Resellers tend to get a bad rap. Some sell you fakes, others ramp up prices on Grailed ridiculously higher than what they should go for, and some are just shady in general. But there is one particular plug that’s neither selling you fakes, or doing it for the money. And in fact, he’ll even tell you how to get into the market for yourself.
Christopher Kelaita is that reseller. At only 3 months old, Kelaita and his family moved to Dubai, a place where he spent many of his formative years whose sneaker scene varies differently from that of those here in the United States. Like a lot of sneakerheads and resellers, he came into the game by saving up whatever money he had to buy sneakers for himself. Having an entrepreneurial spirit, Kelaita took it upon himself to learn about reselling. He soon after linked up with Sneak Hunt, the reselling and consignment collective out of Dubai. Getting experience in the business and making connections along the way, Kelaita taught himself how to become a reseller. “I looked up videos here and there, but they didn’t do much,” he explains.
Shortly after, he started his own Instagram-based company, Shu.dxb, where his venture really took off and propelled him. He’d start off by reselling to friends, and as time went on, he started to get recognized more and more in the Dubai scene. It wouldn’t be too long before he had high-profile clients, which were key. “I’d sell to The Royal Family of Dubai,” he adds. The crucial factor to his list of elite customers was his network of connections. “Connections are key. You have to look for connections. Nothing’s going to happen just sitting on your ass. Nobody’s going to hit you up in your DM if you’re just sitting around. You have to be looking for those connections and being active on social media,” he declares. Having gotten his groove and business down to a science, he continued to attend events put on by members of community there in Dubai. Nearly a year after starting Shu.dxb, he then launched his own pop-up store for 3 days, which he mentions was one of the best experiences ever for him. “It was a great turnout, I sold out everything, and got a lot of shoutouts. It was a really big deal for me, because I had planned this for so long.”
Soon after, Kelaita decided to move to Chicago. But before he could do that, he needed to let go of his Instagram business, which he sold for $15,000, all of it being pure profit. After selling it, he had plans to go into social media, but went back to sneakers, and kept on reselling, and even recently attending Sneaker Games in Chicago. While a lot of resellers won’t be willing to divulge significant information that would help other people break in to reselling, Kelaita is giving his tips and experience to anyone willing to listen, and for free. He has recently started a 4-part podcast series, The Reseller, which explains in length the necessary steps one considering reselling should take. When asked why he’s willingly sharing this information, he simply shared that he’s in it for the culture. “I’m doing it so people won’t have to go through what I went through, to learn from my mistakes and my experience; to help them avoid those things. I’m not in it for the money at all, I’m in it for the experience,” he adds.
Aside from all the experience he’s had in the culture, his entrepreneurial passion, the various events he’s been to, along with just being able to speak and interact with people that also share the same love and passion for speakers inspire him. But the sneakers aren’t the only thing he’s plotting on. Future moves for Kelaita include inspirational speaking through podcasts, and making live videos to reach out to followers as well.
And his favorite kicks to date? “The Ultraboosts, or the Pitch Black NMDs. I absolutely love the Pitch Black NMDs. I got someone to consign them with me, with the whole suitcase and everything. It was awesome.”
Given that the sneakerhead community is a small and exclusive one, it’s always refreshing to see and speak to people that are pushing it forward with their vision and passion. Christopher Kelaita is definitely one of those people, and the culture will definitely feel his impact in the near future.