Back in July, Joseph “JoJo” Petruzzelli, a then 13-year-old eighth-grader, combined his love for sneakers and the Hoboken Jubilee Center by hosting a pop-up sneaker store to raise funds for the recreational center. Now, after the success of the short pop-up event, Joseph was able to expand to a larger location for a longer period of time at 407 Washington Street. The pop-up will be active for about two months and has already opened its doors. Customers can find the latest, must-have sneakers on the market. Read on to learn more about Joseph and what to expect at his shop.
Sneakers have existed for over 100 years, evolving more and more as the years passed. The foundation of a sneaker is always the same but the designs are ever-changing, reflecting the current moments in culture whether it be the music industry, the sports industry, or art. It’s no surprise why sneakerheads are drawn to limited-edition releases, celebrity collabs, and OG designs like the Nike Air Force 1 or the Vans Checkerboard slip-on that both debuted in 1982 and are hotter now than ever. Kids and adults alike are drawn to the craftsmanship and artistic expression behind sneakers, and Joseph is no different.
“At 11 years old I turned my love for sneakers and streetwear into a business called Elite Kickz, reselling rare kicks at trade shows and to the sneaker community,” Joseph told Hoboken Girl. “To me being a sneakerhead is having a passion for the sneaker culture.”
Joseph is a 14-year-old Hoboken resident finishing up his 8th-grade year. “My favorite thing about Hoboken is that we have a lot of family in the area that I get to see a lot and I have lots of friends that I get hang with because it’s only 1 square-mile so it’s easy to make plans and hang out,” he said.
Joseph has a dream of becoming a real estate investor and with the go-getter, the entrepreneurial spirit he has tapped into early in life, it’s no question if he’ll achieve that goal, it’s a matter of when.
When he’s not running the pop-up shop, or in school, Joseph is thinking about what high school he’s going to attend in the fall. But in 2021, aside from kicking-off his high school debut, Joseph plans on increasing his product inventory, building his brand’s social media presence, and maximizing the traffic on his website.
A typical day for him looks similar to most kids his age, except he’s running a business. “I wake up and go to online school until 2:20PM and then go to the store. When I get to the store I eat lunch, then go through all of the new shoes we purchased and put them in inventory, and label them. Once all that is done, I help customers, and at 7:00PM when the store closes I go home eat dinner and do my homework,” he explained.
Elite Kickz buys and sells limited-edition sneakers and apparel. The pop-up shop is located at 407 Washington Street and will be active and will remain open for about two months. The shop is open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For more information on the inventory Joseph stocks, check out his website, and follow the brand on Instagram.