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HSE senior opens shoe store ahead of graduation

Daniel Lamers loves shoes, so he's getting a head start on making a career out of them.

CARMEL, Ind. — High school graduation at Hamilton Southeastern is months away but 18-year-old Daniel Lamers is already a business owner. He took what was a pastime about two years ago and expanded it into a brick-and-mortar store called Naptown Kicks in Carmel.

Lamers said a few years ago, he was making between $2,000 and $3,000 per month reselling shoes.

"About 50 or 60 shoes in and out at a time," Lamers said. "I brought those from people that are resellers and turned a profit. So they weren't personally my shoes, I just flipped them."

He was primarily selling the shoes to people he knew and on resale apps like OfferUp.

"I was like, 'Well, if I'm making this much, why not try and expand my people and move out into a store?'"

Lamers said he's not planning to go to college and instead will get a head start on entrepreneurship.  

"A lot of people say they're going to do something and don't actually do it. And I wanted to show people I can set my mind to something and get it done," he said.

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Lamers said running a business is a lot harder than he thought, and he was grateful to have the support of his family who helped him not only with some of the paperwork, but with painting the Carmel store and setting up shelves. He said the support from his parents and brother has been "out the roof."

"They've been here like since I started selling at the bottom of our driveway through now, and going through school, so it's been a ride." 

The store name is a combination of Lamers' hometown and his passion. 

"It was a cool name and just kind of wanted to relate it to Indianapolis, kind of where I grew up and something that I love — shoes — and just wanted to combine them together," he said.  

Most of the sneakers in his store are new, but there are some resale and trade items as well. He also carries a limited selection of apparel. He said the type of shoes someone picks is a good indication of their "vibe." He said he's always been into fashion and was drawn to shoes.

Some of his favorite labels? "Off White, Travis Scott, high end," apparel Lamers said.

He said lately, as far as his personal style goes, he's been drawn to comfort and bright-colored shoes.

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Lamers said he hopes his business, which just launched last weekend, will prove to be successful over the next few months and continue to grow.   

"My goal is to do this for life. That's my absolute goal," Lamers said. 

HIs backup plan is to go into real estate. Regardless of where he plans to go, he has a talent for sales and the sky is the limit.  

Naptown Kicks is located at 7 E.126th Street in Carmel.

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