In 2016, avid sneaker collector Javaris Neely had a desire to do mission work and decided to turn his own love of footwear into a business that benefits others.
The entrepreneur and owner of Tiki Clothing Company wanted to create a quality sneaker that was also affordable for those less fortunate and looking to budget their money. From that idea, Neely created the WaveRunners — a simple, lightweight sneaker with a unique look.
To get started, Neely sold his own pair of Kanye West YEEZY 350 boost "Turtle Doves" to raise capital for manufacturing and production costs for WaveRunner I's. Design and manufacturing took about six months and Neely released the WaveRunner I's at a retail price of $50 in February 2016. Without any huge branding, Neely still managed to sell 150 pairs of his sneakers. He now has a whole warehouse of them and recently released the WaveRunner II's for a retail price of $65.
“All you need is drive. With drive comes the hustle, dedication & commitment. That desire and mindset alone will make you more creative and more resourceful, and that will help you get further in life faster,” he said.
The WaveRunner II's are 6.8 oz, making it one of the lightest sneakers on the market. Neely said his focus for the latest model was on cause, function, fashion and fun.
“I believe the sneakers will bring our customers inspiration to everyday life. If you dream it, you can achieve it,” Neely explains.
Neely successfully turned his passion into a business and is also giving back to the community. For every WaveRunner II purchase, Tiki Clothing Company will donate percentage of footwear & apparel sales to local charities that fight poverty. Along with the donation, the company will also donate sneakers, clothes and more to families in need.