We had the good fortune of connecting with Edward Baray and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Edward, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
You know it sorta came naturally. At first it was just a hobby, something i did just to see if i could do it. The. It took off from there. I think the business man in me started when i was in middle school, selling bags of candy and gum just to have extra lunch money. I knew how to earn a buck, but wasn’t sure how it would help me later; buying used Jordans, doing art on them and flipping them. The business side of it didn’t really become a reality until i started posting more pics and people were hitting me up more frequently. It was then i realized this could be a business and earn some serious income.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I use footwear as my canvas and my clients as a mechanism to create personalized, wearable, and most importantly unique art. I am not limited by any one type or class of footwear, but use it as an opportunity to reimagine how I expand my art. As much as I enjoy working one-on-one with my clients, there’s a different kind of excitement that comes with landing corporate gigs with larger demands and customizing for celebrities and renowned athletes. My most proudest moment is having had the opportunity to collaborate with Zappos in 2018, where I worked on 250+ pairs at once for musicians. I’ve come this far with passion in mind and pure trial and error. The passion is what makes you dream big, because you’re always thinking about how you can take it to the next level. However, passion comes with a large amount of commitment if you want to continue to reinvent yourself and your art. I’ve dedicated countless hours on my business and with that comes many sleepless nights and social sacrifices to meet deadlines and deliver high-quality work that I can proudly stand behind. Ultimately, the satisfaction and praise i get from my clients after an unboxing is what keeps me going. I’ve learned that other people’s opinions don’t matter (unless they’re a reasonable client). What I do makes me happy and all i can do is continue putting out work for others to see, enjoy, or hate on. At the end of the day, i know that what i put out into the world is a true reflection of my art principles and desire to bring personality onto shoes.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents, no doubt!! I grew up mostly In a single- parent household, parents split when i was little, but they were always there and supportive of me. We didn’t have everything but we had each other, so even when we were struggling to get by, it was always ok because we were ok. My parents always held me down, especially through college. They always did what they could and more;always give up the last few dollars if they knew it would help me. My siblings especially the younger sis Jodie who always would help me setup at sneaker events and promote me to everyone she knows. My family has definitely been my backbone. Aside from them, my boy Nard Got Sole(always coming though in the clutch and bouncing ideas off each other, and every person who has like, shared, commented, and supported my work throughout the years. So many people outside of Texas. And the squad holding me down here in Houston. I’d be silly not to give you all some credit; y’all the real MVP