Sophomore Alex Marcum Turns Passion to Profit with Shoes

Joseph Souza | Reporter

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There’s sneakerheads, hypebeasts, and then there’s sophomore Alex Marcum. Air Jordans, NMDs, Yeezys, you name it, he’s sold it. What started out as his passion project that operated under a deficit has recently been reformed into a lucrative business that boasts a six-figure profit margin: OSM Kicks.

“Most people would’ve quit after months, but you have to understand— you gotta keep going and believe in it and give it time,” Marcum said.

Marcum began selling in 2014, and it took him nearly three years to turn his hobby into something profitable, and profitable it is. In 2018, Marcum estimates that he’s sold well over a thousand shoes, which accounts for half the shoes he’s ever sold.

“I didn’t necessarily expect it, but I just put in the work, and the time, and it just happened,” Marcum said. “I put in the footwork and I got the results, and lots of knowledge.”

Marcum’s business now extends to several online platforms: GOAT, eBay, Poshmark, his website. All of which are marketed through his Instagram where he routinely posts about new arrivals in his stock. But when selling online isn’t enough, Marcum frequents downtown sneaker expos like Indy Hype Fest and Globallaced where he sells footwear for cutthroat prices. This is the idea; use this platform to extend to other business ventures.

“The expectation is to maintain about the same dollar amount as last year, but the goal is to open up 2-3 other streams of income and use the shoes to subsidize [it],” Marcum said. “YouTube, stock appreciation, stock dividend cash flow, I have some other business ideas I just need the manufacturers.”

Marcum has already extended to selling high-end street apparel such as Supreme, to much of the dismay of his parents who “highly disapprove” of his business practices, partly because of his young age.

“Although they like I’m financially independent…[they think] it’s unconventional to ditch school and do your own thing and self educate,” Marcum said.

Marcum, however, stands firm in the fact that running his business is the right call for him.

“I don’t get my schooling and my self-improvement twisted. Learning physics equations isn’t going to pay my bills,” Marcum said. “But self-educating on modern-day skills and perfecting what you’re good at is key.”

Marcum has simple parting advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

“Do it, don’t overthink, don’t doubt yourself, don’t listen to anybody else, don’t ask yourself how, instead, learn how,” Marcum said. “You can’t listen to anybody else, especially anybody at school.”

Photos submitted by Alex Marcum

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