Our Forbes Feature
One of the greatest strategies a person can implement, before creating their own business, is promoting partnerships, and generating connections. This can be especially difficult if you are interested in investing in an area you have yet to make a contribution to.
However, there are a few rare millennial’s that seem to have this master plan down pat.
Founded by Steven Vasilev along with Vihan Kakar and Wissam Al-Madhon, FreCustoms is a company that specializes in creating unique, exclusive shoe wear that has garnered the attention of massive celebrities, including Chris Brown, 50 Cent, and Drake. They’ve also been shared on Business Insider with a video that garnered over 2 million views.
It all began over a period of three years in which Steven initially built a large social media following in the sneaker and streetwear niche, constantly posting and raving about the newest styles and trends taking the world by storm. Throughout this time, Steven and the team felt a desire to be a part of the community he was already spreading awareness for, rather than be out on the sidelines, so he set upon a path of trial and error.
Through the release of various products that were of no interest to his followers, Steven was able to learn from his mistakes and land on the decision to target the custom footwear industry, as his social media platforms already posted primarily sneaker related content.
Steven continued to trial his business prior to public release, by making his custom products available to celebrities first. His experience in the shoe industry through social media gained him access to celebrities as he had the opportunity to personal shop for them. Their love for his content made them want access to the shoes he was able to design.
As Steven explains, “Most of our celebrity clients jumped at the opportunity to get some 1:1 sneakers, which is the one of the main reason we targeted celebs, as creating fully reconstructed shoes takes a lot of time which reflects the high cost. If we released reconstructed customs to the general public we could not handle the demand, as it is a very specialized and long process”.
This provided the initial wave of marketing for Steven, as now the general public wanted access to custom sneakers as well. Keeping them exclusive at first allowed FreCustoms to gain even more publicity, since people could not get their hands on them.
Steven helped create images to advertise his products that were viral in nature, meaning that blogs and other social media platforms would repost the image for free, as it was related to content they already shared—creating a free promotional campaign.
“We also utilized our connections and clients, which helped us get featured on some of the most influential street wear magazines, such as Hypebeast and Highsnobiety”, Steven explains, “We also ran a sneaker giveaway with Hypebeast. This alone gaining us a ton of followers”.
“We were even able to debut a new pair of customs at Paris fashion week. This introduced an entire new population to our product. On our release day, our website was visited over 350,000 times, and we sold out on day two. Having all our products sold out made them that much more desirable to the general public, as well as caused an influx of celebrities and celebrity managers, such as 50 Cent, asking us for shoes in multiple quantities”.
So, by creating an innovative, and desirable product, as well as a great marketing strategy, Steven was able to achieve over 130 sneaker sales on his business’ first day, and sell out on the second.
In order to keep customers coming, both new and old, Steven’s main selling point was the quality of the sneakers. He ensures that all the shoes are handmade, using the materials of upmost quality, that still maintain the durability of the shoe.
However, what really pushed FreCustoms forward, is the fact that they choose shoes with an already large following—such as Air Force One’s, Yeezy’s, and Van’s, and customize them in ways that have never been done before.
This created unimaginable business.
“We had customers begging us for restocks, even sending us money for restocks 4 months in advance. Unfortunately, production through our first month of business was slow, since the demand was so unexpected. We soon had to employ more team members to help speed assembly up. However, people were so overjoyed when they got their shoes, that they didn't care about any delays. This created a very strong customer base, who buy up any model we release, as soon as we release it”, Steven explains.
All of this success encouraged Steven to found a clothing line as well, known as FreSupply. This business’ hoodies sold out within the first hour of sales, once again, due to branding and the desirability of products. Steven plans on creating an entire clothing collection, and opening pop-up stores worldwide with exclusive products.