Business Alumnus Brings Sneaker Culture to Calgary
Albert Mejia (ACST ’09, BA ’14) was graduating from junior high when his parents gave him a pair of Air Jordan 13s — a gift that fuelled his passion for sneakers. As a dancer and a basketball player, it didn’t take him long to figure out that being one of the freshest kids on the floor meant building your outfit from the ground up.
He’s taking the same approach to building his future: starting from the ground up — literally — with sneakers.
Today, the 25-year-old School of Business grad manages Lexington Ave Culture Spot, Calgary’s first new and used sneaker store, which also stocks Legal Hustle Clothing, Mejia’s own line of streetwear. In his off hours, Mejia is part of a driving force working to bring sneaker culture to the city.
Back in 2012, he created a Facebook page so sneaker fans could connect: YYCSOLEdiers, currently at 3,500 members and counting. That led to Calgary’s first-ever sneaker expo and the growth of an entire sneaker-based community.
But Mejia’s path from sneaker collector to entrepreneur and community builder was in no way direct. Five years ago, he was using his SAIT training in a full-time job as an aircraft structures technician and by 2011 he had saved enough to fund his dream of starting his own clothing company.
It didn’t take Mejia long after incorporating Legal Hustle Clothing, however, to figure out that building a successful company also meant having a strong foundation — of business skills.
“I’m a hands-on person and really wanted to do everything on my own,” says Mejia. “But I decided to go back to school because I realized that I needed to make sure I was doing it right.”
So he set out to get a Business Administration diploma — a decision he says changed his life as an entrepreneur and as a person.
“I learned how to use my creativity and got some amazing advice,” says Mejia, whose creative approach to business and beyond is paying off. “It’s surreal. I still feel dumbfounded when I see people who I don’t know wearing my clothing or asking me if I was the guy who started YYCSOLEdiers.”
Written by Michelle Woodard