That same feeling of peace and pleasure that comes from watching videos of something dirty that ends up shiny, was what motivated Iker Mendoza cleaning his sneakers since he was four years old.
“I like to think about the ‘after’. Although now tennis looks impossibleafter cleaning, they will be like new”, says Iker, the creator of Sneaker Repair, a shoe repair and cleaning company in Saltillo, Coahuila. The account of this venture has 136,300 followers and 1.8 million likes on TikTok.
This business also has other satisfactions, such as seeing unique pieces: designer or even collectible. Tec Review talk to this young entrepreneur.
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a small investment
Iker’s taste for cleaning tennis was born thanks to another of his passions: football. “I’ve been playing since I was four years old and since then I like to keep my studs clean. After playing, I come home and clean them.” bill.
The skill that this entrepreneur has developed to clean shoes can be perfectly described in the comments he receives daily: “Do you bring new sneakers? How do you do to brand new sneakers every game?.
“Those phrases tempted me to start a business, but something stopped me…until in a final, a friend gave me terrible news: it was time to clean his studs and he was going to put them in the washing machine.”
Iker suffered inside, if something does not support it is that they destroy the footwear in the washing machine. Arriving home, he told his brother what was going to happen with those sneakers and he prompted him to start his business at that very moment.
His brother told him: “Mark him and tell him that you wash them for him. I help you with the logo”.
With the minimal investment of a used toothbrush and borrowed soap, 15-year-old Iker Mendoza started Sneaker Repair in 2019.
For that first pair he won 50 pesos. Today his earnings go up to 100,000 pesos.
Awarded for his two passions
Iker did more than wear his clean tennis shoes to soccer matches, that same year he received a scholarship from the Tecnológico de Monterrey for his sports talent in PrepaTec Saltillo. Once there, he struggled to maintain his scholarship and his business at the same time.
“In high school I became known by giving away my work and doing promotions, the business grew and with each pair made me more expert in suede, suede, leather and plastic. I understood why sneakers turn yellow, how to remove it, how to make suede soft, and how to repair details on different shoes,” she says.
Later, the pandemic came and Iker thought that his business would close because most of his clients were from high school, but it was the opposite, the business grew, the pause made people more interested in the little details.
It adapted its services to confinement and implemented home delivery. It was a success.
In the midst of the boom in his business, he thought it would be good to help other people and started his first campaign in December 2020. “In two weeks 9,000 pesos were raised, I turned that money into food and toys for people who work on cruise ships. “, He says.
After the success of his campaign came bad news for the entrepreneur, in 2021 his mother was diagnosed with cancer and his father did not have a job.
“Sneaker Repair was the income that sustained us at that time. My mom needed an urgent operation and someone donated the money we needed, so I wanted to return the favor,” she says.
In October 2021 Iker did another campaign where he collected 12,000 pesos to financially support a patient in his cancer treatment.
“I believe that being able to help others should also be the end of an enterprise”he advises. And it was for this very reason that, at the request of his mother, he began uploading cleaning tips to his TikTok account.
Of course these actions and persistence did not go unnoticed, Iker won the 2022 Entrepreneurial Talent scholarship from Tec de Monterrey to study his professional career.
a repair franchise
Iker has big plans for the future, the scholarship he just won gives him the opportunity to study at the Monterrey Campus and he wants to expand the business.
“My family is already part of the company because I alone would not be able to cope. I plan to leave a fixed location here in Saltillo and start opening in different points, first in Monterrey, then in Sinaloa because they ask me a lot, ”he says.
Also, has the support of various brands like Magiesponja Akopla, Bolero and other places like Carnero Sneakers, an artisanal brand of exotic leather from León Guanajuato.
“I am very grateful for all the people who have supported me and given me these successes. I recommend other entrepreneurs to be persistent and do everything with love”, she concludes.