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UL Lafayette alumnus expands business with sneaker store

For the past seven years, Keep Em' Laced was solely an online store. During the pandemic, the owner was able to expand his business to a storefront on Pinhook Rd.

Posted: Aug 2, 2021 6:15 PM
Updated: Aug 7, 2021 12:43 AM

LAFAYETTE, LA (KADN)- Many small businesses throughout the pandemic were forced to close due to the lack of revenue, but that’s not the case for one local entrepreneur.

Lance Wilson is the owner of Keep Em’ Laced. He previously ran his business on social media, but now he has opened a storefront on Pinhook Rd.

“I can honestly say the pandemic was a learning experience and I don't think it's anything that can take me out of business after surviving that,” Wilson said.

On Saturday, the owner celebrated the grand opening of the sneaker and streetwear store. This is a big deal for his businesses after previously only offering shipping or drop-off delivery.

“I met people all day and all night. Anytime people would be contacting me, I would be meeting them somewhere, whether it be close to my house or special delivery,” he said.

Business increased during the pandemic and it was difficult for Wilson to keep up with the demand.

“There was no product in Louisiana, which made it an extreme demand. I had to get shoes from out of state. I had to go to Houston two or three days a week, go to Chicago a lot,” he said.

The pandemic forced the owner to expand his online boutique to a storefront. Now, he has a place where he can keep inventory and allow people to shop in person.

“It's really a time to be innovative, to say the least. You got to figure out a way to make it work. That was a very tough time for most business owners, it either made or broke us. It broke me but made me. I came out made the end of the day,” Wilson said.

Wilson believes that right now is the best time to start a business.

“If you have a project that you believe in, push it, you have a brand that you believe in, push it, go all in, I go all in that's what I believe you go all in. That's what you get out. If you're scared. It's not for you,” he said.

Keep Em’ Laced is located at 2800 Pinhook Rd. They are open 7 days a week from 11 am until 7 pm.

 Lance Wilson is a 2018 graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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