For this month’s Conversation, I finally coordinated a time to shoot and speak with Missa, the creator of the rapidly emerging Instagram account Leaves X Laces account to talk just that.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m Missa, I work at Pensole as the brand ops coordinator, as well as for SneakerWeek and I also work at The Numberz radio station running marketing, and I am the founder of Leaves x Laces.
What got you into Sneakers?
I have a very different story than most people. I went into the industry because I was body building and wanted to work with athletes and be closer to training and then I drifted away from that and got closer to the sneaker side of it. I was always into fashion and wanted to be a fashion writer growing up so it all just made sense.
What was that first job in the industry?
My first official industry job was the Nike Employee store while I was in college, for which I was in for marketing for the athletic/outdoor industry, and then through a connection I made there, who is actually my current boss (Founder and CEO of Pensole, D’Wayne Edwards), I was able to get a job at Under Armour. I was there for 3 years, and then when it was time for the next chapter, he was able to bring me on to his team.
I didn’t grow up a major sneaker head or anything, so I go after the ones that draw out to me, like ones with vibrant colors.
So Leaves X Laces is what we really want to know. How did that happen?
I’ve always been super drawn to nature. During quarantine was when I truly got into indoor horticulture and I just took those months locked in to dive in to learning and get serious about it. And then I realized that everyone is getting plants right now, and then being a sneaker head, talking to sneaker heads about their plants and they’re telling me they’re dying, and they’re just using them as a part of their home. To me, I see them as an extension of basically a pet. I’m gonna take care of them and spend time on it. So I saw a need. Everyone is taking an outfit of the day photo with their sneakers and plants, so I thought about how I can I combine this in a super dope way and to help people how to take care of plants.
You have a lot of female sneaker heads that have influenced you, so what does that presence in the industry mean to you?
A lot of females but a lot of different backgrounds and diversity. Things I have always been passionate about are feminism, equality and diversity, so I want my page to just reflect what I care about.
So, sneakers, plants…
That’s my life.
You know a lot of plants, you take care of a lot of plants, which plants are some of your favorites?
Banana Trees are definitely my favorites. It’s my fastest growing one and the most satisfying to grow. That little guy is a String Of Turtles. It’s cool, small little guy, excited to see it grow.
The Krimson Queen is also one of my favorites, every couple of leaves will come out and have pink on it.
And what are some of your favorite sneakers right now?
So for me, sneakers are a major way to express my style. I didn’t grow up a major sneaker head or anything, so I go after the ones that draw out to me, like ones with vibrant colors. I love the Jordan 1’s, the retros, and I know that’s a basic answer, but I do love the metallic Ozweegos that just came out from Adidas. I really just go after the ones that I feel like express me in a super vibrant and unique way. I’m still building my sneaker collection since I worked for Under Armour for 3 years, I had to wear them exclusively, so any sneakers that are not Under Armour, I probably got them in the last year.
What kind of style sneakers go best with your style?
A lot of bight colors. So these Melody Ehsani’s are my favorite. ME are also my initials, since middle school I’ve literally been signing off every test with ME in the top right hand corner on literally everything. ME in cursive also looks like the Virgo symbol, which was my first tattoo. If it says ME on it, I need it.
Also shout out to Deadstock for giving me the Rookie of The Years because I won a contest.
So for me, sneakers are a major way to express my style.
Deadstock gave you sneakers for free?
They don’t even know they did it. There was an app called Ritual where you can order Deadstock ahead of time, and I was the only person really using it. And it said if you showed up at 11 AM on a certain day, you would be entered to win and nobody else showed up. So they took my size and then sent me a pair. I came and told them about it the next day and they didn’t even know it was a thing!