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Sneaker entrepreneur Breanna Durand poses with her favorite sneakers
Photo by Maddie Schroeder.

Breanna Durand ’24 is a proud sneaker enthusiast; she owns between 25 to 30 pairs of sneakers including Nike dunks, Jordans, Off-Whites, Travis Scotts, Yeezys and Unions. But building her collection hasn’t been easy. When her sneaker passion took off during high school, Durand estimates that she lost out on purchasing about 90% of the time during a popular sneaker drop: It took her about six years to buy 10 pairs of sneakers. 

That experience and passion led Durand, a Marketing major with a minor in Data Technologies, to launch an independent small business reselling sneakers (that she gently wore and enjoyed) on Instagram — making a point to not buy in bulk to help promote fairness for consumers. In 2020, she launched a marketing and advertising business on Instagram to help clients organically grow pages within the sneaker niche. 

As if that doesn’t keep her busy enough, Durand serves as vice president of the Bentley Marketing Association and is a member of Black United Body (BUB), Bentley Streetwear Society, Bentley Caribbean Ancestry Student Association and Bentley Catholic Association. Here, she shares more about how she developed her stride as an entrepreneur and how Bentley has informed her path.

Bentley student and sneaker entrepreneur Brenna Durand
Photo by Kevin Maguire.

What inspired you to buy and resell sneakers? 

During the past couple of years, Nike, along with many other retailers, has preached this idea of fairness in their distribution of sneakers and related products. As many customers have come to see, this effort to ensure fairness does not seem to play out because the market is dominated by resellers who solely buy sneakers at retail to resell at a profit and then there is limited or no supply for regular customers and collectors who buy to wear or admire. 

To me, there’s no harm in wanting to make a little extra money here and there. I would purchase my sneakers to wear and enjoy most of the time — cleaning them often — and I realized they still held most of their value. But when it comes to bulk reselling, it’s a problem because most of the product ends up with fewer individual customers. In high school I recall waking up at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday mornings to enter first-come, first-served sneaker drops on the Nike SNKRS app and losing most of the time. The same people would win time and time again, and it led me to question how and what could be done to make this industry fairer. My goal was to level the playing field and allow sneaker enthusiasts like me the opportunity to buy the shoes they love without paying inflated prices. 

What are some barriers to purchasing during a popular sneaker drop? 

A big issue affecting consumer access are sneaker bots: coding software and applications designed to help individuals purchase limited availability stock. Once a sneaker has dropped, the bots are preprogrammed to checkout and input card information almost instantly to secure pairs. As a result, within just seconds or minutes of a sneaker dropping, it will be sold out. This leaves almost no room for regular customers to even touch a pair, making their chances close to zero.  

You started your entrepreneurial venture reselling sneakers to help increase access for consumers. How did this evolve into launching a marketing business to serve individuals in the sneaker niche? 

I noticed a shift in the sneaker community — from collecting and wearing pairs to buying sneakers just to resell them at higher prices. To address this, I created an Instagram account focused on sneakers and offered a growth service for those looking to build their sneakers or streetwear businesses on Instagram. My goal: to connect individuals interested in sneakers to small businesses within the same niche and a true passion for sneakers.  

I also organized campaigns sponsored by these smaller businesses, where participants had a chance to win a pair of sought-after sneakers. This created an incentive for individuals to follow and engage with these accounts, but also fostered a community where businesses passionate about sneakers and streetwear were able to come together for one purpose. In the sneaker community networking is invaluable, and I was able to create a platform that bridged the gap between sneaker enthusiasts and legitimate businesses while creating an opportunity for individuals to win coveted pairs. 

My goal was to level the playing field and allow sneaker enthusiasts like me the opportunity to buy the shoes they love without paying inflated prices.
Breanna Durand ’24
Marketing Major and Sneaker Entrepreneur

Have any Bentley experiences informed your path as an entrepreneur?  

As an entrepreneur I have gained practical insights into the complexity of marketing strategies, consumer behavior and the importance of data in making informed data-driven decisions. My experiences at Bentley have also been invaluable in shaping my entrepreneurial path. The coursework, particularly in Sales Strategy and Technology (PRS 373), Digital Marketing (MK361) and Digital Marketing Analytics (MK 362), has played a huge role in enhancing my entrepreneurial skills. These courses gave me insights into effective sales strategies, the integration of technology in the sales process and the importance of data analytics and marketing strategies. My minor in Data Technologies will equip me with the skills to analyze and interpret data, which can offer a valuable perspective into the analytical side of marketing. Additionally, Bentley’s emphasis on networking and mentorship has connected me with valuable resources, including professors and peers.  

What are some of your most memorable moments as an entrepreneur? 

My most memorable moments as an entrepreneur are quite simply seeing the success of these businesses I supported. Witnessing the growth of these businesses — many of which were just starting out — gain recognition and following has been especially rewarding. I remember the struggles of being in that position: trying to generate sales, seeking out exposure and just navigating those challenges of entrepreneurship. Seeing their achievements and the overall positive impact that I’ve had on their journey makes it all worth it. There’s a sense of fulfillment and supporting one another.  

Will your career always include entrepreneurship? 

I plan to enter the marketing field to explore paths such as digital marketing and client-based strategies. I am also interested in broadening my skill set in sales and I’m working as an intern for accelant — a startup marketing company founded by Bentley alum George A. Roadman ’00 

I see entrepreneurship as a long-term interest, and I’m considering kick-starting a clothing brand centered around individuals having a “spark” — in that we have the potential to do something if we set our minds to it. In all, my plans include securing a position that would allow me to apply my marketing knowledge, delve into sales and pave the way for entrepreneurial endeavors in the future. 

*Bre Durand is an independent reseller of the shoes, and not authorized by or affiliated with the shoe brands themselves. 

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