5 Tips On How To Become a Successful Custom Sneaker Artist, Shoe Customizer, and Sneaker Designer | THE CUSTOM MOVEMENT

5 Tips On How To Become a Successful Custom Sneaker Artist, Shoe Customizer, and Sneaker Designer

From the Custom Movement, a list of 5 tips to get your custom sneakers moving, your demand rolling, and your paints forever in use.
Scott Hirabayashi
Scott Hirabayashi · Jan 7
5 Tips On How To Become a Successful Custom Sneaker Artist, Shoe Customizer, and Sneaker Designer

Hard to believe - it’s a new year, and new decade. This year will be a fresh start for many of our wonderful newer custom sneaker artists and a turning point for many of the talented shoe designers that have already joined the movement. Many of you reading this may also be new to this world of customization and wondering how you can become a sneaker customizer.

All it takes is a few clicks, ideas, and a will and the skill to create beautiful custom sneakers whether they be custom Air Force Ones or other custom Nikes, Vans or Adidas sneakers. Many awesome artists have already started their journey.

But to up your custom sneaker game in terms of sales (or even just how to get started), we present a list of 5 pro tips for making that leap.

1. Smart, quality photos of your custom shoes

Especially with customs (such as the oh so popular custom Air Force 1), the way to create a desirable product is through the pictures an artist provides. Since they are truly unique artistic works, buyers have little to go on but the pictures and words that an artist provides.

This means having multiple angles of your shoes on clean backgrounds so that your customers can really salivate over your artwork.

Smart additions such as videos, pictures, and other aspects of the design process on “About the Artist” pages can serve as a real assist, too.

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On a white sheet, customizer Courtside’s picture of their custom Air Force 1 Carnation v2.

2. Colorful Descriptions of Your Artistry

Along with the pictures, your words are creating a demand for your product. What was the base shoe or sneaker? What kinds of paints were used? Did your shoe use a de-glosser, sealant, protectants, premium paints? All of those delicious details that you are adding to the shoe are great to include in your description - and reassure custom sneaker lovers that you put in the extra effort and time. Well-known German customizer Born Originals does a wonderful job at writing their descriptions, and was one of the reasons I personally decided to purchase shoes from them.

Personally, as a sneaker and custom sneaker enthusiast, I want to know all of the details of the custom shoe. Even things like shoe inspiration, who moves you. Want a little help on how to describe your shoe? DM me on Instagram at @Colsai for some ideas.

3. The Little Extras

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The devil is always in the details. Classics like the Jordan Hang tag, or the Off-White red zip-tie, were details that became icons. They were little extras that added that special something to a special product.

Customizers already have that special product, but even ice cream is better with a cherry on top. It just makes everything even more special.

What can you do? Think of the little things - things that can push your brand. Custom tags, extra unique or custom laces. Getting your name out with branded custom shoe labels, custom sneaker boxes, are smart ideas too.

Even small things like “thank you” notes can go a really long way in raising your custom sneaker game to the next level. Never forget the cherry!

4. Professionalism and A+ Customer Service

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First things first, customers are excited about your custom sneaker. They want your pair on their feet tomorrow. Of course, that isn’t going to happen with a piece of artwork that takes time and labor to produce. But communicating a realistic timeline and sticking to it is vital for repeat purchasers.

Contacting and mailing customers when delays happen will go a long way, especially if the customers are expecting the sneakers beforehand. With the nature of detailed production times, things will happen. Just remember to keep your hopeful sneaker patrons in the loop for any big changes.

Additionally, never forget the importance of high standards- do your best to maintain the quality of the first custom shoe and last, and that they fit the pictures. One of the things I hate about some of Nike’s and Adidas’ shoes is that the quality control for some mass-produced sneakers is really lacking: paint drip, glue stains, and the whole mess of small defects. Be better than them!

5. Social Media and Advertising Presence

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Getting to that next level means growing your brand. Things like Instagram and particularly, The Custom Movement’s Behind the Scenes part of your artist page.

Many of you are already experts on social media, with amazing followings. But for those of you who are worried or inexperienced with social media, it’s truly an asset to get your product out there. Your social media pages are ways to speak directly with your audience, share your wonderful work, and network with the many amazing customizers in our growing family.

Keep confident, keep producing the beautiful work that so many of you produce, and you will build your following.

Hoping these tips serve up some new sales for all you wonderful customizers, and wishing you all a happy New Year! Send some love for your favorite sneakers of 2019 and the new year to @colsai on IG.

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