James Smith Moore graduated from Cass Technical High School in the city of Detroit and has been entrepreneurial since birth. At a very young age he opened a lizard breeding facility that sold reptiles to local pet shops, online consumers and reptile shows. He started and ran the facility in his own basement, housing a professional incubator and more than 10 cages for breeding reptiles. Additionally, he started a lucrative online apparel business that allowed him to buy his first car at the age of 16. He also opened a variety of small businesses focusing on nutritional juice and online marketing. At the age of 18, James became state licensed to sell life insurance and other financial products through Primerica Financial Services. Now at the age of 20, he has launched a company called Jimmy Kicks, a website that sells custom limited edition sneakers designed and voted on by its community of sneaker heads.
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on Jimmy Kicks Footwear, a limited edition sneaker line that allows its community to design and vote on what sneakers are produced in our line of sneakers. I’m also looking into importing and exporting and servicing large companies with their footwear needs. There are many opportunities in the footwear industry as well as in importing and exporting goods. My goal is to explore these opportunities and capitalize on my overseas sourcing knowledge.
3 Trends that excite you?
Being exclusive is HUGE in the Jimmy Kicks target market. People no longer want to be the same.
Drop-Shipping is an extremely scalable business model that allows for companies to sell products not held in inventory.
It’s a hot trend in the fashion industry that finally allows customers to have a say in what’s produced from a clothing and sneaker line.
This takes the guess work out of developing the clothing line, while delivering what the customer truly wants.
How do you bring ideas to life?
If I have an idea I first do some background research in that area and maybe look at similar (successful) business models and available manufacturers and suppliers to see if there is some type of opportunity. After doing some preliminary research, I’ll go deeper in studying the target market to truly understand if there is a need from the market.
What is one mistake you’ve made that our readers can learn from?
One mistake I’ve made so far was with sourcing our products from overseas. In the development of the sneaker I went back and forth with very vague e-mails on the design requirements of our branded sneaker. If I had of just sent a detailed document with our requirements and actually sent sample materials in the beginning, it would have sped up the development of the Jimmy Kicks sneaker.
What is one book and one tool that helps you bring ideas to life?
I read numerous books on branding, Internet marketing and entrepreneurship that inspire creative thoughts and ideas. These books include Seth Godin’s books, “The Tipping Point” and “Good to Great.” You should treat your brain just as you do your business; in business, revenue makes your business grow. As an entrepreneur, knowledge makes two things grow: the entrepreneur and the business.
What is one idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
This idea may already be out, but I think it would be cool for a company to allow for users to customize their own cell phone cases using a customizing tool online. Users could add text, design and could even draw on the actual phone case.
Why did you pick limited edition sneakers? Won’t that limit your sales opportunities?
We picked limited edition because we did our research and found a niche in the sneaker market that had a strong need for exclusive sneakers. We also knew that this market was large enough to create a feasible business from this model, and in order to position ourselves in the footwear industry, this was the way to go. Even though we only sell 250 to 500 pairs per design in the entire world, we can still offer multiple runs of different styles of shoes or products such as t-shirts, book bags, hats or jackets. Jimmy Kicks wants to eventually be the industry leader of exclusive limited edition products in the fashion industry.
What truly motivates you as an entrepreneur?
There are three major things that motivate me as an entrepreneur. They include my mother who recently passed, our urban youth and creating jobs for urban cities. My mother was one of my strongest supporters, often gave me funds to start some of my smaller businesses and was always there if I ran short, like needing to ship a lizard from Detroit to Europe. So I promised her that I would make her proud and continue my entrepreneurial career, and that’s what I will do. Creating jobs and inspiring youth are also big motivations for me to be successful and to create multiple successful businesses.
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