• July 4, 2020

Teen turns passion into a business - Odessa American: News

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Teen turns passion into a business

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Posted: Monday, June 1, 2020 4:40 pm

Fast forward to the present day, the 15-year-old student from OC Techs is turning that passion into a business.

Hypebox Kicks, a pop-up shoe store, opened its doors for the first time Sunday afternoon in West Odessa with a trailer parked outside with name-brand sneakers from Air Jordans to Yeezy Boost 350s.

The inspiration for Yiara came in part from traveling across the country with her family.

“She’s been a sneakerhead for a while,” said Elizabeth Ortega, Yiara’s mother. “She’s been following everyone’s stories around different cities and knows who has shops. She’s always been interested in what is coming in and how the prices are going up.”

Yiara also got an idea from another pop-up store, Kickpin, located in El Paso that opened its doors last year. Aside from that, Yiara added that there aren’t many options for sneakerheads to find those rare kinds of shoes in the area.

“Most of my friends thought it was a good idea,” Yiara said. “A lot of times the closest sneaker store you can go to for these types of shoes is maybe Austin or Dallas. They wanted something here so they can get sneakers for summer, the school year, stuff like that.”

She added that she also wanted to show off her own style and share that with others with the variety of shoes available.

“I want to help people get their shoe game up,” Yiara said. “We want to increase their level with the shoes we have from Yeezys, Jordans and Travis Scott collaborations.”

When trying to get the wheels turning on the store, she still had two important people to convince: Elizabeth and her father Alex Ortega.

Alex said that one of the family’s favorite shows to watch is “Shark Tank” and he wanted Yiara to make her pitch and develop her own idea for how she wanted to open things up.

“She had to tell me what she was going to do and we made her an offer,” Alex said. “We’ll take 15 percent of ownership and I would loan her the money to buy the trailer and do all the work on it and buy the inventory for her.”

With that agreement set, the family started to get to work. With school not meeting in person due to the effects of the coronavirus, that allowed Yiara and the rest of the family extra time to get things moving.

“She would have to get up and start working on it and learn your stuff,” Elizabeth said. “This is hers and I want her to do it. She learned about getting a bank account, getting the resale certificates, the taxes and just wanted her to learn by going.”

The store opened up for the first time Sunday with five customers in the trailer at a time with others waiting outside. The sneakers range from a starting price of $175 to $1,500. Hypebox is also selling shirts, keychains and other merchandise to get things started.

The goal for now is to start small and open once or twice a month at different locations around the Permian Basin. The store informs customers where they will open up on its Facebook page.

“We just try to get enough stock and hype it up,” Elizabeth said. “Just hype it and then have everyone come in and take our stock so we can get another moth to restock. It’s only once a month but when it’s open, it’s open for you.”

Alex added that opening up this store would provide a good real-life lesson for her daughter.

“I want her to get a feel for the business world,” he said. “We own an oilfield business and I think it’s good for her to get her head wrapped around the way it really is and what it takes to be successful.

“You know, she might fail a couple of times but she has to get back up, keep trying and not give up.”

Odessa, TX

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