Who are you?
My name is Alvin Miller; I am a small town guy from Anniston, Alabama. I come from a family of four where I am the only boy, and I grew up in a single-parent home. My whole life I dibbled and dabbled in the entrepreneurial realm. I can remember cutting grass, selling pecans, and even having a mobile detail business during my high school years. I graduated high school in 2007; after that, I obtained a psychology degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
During my college years, I connected with friends selling vacation packages and attempted to restart my mobile detailing business, but it was unsuccessful.
After graduating college, I began to work in the banking industry, where I realized two things: one, this wasn’t my passion, and two, this could only be a stepping-stone. After applying for a number of jobs, and not looking to immediately start grad school, I founded The Shoe Clinic.
How exactly did you find The Shoe Clinic?
One night, I was getting ready to go out and I reached for my Jordan Flint 13s and noticed they were beat up really bad. That particular shoe was my favorite pair of Jordan’s and meant the most to me because I personally bought them. After being faced with the dilemma, I began to work on the shoes myself. It surprised me how clean I was able to get them, so I posted the picture to social media. After a few hours, I started to receive comments from friends asking how much I would charge them. After that, The Shoe Clinic was formed.
Tell us about your journey, your ups and downs, anything you would like to share with future entrepreneurs.
After noticing the need, I started a social media campaign to see if I could actually generate customers. Within a week, I received my first client. From that point, TSC has continued to grow.
It’s been a journey, I would say. I went from cleaning shoes in my kitchen sink to an office in a two bedroom apartment to closet space in a beauty salon to finally, four years later, being blessed to have a store front with two employees. There was never a “down time,” mainly just times where I had to put my feet to the ground more and make sure I was at least completing one goal daily.
My final thought for entrepreneurs is, don’t wait until you get a “perfect plan,” just get a good base and go from there.
Tell us about your journey, your ups and downs. Anything you would like to share with future entrepreneurs?
Finding the right location after being turned down multiple times from buildings that were not in the right location. My first space was a shared space, which was a financial blessing in itself. After that, I was able to find my own location in the same area before it was even placed on the market.
As far as business goes, being able to go from a service-based business only to a service- and product-based business was also a win. Not only do we clean shoes, but we have created our own product that our customers can take home and successfully use on their own shoes.
How can readers keep up with the Shoe Clinic?
Theshoeclinicbham.com and @theshoeclinic on social media
Well, Alvin Miller, you’re officially #Fluent !