When Jordana Schrager, BA ‘16, was grounded one night during her sophomore year of high school, instead of moping around she started doodling on a pair of white Vans. She had always loved art, and as her sneaker hobby grew, she began giving sneakers with her custom drawings to her friends.
That hobby eventually grew into a business, Sneakers by Jordana, which Jordana was able to strengthen through social media. She posted photos of her creations on Instagram, and soon she had a long waitlist and was making four to five pairs a week.
Since she had always been interested in business and had a great foundation with her design skills, Jordana, an art and design major, applied for the undergraduate business minor at the Ross School of Business which gave her the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship. Through her courses with Professor Len Middleton, Jordana was able to further grow her business, and is currently working on a group project with other students focused on Sneakers by Jordana.
According to Jordana, Professor Middleton stresses that failure is okay and tells stories of entrepreneurs who experienced failures before eventual success. As someone self-proclaimed as averse to risk, that really affected the way Jordana thought about her business.
“You have to keep taking risks,” said Jordana. “That’s the only way to sustain your business and grow.”
As Sneakers by Jordana began to grow, Jordana wanted to come up with a more efficient process for getting collegiate-themed sneakers, a popular request, made and shipped faster – that’s when SKICKS was born. Through the SKICKS website, customers can order sneakers with their collegiate logo of choice.
For now, the Sneakers for Jordana team includes other art students at the University of Michigan who help by putting the finishing touches on the sneakers after Jordana’s done the initial design outline. Her mother, Meryl Schrager, focuses on sales and family friend Lisa Benedict handles marketing and raising money for SKICKS. Once she graduates, Jordana plans to continue growing Sneakers by Jordana and her other venture, SKICKS. As her businesses continue to expand she’ll almost certainly have to take some risks, but as Professor Middleton taught her, taking those risks is the best way for a business to flourish.