Woodbridge duo launches Re-Up shoe ’boutique’

The store specializes not only in rare shoes, but also stocks ubiquitous sneakers and accessories from brands such as Supreme, BAPE, and Essentials.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.comThis article has been republished with permission. Register for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

Christian Henderson and James Gerrald Jr. both hail from Woodbridge. They knew where to locate a sneaker store when they opened it.

Re-Up Sneaker Boutique carries hundreds of sneakers. (JAYA PATIL/InsideNoVa)

“It was important for us to be in Woodbridge because that’s where our heaviest customer base [is], and we were raised there,”Gerrald, co-owner at the Re-Up Sneaker Boutique. “We built our friendship right there in Woodbridge, we attended schools there. We felt like it was the right thing to have our initial store where it all started.”

Gerrald attended Montclair Elementary School and Woodbridge Middle Schools, while Christan Henderson, co-owner, went to Drew Elementary School and Godwin Middle. Both of them graduated from Gar-Field High, and now live in Woodbridge.

Gerrald, alias Amani, is a sneaker guru who has been in business over ten years. While Henderson was working at Sprint and Gerrald, he started an online shop with Henderson. He has continued to do so.

Because business was booming, they began looking for storefronts years ago. The pair noticed that Potomac Mills did not have any new sneaker releases like Jordans.

The Re-Up sells, trades, and buys new notable sneakers “[provide] a product that people seek but have trouble obtaining,”Gerrald said. The store specializes not only in rare shoes, but also stocks ubiquitous sneakers and accessories from brands such as Supreme, BAPE, and Essentials.

The owners are now focusing on the future, having had a successful grand-opening in June. They plan to acquire direct inventory from the brands that they offer, work with local high schools, organize back to school drives, and embrace the community by inviting young adults to volunteer and intern.

Their internship opportunities are adapted to each participants’ interests. “We want to get them exposed to entrepreneurship … [so they] know how it goes from a business and financial standpoint,”Gerrald said. It’s also about “[giving] them the opportunity to look forward to [something].”

James Gerrald Jr. is the co-owner of Reup Sneaker Boutique and boxes up a purchase to a customer. (Jaya Patil / InsideNoVa)

It comes back to Gerrald’s experiences working at a young age and the independence that making his own money afforded him. “I just want to be a steward for the community and give them an opportunity because the opportunities were afforded to me as a youth … People extending that to me, it’s only right that I do the same and give back to them,”He said.

The Re-Up’s opportunity is through sneakers because fashion remains relevant and allows individual expression. “They can come as they are and express themselves,”Gerrald spoke of volunteers and interns. The Re-Up welcomes everyone to contribute their skills and develop new ones.

The store hopes to partner up with local businesses like Inspired Art Barber Shop. Steve Zeiders, co-owner of Inspired Art, has known Gerrald Henderson for many years and has been a customer of Re-Up for almost as long.

Zeiders spoke highly of the store. “It’s not just about what you see on the wall. If there is something specific that you are looking for, they will go above and beyond to satisfy your needs.”

He also appreciates the Re-Up’s attention to detail and people-centered approach. “You are dealing with professionals who are businessmen and authentic. You get the real deal over there and they genuinely care about each client.”

He mentioned that Re-Up had partnered with Inspired Art for back-to school drives. “Helping our community and giving back is vital, and they understand that,” Zeiders added.

Gerrald stated that the store hopes to promote inclusion in the community. “Everyone wants to be a part of something and feel included … Please feel free to come by. You don’t have to be a customer to come into the store. Come chat with us.”

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