unboxing with jen, sneakerhead & mom of two

I discovered jen a few years ago when I was about to start working at a street wear boutique and didn't know shit about sneakers. I googled 'blog' + 'sneakers' and I stumbled upon her website. today, I almost literally stumbled upon her sneakers when I arrived for the interview - her favorite pairs lined up on her living room floor to show me the best of her collection. which was about 15 pairs.

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at nine years old, jen was jealous of her friend helene. cause helene had a pair of reebok freestyle and jen wanted them so bad. "it was my dream to have them," she recalls. "my parents couldn't afford to buy us shoes like that." she promised herself that she would get them once she started working. "when I got my first job, I made back for lost time," she says laughing.

she really did. now, even after selling a few over the years, her collection still hits 100 pairs. "but I slowed down. I don't have as much time to shop with the kids," she admits. cause jen is not only a sneakerhead and blogger, she's also the mother of two. I notice the tiny - and overly cute - pair of air force 1 in the bunch of shoes on the floor. "this was his first pair," she points out.

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but there's another reason why she buys less. "I only get them when I have a big crush," she explains. "I prefer concentrating on quality and exclusivity now." and we know too well that the terms 'exclusive' and 'sneakers' have an intricate bound. just look at the lines of people waiting in front of stores or the seconds it takes before a product is sold out. "an hour before a drop, I'm at the computer and daddy is taking care of the kids," she says with a laugh.

this stressful process makes it worthwhile when you're lucky enough to get your hands on sought-after sneakers. "the nike liquid silver is the one I'm the most proud of," she confesses. but women-only sneakers are pretty rare among the many (almost too many) drops for guys. "major brands should stop neglecting the female portion of their clientele," she says.

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that's why she created her blog five years ago, to prove that you don't have to be a tomboy to wear sneakers.

photos by phil bernard