By Deb Silverthorn
As he puts his best foot forward, Brennan Pailet’s ShoePlug pop-up shop has four days left of its run in Dallas’ West Village, offering high-end, exclusive sneakers, street wear and accessories. The store is open from noon to 8 p.m. through this Sunday, April 29, at 3699 McKinney Ave. in Dallas.
“We provide an experience; it’s not ‘just shopping,’” said Pailet, 22, a business major and senior at the University of Oklahoma. “Our clients are hype-beasts and luxury shoppers, and they want what they can’t find in the stores and on most websites. (The merchandise is) gone sometimes in seconds.”
Pailet’s lines run from $100 to $2,000 and across the board in-between, with items in men’s, women’s and children’s sizes. Brands include Fenty Puma by Rihanna, Kanye West’s Adidas Yeezy, Off-White x Nike, Supreme x Louis Vuitton and more.
Pailet opened his 10-day Dallas run, the first of six cities, on April 20. Next up, also with only 10-day advance notice, are Atlanta, Austin, Houston and more that he plans to spot in the coming months. After a similar and very successful trial last winter, Pailet was excited to see prospective customers waiting for hours in lounge chairs for the doors to open on the first day.
“We announce our openings and locations on social media, and if you want to be there, you’ve got to follow us. It’s the ‘get it now’ and adrenaline that pushes a lot of the business,” said Pailet, whose website, ShoePlug.com, is open year-round. The company’s Instagram “theshoeplugco” has more than 20,000 followers. “Part of what our shoppers enjoy is the spontaneity of the experience and that includes not knowing where we’ll be until about 10 days before we open.”
In addition to creative and innovative displays, including the Off-White Nike and Sean Wotherspoon 97/1, ShoePlug’s Creator Lab, a one-hour workshop, is open on a first-come, first-serve basis, with advance appointments sold out shortly after the social media announcement. At the Creator Lab, clients receive a pair of shoes, and then materials, colors and accessories to customize them. The ShoePlug staff provides cutting, gluing and stitching to realize each design.
One could say Pailet’s entrepreneurial sole, comes from his soul. He is the son of business owners Summer and Jeff, who he says have always set the bar high. Setting an example for his younger brothers, Asher and Jaden, who have put in their own sweat equity, Pailet definitely is a “doesn’t fall far from the tree” pro.
“We’ve definitely shared our experiences and some guidance but this is Brennan’s baby and we couldn’t be more proud,” said Jeff Pailet, who, like Summer, is on board and happy to advise. “Summer had her own business for many years and is now a partner at ID360, and I’ve worked in the family business, Pailet Diamond Company, my grandparents Frances and Ervin Donsky absolutely teaching me and influencing my decision to follow them.”
Brennan’s father says that he, his wife, and now his son’s businesses have all had creativity, a unique product line, and a must to connect with the customer as a baseline. “We’ve all had different things we sell but at the core, how we work is very similar.”
A Plano West High School graduate, Pailet was a member of BBYO’s Eamonn Lacey AZA and has grown up at Congregation Shearith Israel.
“When I’m working and setting up shop till four or six in the morning before we first open, it doesn’t matter. It’s all so exciting, and I’m learning so much along the way. I’m a sneakerhead too, and I get it. I want to provide customers with what they can’t find, what’s most often seen on the East and West Coasts,” Pailet said. “I’ve learned from my family and other mentors that being honest and treating my clients with respect is all I have.”
ShoePlug can be also be found at Facebook “ShoePlugCo” and on Twitter “TheShoe_Plug.”