Chase Stoner loves sneakers — he has been collecting and selling them since he was 16 years old. This sparked his interest in pursuing his own company that buys and sells limited vintage sneakers online, leading him to found Outkits, an online marketplace for vintage sneakers. He is growing the company in the Master of Business Creation (MBC) program at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business.
Stoner said, “In the fashion industry, sneakers and clothing brands are mass-produced to 10,000 to 100,000+ pairs per release multiple times a month, and we are trying to do the opposite of that by focusing on select pairs of vintage sneakers.” He is chasing after rare collection sneakers with limited availability around the world.
“Vintage sneakers are unique because they have colorways that were never reproduced, are part of special collaborations that were never seen again, and the fact that no one else is going to have the same pair around you. There are not many out there and there are few and far between in your size, so I think they are more special when you wear them and they will match your unique style,” Stoner said. He loves that every pair of vintage sneakers has a history and a story behind each one.
Stoner is an expert in the market of footwear; he carefully curates sneakers online. Once a month, he will release a new drop on the Outkits website, offering limited sneakers that may have been discontinued, rare editions, or part of a special collaboration. Many of Outkits’ releases consist of 1990s and 2000s Nike Dunks and Nike Jordans. Outkits is trusted for high-quality selection, service, and authenticity.
As demand grew to over 16k followers on Instagram, Stoner wanted to take Outkits to the next level, and he enrolled in the MBC program at the University of Utah. The unique graduate program allows founders to boost their companies with personal mentorship, a cohort of other founders, and access to funding and other resources.
“The MBC program has helped take Outkits to the next level and professionalized my business, whether that be our website, finances, legalities, or marketing, our structure has changed entirely,” Stoner said. His MBC cohort has 27 founders with diverse businesses, backgrounds, and skill sets. “Working together has been a valuable experience,” he said, along with the mentorship and resources that the MBC provides. “It has been priceless.”
Stoner said other programs would not serve as well as the MBC because it is 100% dedicated to helping startup companies like Outkits. “Every class, project, and discussion is directly applied to your startup business,” he said.
With the MBC, Outkits’ revenue has increased 100%, and they are expected to double their revenue in the following year. Stoner has also been able to consistently do new releases once a month instead of once every few months. Outkits’ following on Instagram has also increased to over 21k followers.
As Stoner approaches the end of the MBC program, he is hoping to expand Outkits and hire a team, while also introducing vintage clothing and accessories. He wants Outkits to become the go-to platform for vintage shoes and clothing in online retail.