Just for kicks

As the saying goes, if the shoe fits, wear it. And when you’re ready for a change, Secondary Language Arts Education major Kobe Messick has the answer.

Kobe Messick Columbia Sneaker Exchange

Messick has turned his refurbished sneaker and streetwear hobby into a business called Columbia Sneaker Exchange, thanks to a unique Mizzou entrepreneurship program. He has a rent-free storefront in the busy Mizzou Student Center selling all types of classic, sought-after shoes, hats and clothing.

Messick pitched his idea to the Griggs Innovators Nexus located within the Office of Research, Innovation and Impact, and was one of three students chosen to open up shop.

The business is designed to buy, sell and trade used and new sneakers as well as hats and streetwear. Individuals can bring in used pairs and trade for new or exchange for cash. With lots of styles and sizes to select from, there’s something for everyone.

Kobe Messick Columbia Sneaker Exchange
Kobe Messick Columbia Sneaker Exchange

When he’s not working at Columbia Sneaker Exchange, Messick is doing his host teaching at Hickman High School two days a week in a sophomore-level English class. He hopes to continue to teach in Columbia after graduation, but he’s also considering graduate school.

If there’s one thing he’s learned while at Mizzou, it’s a familiar message in the shoe industry: just do it.

“No matter what you’re trying to do, if you’re ever on the fence about something new, a change, or an upgrade, my number one piece of advice is to just go for it,” Messick said. “Because that first step is the hardest. Once you really get your feet in the water, it all seems easier.”