As I walked into Fresh Exclusive Sneaker Boutique, located at 2001 Commonwealth Ave. Suite C, my eyes went directly to the crystal-inspired chandelier that hung from the middle of the ceiling and thought, "Thats something you dont see in a sneaker store every day."
After further admiration of the design, my mouth dropped as I looked to the left side of the store and noticed nestled nicely on top of its stand the Jordan 7 Bordeauxs. One would think its typical to see a pair of Jordan Bordeauxs in a sneaker store. Well, not necessarily ... it was two days before the sneaker was slated for release.
With an avant-garde ambience and a shoe for sale before its release date, it hit me immediately that this is not one of your average sneaker stores. But I think thats the idea Kelvin Wright, Lamont Reid and Brandon Roberts had in mind when opening their first storefront.
Creative Loafing: What was your design scheme or concept when you went into creating the look of your store? How did you want to differentiate from other shoe stores in Charlotte?
Kelvin Wright: To be honest, I had no say in the design of the store. I hired my friend Will Smith of Interior Motives and he came in and transformed the place. I believed in his vision and seen enough of his work to know he could give the store a wow factor. The store is really clean and fresh, which was a look we wanted to portray so customers will understand the price of our product. Ive had people stop in the store because they see the look from the window and wonder what it is we are selling.
Back when Creative Loafing profiled you and your business Fresh Exclusive, there was quite a few naysayers proclaiming your product to be fake, how did you combat that type of negativity?
It was crazy. Ive done nothing and my product continued to sell. My celebrity friends and customers have verified my product and thats all that mattered to me. But with anything positive you try to do, people will attempt to bring it down somehow.
How did you come to end up opening your shop in Plaza Midwood?
I was actually stuck on an Uptown location for a while, but when my realtor showed me this space along with the location, my partners and I jumped on it. Being in Plaza Midwood, I hope to bring exclusiveness because our store is like no other in this area, and with the foot traffic that comes through I get possible customers of different colors and ages that I wouldnt had before.
Are you pretty confident to say that you and your Fresh Exclusive crew have a monopoly on setting the bar pretty high when it comes to one of a kind sneakers in Charlotte?
Most definitely we set our bar high here at Fresh Exclusive Sneaker Boutique, making sure everything we have is fresh and new because no one in Charlotte can give you sneakers a month and a half in advance. Outside of sneakers, we sell clothing from The Freshnes and ADAPT brand, and we make sure that we have the only contract with them in the Charlotte area. We want people to know that Fresh Exclusive can get anything you want but not always in your specific size, which is why we do 80 percent/20% percent consignments where we will sell your sneakers for you. Not to sound cocky or anything, but no one else is doing what we are doing right now with getting the most exclusive things in first.
What are your hopes and plans for Fresh Exclusive Sneaker Boutique and your Fresh Exclusive team in the coming years?
I can say what our plans are but its always up to what God has planned for us. But we do hope to open additional stores in Atlanta and Phoenix in the next two years. Also, we hope to become one of the biggest sneaker consignment shops in the city. Were here to stay and continue to bring exclusiveness awhile.
For more information, visit www.freshexclusive.com.
By Johnathan Cruse