Harlem’s Closet brings new flavor to Columbia
by: Kiara Harris BUSINESS OF THE WEEK
Harlem’s Closet was established in 2017 by like-minded sneaker friends Kenneth Joyner, Tresban Rodgers and Andrew Davis. The shop held its grand opening on August 14, 2021 in downtown Columbia.
“We used to always say we wanted to open up a sneaker buy-sell-trade and have clothing and stuff like that,” said Joyner.
The name, Harlem’s Closet, derived from Joyner’s desire to name his future son, as well as the desire to stand out in the buy-sell-trade sneaker industry.
Joyner expressed how their grand opening exceeded their expectations, noting their customer demographic that ranged across the age spectrum.
“Sneaker collectors come in all shapes and forms. We’ve had kids, college students, people in their 50s and 60s who are like us - Jordan collectors,” he said.
The buy-sell-trade shop offers a variety of sneakers and aesthetics that range from $100 to $1,000.
“We have some exclusive sneakers that are limited. We have used sneakers and some sneakers that were sold at retail price; so, we do give out like a steal of the day,” Jordan said.
When asked about their ultimate vision for the shop, Joyner noted how they would like to reach their goals for this year and open up more stores.
“Our ultimate goal is to be in the community as much as we can,” said Joyner. “Next year, we’re planning on trying to do a back-to-school drive. If we’re able to give away some sneakers, but the backpacks starting off, we want to do that as well.”
Regarding the youth in the community, Joyner mentioned that they always encourage the kids and give them advice whenever the kids stop by.
“We always tell them to keep your shoes clean because you know you can easily come back in the store and sell them for $80 to $100, or you can trade them for another pair of sneakers,” he said. “We do also want the kids to feel like they can also open up a small business.”
Joyner mentioned how a lot of their success is a result of their huge support system, which includes some of their good friends.
“I always try to tell people, surround yourself with people that’s gonna help you when it’s time to do something. We have friends that sit and help us in the store all day and don’t ask for nothing in return; so, we’re very grateful for that.”
Harlem’s Closet is located at 514 Gervais St Suite B, Columbia, SC 29201 (between Hertz and Brazilian Wax). The store is closed on Monday and open from 12-7 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. For more information, visit their website at https://harlemscloset.com or contact them via email at Harlemscloset23@gmail.com.
Their social media handles are as follows: IG - @harlemsclosetonline / @harlemsclosetsouthcarolina and Youtube - Harlem’s Closet, LLC.