Twin Brothers With a Flair for Style and a Love for Shoes.

Twin Brothers With a Flair for Style and a Love for Shoes.

Two 16-year-old boys who have always had a passion for sneakers.

Twin brothers with a flair for style and a love of shoes. 

With a passion for shoes and the need of a summer job, Haslett juniors Lonnie and Lennie Smith turned their passion into a business idea. They wanted to open and operate a shoe store for like-minded people.

The story behind the store began with an issue that comes up for many high school students eventually: getting a job.

“Around July, with my birthday coming up, I told my mom I needed to start applying for jobs,” Lonnie Smith said. “She ended up telling me that I should never want to work for someone, rather I should have people working for me instead.” 

With that advice in mind, the Smith brothers began to put that plan into action. After mapping out a strategy and business plan for opening their own shoe store, they ultimately used the name a family friend, Joe Eno had given them, “House of Soles.”

Both Lonnie and Lennie, CEOs of the company, give much of the credit for the store to their mother, Nadia Sellers. 

“She is a great businesswoman and someone we look up to,” they both said.

With a goal of becoming millionaire businessmen in the future, the decision to become entrepreneurs at such a young age is something they hope will offer good business experience and lead to more success down the road.

With a full workload of school, homework and sports, the Smith brothers share their experience on how they balance running a store. 

“Our store opens at noon, so we only have one class while the store is open,” Lonnie Smith said. “Then with sports, we try to stay as long as we can in the store until our games or practices.” 

The Smith’s had their grand opening on October 10. House of Soles is located at 1737 Grand River Ave. in Okemos. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 12-6 p.m.