Tagata Pasifika

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Tongan entrepreneur puts best foot forward with Sneaker Clean NZ

Sneaker culture had its watershed moment with the rise of Hip Hop in the 1980s and the ascent of Michael Jordan. For 22-year-old Christian Prescott, maintaining the clean gleam of fresh kicks became his sole purpose.

Growing up, 22-year-old Tongan Christian Prescott had always dreamed of owning a pair of Air Jordans. Now his love for sneakers has spawned his own premium shoe cleaning business, Sneaker Clean NZ.

“I just had to look into the market and realised there’s a place to go and wash your cars, there’s a place to go wash your clothes at the laundromat, but there was nowhere to go clean your shoes. And that was funny, because you wear your shoes every day.”

Working at Timberland made Christian realise that people weren’t too confident to clean their own highly coveted kicks. The young entrepreneur started researching the best products to use, and Sneaker Clean was born. Operating since 2017, Christian estimates he’s cleaned over 300 pairs, and even a few sports stars have sought his expertise.

“When I was just starting out man, it was just all my friends willing to give it a go – Isaiah Papali’i from the Warriors, Sitili Tupouniua… These are the guys I went to school with. It’s pretty cool for them to come through and support.”

Building his dream business has been tough, which is why Christian relies heavily on his faith and his family for support and encouragement.

Watch the full story above.

Reporter: Alice Lolohea

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