When Venita Cooper opened Silhouette Sneakers & Art this past November, she not only filled a niche within the local market, but also took her hobby of sneaker reselling to the next level.
Cooper gets her sneakers from local consignors and other resellers across the country. These shoes are out of stock, creating, as Cooper calls it, “a robust secondary reselling market.” Some of the shoes are used and some are new, though she aims for shoes as close to new as possible.
“It has been a passion of mine, absolutely,” Cooper says. “I just noticed that there has been this demand in Tulsa for limited-edition streetwear.”
Located at 10 N. Greenwood Ave., Suite C, the boutique features apparel from big-name brands such as Jordan, Nike and Adidas. Those in the market for a new pair can expect to pay $200, on average.
“People talk a lot about ‘sneaker culture,’ and to me, it’s a kind of energy that comes from a wide variety of people,” she says. “It’s about wearing something exclusive that gives you a sense of status and helps you express your identity.”
The establishment also boasts its own art gallery, which showcases a rotating selection of street-inspired art. “It’s a lot to live up to because, in many ways, it reflects the interests and desires of the community,” says Cooper, who felt her space needed to complement Tulsa’s growing art scene. “I have a lot of friends in the artistic community, and I wanted to give them an opportunity to stretch their imaginations and express themselves on another platform.”
Though she could have resold sneakers without a storefront, as she had online for some time, Cooper says it’s important to try sneakers on for yourself and be able to look in the mirror.
Silhouette aims to carry over 200 pairs of sneakers at any given time. Cooper owns most of the inventory, though some is owned by other consignors.
“I’m excited about what people have been saying,” she says. “Going forward, we’ll have events and programming. Ultimately, I hope this provides an opportunity for sneakerheads and artists to join a community.”