March 17, 2011 BY Aaron Kr.
There are a lot of people with incredible sneaker collections around the world… and then there’s the ShoeZeum! Many of us consider ourselves to be serious collectors, but after a look at what you’re about to see, you may face the harsh reality of learning what amateurs most of us actually are in comparison to the sheer awesomeness of one devoted sneakerhead’s jaw-dropping Nike arsenal. Jordan Michael Geller (seriously his name!), creator of the ShoeZeum, may quite possibly possess the most thorough Nike collection on earth. You may remember seeing some of Jordan’s auctions on eBay a few months back, and after a look at what turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg, we had to see more for ourselves, so Team Sneaker News packed up and headed cross-country to San Diego to explore the wonders of the ShoeZeum for ourselves.
Words and photos can do no justice to any visitor’s first impression of the ShoeZeum when initially entering the 2-floor 9,000 square foot warehouse. When you love sneakers like we do, there is no more overwhelming feeling than trying to figure out where to start when you’re smack in the middle of a 2,000 pair sneaker collection. Our initial tour of the premises took roughly three hours before we had made our way through every shoe, and that was just a quick walk through. The collection covers nearly every aspect and category of Nike sneakers over the entire span of the Swoosh’s almost 40 year history. There are a lot of impressive collections out there, but you’d be very hard pressed to find one anywhere that covers such a comprehensive cross section of Nike footwear.
If the ShoeZeum was simply a spread out showcase of Jordan’s amazing sneaker collection, it would be eye-poppingly awesome right there, but this dedicated young man has really gone all out to ensure that his creation was far more than that. Every shelf, sneaker and display in the Shoezeum has been accompanied by corresponding props, memorabilia and decorative effects to really capture that museum feel and help tell the stories behind the shoes and sectional themes. When discussing the madness involved in putting all this together, Jordan proudly compares himself to Willy Wonka and takes unabashed pride in his eccentricity and blind passion for Nike sneakers. While he’s aware that some people may think he’s crazy for having done this, it doesn’t phase him for a second. He’s living every kid’s dream – to go out and get your hands on every toy you’ve ever wanted – and who can’t relate to that?
And this is far from a silver spoon story where Daddy’s credit card picked up the tab for all these goodies. Everything you see here started more than ten years ago with $300 worth of swap meet Nikes and a few eBay listings that paved the way for a multi-million dollar eBay sneaker store and the warehouse that is now home to the ShoeZeum. Jordan has put his heart and soul into sneakers in life and business and his ShoeZeum now stands as a triumphant retrospective, to not only the history of Nike sneakers, but the story of his own life and the business that became the foundation of this astonishing collection.
Best believe that there has been extreme attention to detail paid to every facet of this marvel, right down to what just might be the most miraculous ShoeZeum claim of them all. With the exception of less than 1% of the 2,000 sneakers, every pair in the collection is deadstock and in Jordan’s size (11-12), a firm set of criteria that, as you can imagine, made amassing such a meticulous stockpile a very painstaking process. The time, discipline, funds, knowledge and love that Jordan has poured into the ShoeZeum are a testament to collectors everywhere, as the ShoeZeum is not just perhaps the most impressive sneaker collection on earth, but just might be one of the best collections of anything!
Check out an interview with Jordan after the jump and head over to Sneaker News HD for the full ‘Sneaker News Goes Inside the ShoeZeum’ Part 1 gallery. What you’ll see there will give you a good indication of just what’s in store as we bring you an in-depth look around the ShoeZeum over the next few weeks. Huge thanks to Jordan Geller for his hospitality and eagerness to share his creation with the world!
Sneaker News: When did your love for sneakers start and at what point did it begin to expand into a collection that required a warehouse to store?
Jordan Geller: I’ve loved Nike sneakers for as long as I can remember. That could have something to do with the fact that my name is Jordan Michael! My love of Nikes can also be traced to my father. When I was a child, my dad ran ten marathons in Nike Waffles and Air Maxes. I used to go to sneaker shops with him every weekend to see and buy the latest and greatest Nike runners. I was drawn to Nikes because of their style, innovation, and the fact that each year the shoes got better.
I have been selling shoes on eBay for more than ten years. Over the past three years, my business has been located in a 9000 square foot warehouse in San Diego. About one year ago, I decided to convert my shoe selling operation into the ShoeZeum. I thought that this would be the best way to share my love and passion for Nikes with the world. My vision was simple: Nike x Disneyland x Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory = The ShoeZeum.
SN: For those who aren’t aware of your impressive history as an eBay seller, please fill our readers in on how your ebay business started and eventually paved the way for the ShoeZeum.
JG: I built my eBay business from the ground up starting with just $300. After college, I moved out to San Diego where I went to law school and business school to get my JD/MBA. While in my second year of law school, I ran into a vendor at a local swap meet who had a truck full of Huaraches and Air Forces. I bought the twenty pairs for $15 each and sold them on eBay for $75-$100 per pair. Week after week, I went back to the swap meet and bought as many shoes as I could afford. Eventually the vendor disappeared and I was forced to find Nikes elsewhere. I scoured malls, outlet stores, clearance stores, and online sellers in search of Nikes that I could sell for a profit. Believe it or not, I got enough products in this way to sell more than $10 million dollars worth of Nikes between 2001 and 2010. Building a successful business from the ground up around a product that I love was a dream come true for me. I loved everything about Sneak’s Kicks, but the main thing that I loved was being surrounded by Nikes! Even though I worked nearly 100 hours per week for ten years, Sneak’s Kicks has been the best time of my life so far (building the ShoeZeum is a close second).
Filed under: Collections