manages.
This third-generation Rattler may have been predestined to be successful, as he was born into a family of entrepreneurs. But, even with parents who are graduates of the School of Business and Industry, Florida A&M University was not his first choice.
“I looked at other universities, primarily because of peer pressure and came to FAMU because of family ties and national SBI recognition,” Lewis said. “When I came to orientation I had so much fun … it just felt like home.”
Since being at FAMU, Lewis has become a member of the Chief Financier’s organization, the NAACP, and actively participates in the SBI Living-Learning Community. These organizations have played a huge role in polishing Lewis’ business skills, and created opportunities for Lewis to be surrounded by like-minded, driven entrepreneurs, like his roommate Malachi Somerville.
Somerville, who is a freshman business administration student as well, noted the impact Lewis has had on him.
“Andrew puts significant time into being successful, and his sneaker business,” Somerville said. “I’ve learned different business and entrepreneurial strategies from him.”
Somerville suspects Sneaker Renegade will be a well-known retailer in the future. And, Rachel Edouard, Lewis’ girlfriend, shares those expectations.
“He is only at the beginning,” Edouard said. “And everyone should stay tuned for what he has coming in the future.”
Edouard added that Lewis grows as a businessman with every sale, and that she admires his ambition. He has inspired her to become an entrepreneur. She now has her own graphic design business called Graphics by Rae.
“The fact that he is so young, but already has his mind up on what he wants in life and what exactly it is he wants to do,” Edouard said. “He pushes me every day to think of new ways to make money, (and) especially how to save.”
Fortunately, this is only the beginning for Lewis. His long-term goal is to make his way into the real estate market like most of his family.
“I’d like to start investing in real estate and investment properties soon,” Lewis said.
To follow Lewis’ journey visit his website at www.sneakerrenegade.com or follow his Instagram @drewnero.