Tell me about yourself.
BW: My name is Brittany but everyone calls me B. Will. I am the Owner & Buyer of SoleSense: The Online Women’s Sneaker Boutique (both my first & last name are super common gotta keep it fly lol). I’m 29 from Baltimore currently living in Brooklyn.
How would you describe your personal style?
BW: Cozy & Neutral. You would think I’m a minimalist because I rarely wear prints and I just recently started wearing more colors besides black, white, grey, & denim. I love color stories so I mostly dress in color blocks but I'm always comfortable!
Most sneaker heads remember the time they fell in love with the game. Do you remember your earliest sneaker memory or the moment you fell in love with buying and collecting?
BW: 2005/2006! The Melo 5.5’s! I’m from Baltimore so of course when Melo first went to the Nuggets the city was hype. It was his second shoe on his Jordan deal and they were a hybrid of the Jordan V & VI. I had just gotten my first job at a sneaker store around the time the 5.5’s dropped and they were my first purchase with my own money. I was so hype. Haha. I’m mad I lost them; the Black/Baby Blue/Yellow colorway are my Holy Grail to this day.
Walk us through the buying process. How do you decide which kicks you want to sell on SoleSense?
BW: There are so many deciding factors but it mostly starts with a color story, what colors are hot now or will be next season. After that it’s availability. If you follow me on Instagram it’s like "she stays in a store!" Lol. Most shoes are available in NYC before any other major city in the US so if I can find them in my local Footlocker I try not to stock them. That’s where the exclusivity/boutique part comes into play. The Adidas Superstar Bold's for example were one of our first drops. Classic silhouette with a twist. We had them on the site 4 months before they hit major stores in NYC alone. Then every once in a while we’ll stock something super trendy like the Force is Female SF AF1. But overall we try to have something available for everyone. Whether you like trainers or casual classics in sizes big or small we have something for you @ SoleSense.
How do you feel about the latest releases for women? Whenever brands put out products for women they make it pink and/or purple like those are the only colors we like. Do you think these major brands are trying harder or are they still missing the mark?
BW: I think it’s an active mix of both. It’s like yay real people with real bodies and the sneakers are fly but this matching top is super boxy or why does it have to be cropped? I’m elated that they’re letting more women actively be a part of the creative process. Finally yes utilizing other colors besides pink! Or graceful like the women’s Jordan 1 Season of Her Collection. All very feminine colors in one of the most popular Jordan silhouettes. But then I feel like they cheat us sometimes too since they extended the GS & Women’s sizes on some releases. Most of the sought after sneakers in men’s barely come in a Men’s 6/Women’s 7.5. So why do we have to share?
Brands from Balenciaga to Zara are getting in on the bulky ‘dad’ shoe trend. Are you a fan or are you just as confused as me? Haha!
BW: Honestly I don’t get it! Haha. I understand the idea of the ugly dad shoe just like the ugly sweater but they’re just so heavy! I picked up one of the Balenciaga’s in Barney’s and was so confused how people wore them for hours at a time. I love a funky shoe. The 2 Chainz x Versace versions are slick. I personally just have to have more functionality out of all of my sneakers.
Sometimes you host pop ups in different cities around the country and have some of the hottest releases available for purchase. Tell the readers what they could expect from a SoleSense pop up event.
BW: Bright, fun, and cozy vibes! Our logo is yellow so definitely expect to see a lot of it. Whether it’s the candles or flowers everything is yellow. It’s a personalized shopping experience for everyone that attends even if you don’t make a purchase that day. All are welcome! I try to keep it as interactive as possible. One pop up we had a nail bar and a SoleSense iD color your own Sneaker station at another. My team and I are there answering questions and just talking with customers about the brand in general. New York is next in June with LA & Philly shortly after and ending the tour in Miami in December. Follow @_solesense on Instagram for exact tour dates.
Where do you see yourself and your brand in 5 years?
BW: We’re only 1 year in and the feedback and support has been beyond amazing thus far. Even with big brands shying away from them at a rapid pace now, I still believe a brick & mortar is necessary. So the next 5 years expect to see more pop ups, storefronts, and collaborations.
Follow B.Will on Instagram @_iam_b_will!