Alumni Spotlight: DeMarr Holmes ’16

DeMarr Holmes“From the classroom to Main Street,” Cleveland, Ohio native and Prairie View A&M University alumnus DeMarr Holmes owns Screwston Sole. He says it’s the first smart sneaker store in America.

“The smart sneaker concept is perfect for consignment sneaker stores,” said Holmes. “Usually, when you shop at places like these, you constantly have to check to see if they have your size. At our store, we have three large kiosks where you can find not only your size, but also items like brand, color, or even what type of sneaker you’re looking for. If we don’t have it, we contact customers via email when we have the sneaker or something similar in stock.”

Holmes originally got the concept for a sneaker and clothing store back in 2015. He was majoring in mathematics at the time but decided to switch to business management within PVAMU’s College of Business so he could focus on the business side of retail. “I wanted to open a sneaker store because I was always passionate about fashion,” said Holmes. “When I became a sneakerhead, I realized that buying, selling, and trading shoes would be very lucrative. It only made sense to open a store and sell clothing brands and highly sought-after sneakers.”

Holmes opened Screwston Sole December 1, 2018. Currently, he has four employees but is looking to start an internship program soon. “We really hope the internship will inspire students to open companies of their own,” said Holmes. “My advice for anyone wanting to be an entrepreneur is to never ever let anyone tell you your dream is stupid or dumb. You will always be looked at like you’re different because you’re not going with the norm of working for someone to get comfort and security financially. It’s going be extremely hard, and at times you will want to give up, but never ever give up.”

Holmes said the most rewarding experience so far has been opening the doors of Screwston Sole for the first time. “Seeing the first customer walk into the store and buy something, it gave me a sense of pride and respect for myself. My ultimate goal is to make Screwston Sole the number one sneaker store in Houston,” said Holmes.

Screwston Sole is located at 1105 Main Street in Houston, Texas. Visit screwstonsole.com for more information.

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-This story by Marchita Shilo originally appeared in Academic Insights.