Via Yahoo Sports
By: Vinciane Ngomsi
As more and more sneakerheads look to nab rare sneakers, bots and resale sites are often snatching them up first to resell them at an unreasonable price. Now, a husband-and-wife team have set out to put the community aspect back in sneakers, but also instill a level of trust between the seller and recipient.
Founded by Chad and Adena Jones, Another Lane is a Black-owned platform determined to remove the elitist behavior within the sneaker industry. With decades of combined experience in media and sneaker education, Adena and Chad’s greatest asset in a marketplace that thrives on one-upmanship is their dedication and respect for both consumers and brands alike.
“It’s hard enough to get a shoe at retail,” Chad said to Yahoo Sports regarding problems sneakerheads face when they visit popular resale sites. “In the case a shoe appreciates on the after market, the means to be able to get some profit becomes predatory. We have corporations trying to force themselves to be middle men whether it’s through payment processing or just providing the platform to sell the sneaker. When a sneaker sells, they take a nominal fee as if they’re an agent who did actual work to facilitate the deal.”
By collecting a percentage of the final price, there’s an illusion resell sites actually performed a task and thus, deserve a cut for their efforts. However, the people doing the work are buyers and collectors. Chad should know; he’s developed a respectable reputation in the community decades before those pages were created. Before the internet revolutionized commerce, he even would fly to other cities and camp outside brick and mortar stores to purchase coveted shoes in person.
“I don’t think people know there is another side of resell that isn’t so capitalistic and egregious,” Adena pointed out. “In order to build a respectable collection, you need to buy, sell and trade. If you want a shoe that costs $7,000, you might need to sell two shoes for $5,000. That’s a part of a collector or sneakerhead’s life.”
‘Why do you love sneakers?’
As part of completing the application to join the Another Lane community, Chad and Adena ask a simple question: Why do you love sneakers? The responses validate their mission to eliminate the growing gentrification the industry is facing.
“The originators of sneaker culture need this community and their own marketplace,” Adena said, repeating an answer a member submitted. “They’ve been craving the same connections they made with people waiting in line for stores to open years ago.”
The Another Lane space is a judgement-free zone. Whether you’re a novice to sneaker culture or harbor 30 years of knowledge like Chad, anyone can take solace knowing everyone is treated equally regardless of experience level. The idea is to create a bridge instead of a barrier.
As with most hobbies, there will be cynics who question the necessity of having multiple pairs of a Jordan silhouette in different colorways or wonder why someone needs to spend hundreds on a pair they’ll never take out of the box. Both Adena and Chad laughed those criticisms off, with the latter making a fair argument as to why the chastising occurs.
“When you think about what people deem OK versus what is not OK, they’ll talk bad about it because they’re not a part of it. This is us making a living. People don’t know me from anywhere to judge how I spend my money.”
Not a small business, but an empire in the making
Chad and Adena saw a lot of the power being taken away from individuals who made collecting sneakers mainstream. Even though it’s only the two of them vetting potential members and facilitating transactions (for now), there’s nothing small about their operation. They were tight-lipped about what’s next for Another Lane, but one thing is for sure: authenticity, transparency and of course an everlasting love of sneakers will forever remain at the center of their brand.
“When people think of certified sneakerheads, I want them to think of Another Lane,” Adena said. “No matter what we do in the future, it will all be connected to sneakers.”