When Jesse Breeding played basketball at Hendrick Hudson High School, he would be asked why his sneakers looked brand new even after months of wear and tear.
What the Cortlandt Manor resident’s classmates didn’t know was that he had experimented with an array of cleaning products until he came up with the perfect solution and method for making his sneakers look exactly the way they did when he first purchased them.
Like countless others of his generation, Breeding’s passion for hoops was stirred by watching in awe as Michael Jordan dazzled with his peerless scoring prowess, winning six NBA titles in the 1990s with the Chicago Bulls. “Since the day I first saw him take off from the free-throw line and dunk the ball on TV, it made me a basketball fanatic,” says Breeding.
After a stellar basketball run at Hen Hud, Breeding received a scholarship to Concordia College, a small school that had a big impact on him. Playing shooting guard, he was a two-year team captain.
“Basketball taught me numerous life lessons about responsibility, teamwork, time management, leadership, and loyalty,” states Breeding.
At Concordia, Breeding turned his a sneaker-cleaning acumen into a service called JB’s Essentials. He started with his basketball teammates, and it soon caught on. Breeding began cleaning countless pairs of sneakers each week for college students, professors, and coaches.
“JB’s Essentials’ goal is to assist sneaker aficionados with all their sneaker needs, including cleanings, restorations, and customizations,” states Breeding.
When the pandemic hit, Breeding’s business slowed down, but it was during this time that he decided to expand his offerings, adding his own line of sneakers and clothing, thereby creating his own virtual sneaker shop.
Through JB’s Essentials, customers can buy, sell or trade their sneakers, or simply have them cleaned and restored. “I don’t look at other stores as competitors,” he says, “but, instead, friends who I can collaborate with.”
He explains that “Collaboration is a significant part of the sneaker industry. For example, Off-White partners with Nike for clothing & sneaker ideas. In order to expand your brand, name, and clientele, it’s wise to work with other businesses to be successful.”
The competitive player Breeding was in college has served him well as an entrepreneur and in his “day job” at sneaker and apparel website GOAT.com.
“I always want to be the most responsible and trustworthy person, so my customers and work colleagues know that if they need anything, I’ve got them covered,” says Breeding.
[14pt caption > Black sneakers and White sneakers – sandwich caption in between both photos placed vertically]
JB’s Esssentials makes even the dirtiest sneakers look brand new.
Rebeccah Worth is a freelance writer based in Connecticut.