New sneaker boutique to open on Avenue of Fashion on 313 Day

click to enlarge New sneaker boutique to open on Avenue of Fashion on 313 Day
Photo courtesy of Fahrenheit 313

The year was 2016 and Frederick Paul II was a broke college student. As he sat in his dorm room, he stared into his closet at the many pairs of Air Jordan sneakers he had collected over the years, and wondered if this was a way to make some quick cash.

Paul first launched an eBay store where he sold most of his collection, but looking to bypass their fees, he launched his own site, the Heat Factory. On the site, he sold more of his shoes and helped friends sell theirs. A business was born.

He majored in advertising and promotions at Western Michigan University, so the ability to market and sell items online came pretty easily to Paul. But even from the start, he knew that he wanted a brick-and-mortar store for his sneaker reselling business. The next four years would be about reaching this point.

Fahrenheit 313 will host their 313 Day grand opening and rebrand celebration at their storefront located at 20114 Livernois Ave. on Friday, March 13, starting at 12 p.m. The grand opening will also feature giveaways, live entertainment, and sneaker raffles.

During the grand opening, customers will be able to view the unique retail space as well as purchase from Fahrenheit 313’s unique shoe collection of rare deadstock and vintage sneakers.

“We’ve worked tirelessly to get to this point and it’s so rewarding to finally be able to share our collection with those who also have a love for sneakers,” Frederick Paul II, owner of Fahrenheit 313, said. “I understand the love that people have for sneakers, which is why I wanted to provide an additional retail option here in my hometown. Our goal is to create a unique shopping experience where Detroiters can purchase new and classic styles, all within the city limits.”

Sneaker reselling has taken off in the last decade. eBay was the original option for sneakerheads looking to buy rare kicks, but over the last 10 years dozens of sites have popped up that are dedicated to sneaker reselling, including the Bedrock-affiliated StockX — an online sneaker and streetwear resale marketplace.

When it comes to the popularity of sneaker reselling, Paul has a theory.

“A lot of these shoes came out when we were younger and maybe we didn’t have the money to get access to them. So now, it’s the nostalgia of it all.” he says. “Also, sneakers are a huge fashion statement. When you have a fresh pair of kicks that someone can spot from across a room and they just give you that head nod, it’s like... yeah, you see it.”

In addition to its admirable resell options, Fahrenheit 313 will also sell new sneakers. “I would say our stock is about 50/50 as far as new and resold items go,” Paul says. “We want to have something for everyone.”

click to enlarge New sneaker boutique to open on Avenue of Fashion on 313 Day
Photo courtesy of Fahrenheit 313

Fahrenheit 313 also wants to be a business that aggressively supports the community in Detroit. “We plan to launch our new Sneaker Swap monthly membership,” Paul says, “of which one dollar will be donated to Detroit Public Schools.”

Supporting the community is important to Paul because he got a lot of community support during the process of opening his business. “I applied at Motor City Match and met a lot of really great mentors,” he says. “They encouraged me to apply for TechTown (Small Business Startup Program) which was rigorous, but amazing. Every step of this process, I’ve had people who have supported and encouraged me.” Paul won both the Motor City Match space award, a $25,000 cash grant, and the TechTown Retail Bootcamp Pitch Showcase award.

Paul said that support and encouragement was also instrumental in choosing the location of his business. The Avenue of Fashion is having a resurgence, with streetwear brands like ThreeThirteen Detroit and Krispy Addicts also located on the strip, as well as longtime anchor store, SimplyCasual. Further down Livernois, a complementary business ThreeThirteen x Shoe Doctor offers a sneaker cleaning service.

The neighborhood also offered a more affordable rent rate. “I tried downtown and Midtown, they were all way out of my price range, and I just couldn’t get in.” Paul says. “But I found a great landlord and great community support on the Avenue of Fashion. It’s a perfect fit for us.”

click to enlarge New sneaker boutique to open on Avenue of Fashion on 313 Day
Photo courtesy of Fahrenheit 313

Sneaker culture has permeated the mainstream. In 2019, a pair of vintage Nikes sold for half a million dollars. While Frederick Paul II and Fahrenheit 313 don’t have any of those, they do have hard-to-find items for reasonable prices.

“We have a lot of Yeezy’s, original foamposites, and a number of retro Air Jordans,” Paul says of their stock. “We are proud of what we have to sell, but we don’t want to be just a sneaker brand. We want people to see the impact that we plan to have in this community.”

Fahrenheit 313 opens to the public on Friday, 3/13, at 12 p.m.

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About The Author

Biba Adams

Biba Adams is a Detroit-based national freelance writer. Her work has been featured in Visit Detroit, Model D, VIBE, and more. She is currently working on her debut book, Scenes From a Renaissance: Detroit Hip-Hop 1996-2006.
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