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$180 and a dream
Freshman runs sneaker design company
With sneaker company bases in New York, Israel, London, Detroit and others abroad, freshman Jordan Rosenberg rarely sleeps.
“I’ll be doing my homework to midnight or 1, then start reading my emails and I’m up till 6,” Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg created Yalla Kix, a custom sneaker company, in his junior year of high school. He worked under a company called Cali Kix, where he designed sneakers.
With Rosenberg’s experience working for a top tier financial company in New York, business took off, despite the obstacles in the way.
“I started my company with $180. I never asked my parents for money, and I never will,” he said. “It was hard because you don’t have a lot of white, ginger-haired Jewish kids designing sneakers.”
Since his start in 2012, Rosenberg expanded his company and client base around the world. He has worked indirectly through sneaker companies with stars such as Flo Rida, Meek Mill, select New York Jets players, New York Giant players, Juelz Santana, Trinidad James and others.
“I was never really big into celebrities,” he said. “They would hit people up and be like, ‘we’ll do it for Instagram promotion, but give it to me for free.’ I didn’t need promotion like that; I’m very loyal to my customers.”
Yalla Kix has also expanded its customer base globally. Sneakers are sold to places across the globe, selling to Israel, New York City, Long Island, Florida, Minnesota, Detroit, Texas, London, Russia and Belarus.
“The big focus now is getting shoes overseas,” Rosenberg said. “I started to get really big in Israel; that was the first country right off the bat.”
Along with the global market, Yalla Kix plans to expand into women’s wear, clothing and accessories in 2014. Rosenberg is currently trying to secure deals with Effectus Clothing, The High Life, LIR Clothing and Cronk Clothing. Rosenberg also plans to design custom Quinnipiac shoes such as sneakers, cleats and skates.
“My dad played hockey here,” he said. “ I wear my Quinnipiac sneakers to all the games.”
Rosenberg is a full-time undergraduate student majoring in finance.
“My academics always come first,” he said. “I want people to like me for who I am and what I do as a person than just for my sneakers.”
Rosenberg said he has a great support system for his work, both at home and at school.
“Jordan is a hard worker,” freshman Marisa Pacheco said. “He is too nice to people and gives so much.”
Rosenberg is also praised among his colleagues.
“He’s got fire,” said Jason Osborne, owner of Osbornexink, a sneaker design company, and designer of Rosenberg’s first sneakers. “He is a solid dude, and I expect to see him somewhere someday, achieving whatever his definition of success is.”
Over the next year, Yalla Kix plans to continue to expand into clothing and accessories. Yalla Kix plans to release a new version of the Quinnipiac sneakers this month, with another new design to be released by the end of the year.
“I want to inspire people, whether it’s by hearing my story or talking to me or messaging me on Facebook, I love to hear back from people,” Rosenberg said. “I’d love to work with new people, whether you’re a freshman, senior, incoming student, I don’t care. I’m always looking to talk to people and help them out.”