It all started from and idea, written in pen and paper and made into something greater. Sneak Peek is an upcoming app that will launch as soon as the kinks are thoroughly worked out. The earliest date they’re shooting for is Black Friday and if it doesn’t happen, early January 2018 is what is promised. But what is Sneak Peek (@sneakpeekllc_) exactly?
Sneak Peek is the brain child of Edward Griffith, a sneaker collector and store manager at the VILLA branch in Cleveland, Ohio. Sneak Peek is an app that lets you browse the sneaker inventory of all the retail stores and resellers around your area with the ability to hold (for an hour), and pay within the app itself. All you gotta do is pick it up in store or get it shipped!
Edward has been collecting sneakers since high school. If there’s one thing that makes him happy, that’s sneakers, opening a box of sneakers is like opening up a present on a Christmas morning. Being surrounded by sneakers at work, he says that it still gives him great joy to open up a new box. “Concords, Bred 11s, Retro 1s, I used to line up when they drop when I was back in high school. I remember lining up for the Bred 11s at 8AM in the the blizzard. That was a crazy moment.” Edward says that he probably has around 260 pairs in his collection. “I collect anything that catches my eye, doesn’t matter what brand they are. Like at the moment, I have the Reebok x Kendrick Lamar on feet.” I personally think that the Reebok x Kendrick collab was a dope collab. If you’ve read my interview with Austin (A Hypebeast in a City Without a Streetwear Culture) he was wearing the Perfect Splits, a Reebok x Kendrick shoe, and I think that pair goes well with anything.
Out of the 260 pairs of sneaker goodness that Edward has, he said that his favorite sneaker of all time is the Cool Grey 11s. “They still look brand new, and I would never ever get rid of it. I’ve had it since 2010 and it’s in pristine condition, icy sole and all even if I’ve worn it several times,” he said. Well, who could resist this particular pair of 11s? It’s one of the most popular colorway for the 11s that they’ve yet to retro since 2010 if I’m not mistaken. News is that the Cool Grey 11 Low is releasing in April 2018 – something to look forward to if you like the 11s.
Edward used to be a Manager at Finishline before moving on to the VILLA. Being a manager at these stores for several years, he often gets questions like, “When is this sneaker releasing? What colorways does this shoe come in? Do you have this in my size?” He claims that even family and friends would send him the same message all the time. “I finally had an aha moment! I’m tired of people asking me these questions, so I thought, hey, it might be a great idea to make an app,” he said.
“I did a lot of research. I talked to a lot of people, did a survey.” Edward is prepared to take this idea to the next level, but I was so curious, how is this app different from all the other sneaker apps out there like GOAT? Or even the apps from retailers like Footlocker, Finishline, etc.?
“Sneak Peek aims to have all those in just one app. Buying from GOAT is expensive. And these sneaker retail apps have their own individual apps but with Sneak Peek, they would be able to access these stores too without having to check different apps. We have created an algorithm that would tag us into their system that allows them to allocate a certain number of their inventory into ours. It’s a win-win situation for the retailers because we would still drive traffic into their store even if it’s through our app. Also, no more calling up stores and driving around your neighborhood blind to find a particular sneaker just to find out that they don’t have it in store. All you gotta do is look for the sneaker in the app and it would tell you the store that has it with their inventory listed. Purchase straight from the app, pick it up or get it shipped or you can drive to the store and try it on for yourself. It makes it so easy for everyone.”
I could not help but ask Edward what pair would he cop through Sneak Peek if he has the chance to, his answer, the Fragment 1s. Sneak Peek also aims to include resellers so he said that the Fragment 1s on resell would be something that he might want to pick up in the future through his app. “They’re expensive for me right now but it’s something that I’ll get my hands on someday.”
I dig this app. It sounds so convenient and easy to use for us consumers but it actually is such a difficult process to have this app completed. When I asked Edward what was the hardest part of making this app, he said it’s working a full time job and at the same time starting his own business from scratch. He said it was easy to come up with the idea, it’s going through the steps to execute them that’s hard; it takes a lot of time, effort and money. “I’ve sacrificed a lot in making this app. This has already been more than a year in the making.” People who were quick to judge and shut you down was in abundance he said. “A lot of people were hesitant to help me out when I first came up with the idea. They didn’t understand the culture and the need for this app so they said I won’t make it. At the end of the day, I told myself to just keep going and be persistent. Now, people come up to me and ask me how they should start their own business. I tell them to write their ideas in a piece of paper and start talking to people who can get them to the next level. That’s what I actually did. I wrote down everything in a piece of paper and made it happen.”
Edward has bigger dreams than launching Sneak Peek. On his Instagram bio (@eduardo_suave2), he wrote down, “Millionaire before 30,” and I asked him what that was about. “I’m turning 30 soon and I want to believe that I’m gonna be a millionaire by then. I really want to make something for myself. I don’t see myself working for somebody else in the long run – I don’t want people to tell me what I can and can’t do. Life is also such a struggle and I want to make things better for me and my family.”
Aside from devoting his extra time to work on Sneak Peek, he also loves to cook. He enjoys food a lot so he claims that he would try anything at least once in his life even the exotic ones! I can’t say the same about myself on trying exotic foods but I’d be down to have some fresh doughnuts that Edward said he’ll try making over the next week. Playing ball and hanging out at his friend’s barbershop is also one of the things that he does on his spare time. Well, you gotta spend time with the homies right?
“I’m a shark. I’m gonna put myself out there. I’d personally get anybody I meet to be part of my brand. I’m out here doing something and I want you guys to listen to me.” Edward really has a one track mind when it comes to his dreams and his short term goal is to actually have Sneak Peek grow and be a profitable business. Long term goal, is to help out his community and establish a mentorship program for kids with creative ideas. Nation of Soles approved since we are all about helping and giving back to the community.
We wish Edward and Sneak Peek a great launch and hope this app becomes a hit in the community! Edward and Sneak Peek will be at Sneaker Con New York so watch out for that! I heard he’s gonna give out some free shirts!