The Clayton Factor

Sophomore and 15 years old, Clay Arney bought himself a 2016 white Mercedes by buying and reselling shoes online and at shoe selling events. Arney can’t even legally drive alone yet but is working on getting his hardship so that he can finally drive his accomplishment without his parents criticizing his every move. 

Arney has run his own company called Sparkicks for about two years now. In 2019 he made 50,000 dollars selling mostly shoes and some clothing items.

“I’ve always liked shoes so I just used that as a passion and sold the shoes I had and then bought more and kept going,” Arney said. 

Arney sells shoes mostly two ways, through social media and going to shoe shows such as Shoe Con in Fayetteville. To contact him search Sparkicks on Instagram or Facebook. He also sells on websites like Goat, Stockx and eBay. 

“There was one at the Hilton in Fayetteville and he had a table set up and he was selling to a bunch of different people,” junior Spencer Hornsey said.

Hornsey met Arney at a shoe conversion. He also sells shoes but not at Arney level. 

“I just get them from other people and either clean up or just resell them for a higher price than what I bought them for.” Arney said.

If he buys them used, he’ll clean the shoes using a shoe cleaning kit.  

The brands he sells most often are Nike, Adidas, and Jordan. He believes it’s because they are known better than other shoe brands. Although he likes those brands, he likes other brands as well. 

“Nike is my favorite brand. I love KD a lot because he’s my favorite basketball player. I like Off White and Jordan,” Arney said. 

The most limited pair of shoes he owns is a pair for an SEC college team. Only about 15 teams got this pair of Nike shoes. 

“There’s only about 15 teams who got them and one of the basketball players for Arkansas sold them to me,” Arney said. “I actually have two, I’m keeping one and selling the other one.” 

His parents support him and his business. His dad will even go to shoe shows with him, help him sell shoes and buy shoes when he is not able to. His mom recently helped him redo his room since that is where he keeps all of the shoes.

“It just made it more spacious and I can put more shoes in it,” Arney said. “It was just dirty, there were just so many shoes stacked up so I had to make more room so I could sell them.” 

According to Arney, the most challenging part of the company is when a shoe won’t sell or isn’t selling for as much as he thought. 

“When I found a shoe that doesn’t do too well and it’s going for under what you paid for it. You just got to get rid of it and lose money,” Arney said.

However there are ways to figure out if a shoe will sell or not. 

“If it’s a specific person’s shoes like Travis Scott or a famous person like that and there’s limited pairs, you’ll know the amount of pairs that there are,” Arney said. “There’s a website that tells you if it’s limited or the demand of the shoes.” 

One way he has learned so much is just by going out and meeting people. He even met the person who is buying for Stadium Goods.

“I’ve met a lot of basketball players,” Arney said. 

Sometimes he will even go and shoot hoops with the Arkasnas Razorback players. He has also sold shoes to many of them. 

“I want to focus on basketball, as my main priority, but if I keep on working maybe if it doesn’t work out I’ll open a store.” Areny said.