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Jimmy Kicks

440 Burroughs St
Detroit, MI 48202

James Smith Moore

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, so I joined Bizdom U. It's an entrepreneurial boot-camp that teaches the street smarts needed to run a successful business. Bizdom U helped me grow as a businessperson, and they're still a big part of Jimmy Kicks.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
One of my fraternity brothers from Phi Beta Sigma was the first person to buy a pair of our "Fresh Paint" sneakers. He loves wearing them.

Where did you find your first employee?
I posted on Craigslist, and our marketing director, Talisa Mckissic, responded to the ad before I could leave the computer. We scheduled an interview and hired her soon after.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
After making a great impression as an intern, our customer service specialist, Alanna Lyons, was hired after being with Jimmy Kicks for only 2 weeks. That's the kind of culture we have here – work hard, and you'll be rewarded.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
Jimmy Kicks received initial seed funding from two sources; Bizdom U and the First Step Fund. We're always looking for investors to ensure Jimmy Kicks reaches its goal of allowing urban youth to truly stand-out in the crowd and express their personal style through their shoes.

What could local leaders do to help attract and retain more entrepreneurial young people to Metro Detroit?
Support. Supporting one another is one of the few ways we can retain entrepreneurs in the city of Detroit. Think about it, why leave if you're receiving support from every angle?

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about opening a business here?
Pick a niche, stay loyal to it and master it. Often times, entrepreneurs will go into business and will try to be a jack of all trades. Companies who can find the right niche, and become a master of it will succeed.

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