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This Sneakerhead went from Being Homeless to Owning a Multimillion-Dollar Business

The business world is filled with many rags-to-riches stories that would surely inspire a lot of people who are dreaming of overcoming their own struggles in life to find success.

Jaysse Lopez, the man behind the vintage shoe consignment shop, Urban Necessities, is one entrepreneur with such a story. Find out how he managed to turn his life around and start a successful business with just $40 in his pocket.

Starting from the Bottom

Jaysse Lopez/Instagram — Lopez came to Las Vegas from New Jersey in 2000

Lopez is no stranger to hard times. Twenty years ago, the businessman found himself homeless in Las Vegas leading him to turn to panhandling and selling water to get by.

It was during this half-a-year of homelessness that he first learned about the concept of reselling apparel. He recalled seeing a line of people at a mall waiting days in advance for a shoe release.

Eventually, he learned the ropes of the reselling industry by watching more experienced resellers and working for some of them as a line stand-in.

Ups and Downs

Joanie Barangan/Instagram — Lopez faced another bout with homelessness after temporarily breaking up with his now-wife and business partner

Lopez soon got off the streets and started a job with a cell phone company, which he would keep until 2012. His sights went back to reselling while he was looking for a new job.

He would turn his first profit from reselling in 2013. With his girlfriend Joanie’s help, Lopez bought 18 pairs of Nike’s Barkley Posite Max Area 72 and sold them a profit of $200.

After learning more about the business of reselling, he launched his own website, Two Js Kicks. Lopez’s business model saw him taking pre-orders for sneakers that were in-demand and collaborating with store managers to sell these shoes for a $60 profit.

Unfortunately, his path to success was filled with more challenges. Because he kept too much of his products for himself, Two Js Kicks suffered.

Lopez ended up breaking with his girlfriend and moving into a motel. Still, he persevered once again and got to work.

He got his former clients to consign some of the shoes they no longer wear, which Lopez then sold at a trade show. There he was approached by a mall representative, who promised him months of free rent is he opens a consignment shop in a storefront that’s been out of business for five years.

Going Strong

Jaysee Lopez/Instagram — The Urban Necessities store continues to serve customers

After signing the lease with $40 to his name in 2014, Lopez was back in business again. And this time, his business finally took off. By 2015, Two Js Kicks, which was reamed to Urban Necessities, was pulling in $4 million in sales. In 2019, that number rose to $21 million.

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