Wednesday, April 8, 2020

MSU students hold 'Sparta Kickz' sneaker convention

February 28, 2020
<p>A seller waits at his booth, decorated with sneaker-shaped plant pots at the Sparta-Kickz convention at IM Sports West on Feb. 23, 2020. </p>

A seller waits at his booth, decorated with sneaker-shaped plant pots at the Sparta-Kickz convention at IM Sports West on Feb. 23, 2020.

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

Shoemakers gathered at IM West on Feb. 23 for Michigan State's second ever Sparta Kickz event.

Accounting junior Jared Ingram and business sophomore Christian Atabong started Sparta Kickz this fall. People can purchase “thrift-style” apparel at this sneaker convention. The First Sparta Kickz event was held this past October. 

Sparta Kickz was founded on a passion for shoes as well as bringing people together with that same passion, Ingram said.

“We both love shoes,” Ingram said. “We both have been collecting for a long time.”

Although sneakers are the main foundation of Sparta Kickz — shirts, hats, sports memorabilia and other clothing items were available for purchase from popular brands such as Nike, Adidas, Jordan and Supreme. 

From this past event, Atabong said they saw growth in the number of vendors. “We had just under 35 vendors, which grew on a scale from about 10 to 11 from our previous event,” he said. They also saw growth in the number of attendees, which rose above 100 people.

Some of the vendors included Mr. Wear It All, Karisma Kicks and Leftover Loot. 

According to William Sexton, the owner of Leftover Loot, he uses a method which he calls “the secret sauce” to obtain his merchandise which includes thrifting and garage sales.

Sexton says he was drawn to Sparta Kickz because of the success of the last event, in addition to the idea of giving back to student organizations.

The admission for the public was $10, but according to Ingram it is a cheap price compared to the $20-$25 price to get in at other local sneaker conventions.

Atabong expects the next Sparta Kickz event to be held at the end of September or early October of the next school year. “We have had some people reach out to us about being sponsors already, so we are planning on being an even bigger event,” Ingram said. 

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