Noral the Cobbler’s Sneaker Side Hustle Has Bold Designs and National Customers
Laron Thomas is building a word-of-mouth business that restores and redesigns Nike sneakers for buyers across the United States.
Atlanta, GA (PRUnderground) October 28th, 2019
By day, Laron Thomas is a professional network administrator for a tech company in Atlanta. But when the sun goes down, he’s a side hustle superhero: his word-of-mouth business – Noral the Cobbler – restores and redesigns Nike sneakers for buyers across the United States.
“I create colorful and dynamic designs and apply them to the Air Jordan 1, 3, and 4; Air Max; and Air Force 1,” says Thomas, whose work includes exclusive creations that are based on trending movies and music. “I’d describe my style as dope, modern, and eye-catching. I love when people stare at my shoes and try to figure them out because they’ve never seen anything like them before. Real sneakerheads appreciate a shoe that’s truly original, so I aim to be innovative with everything that I introduce to the marketplace.”
A native of Trenton, New Jersey, Thomas was an avid artist and cartoonist as a child. He was also a huge fan of the Air Jordan sneaker in the 90s. After graduating from Florence Township High School in 2003, he attended Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, NJ and graduated in 2008 with an Associates Degree in Computer Science. He worked in IT at Vonage, a Newark, NJ-based business cloud communications provider, then moved to Roswell in 2019 to begin his current job. It was during this time that he re-kindled his interest in drawing and sneakers, and sought to learn more about the footwear industry.
Thomas studied sneaker designs that he discovered on Instagram, and during his research, he saw an ad for a course that was created in conjunction with the Fashion Institute of Technology called Sneaker Essentials. Sneaker Essentials is offered by Yellowbrick, which is an education company that helps students around the world to develop their understanding – and sharpen their knowledge – of the fashion, sports management, beauty, music, and hospitality/tourism industries. He enrolled in the 12 month course in December ‘18, and will be completing it in November ‘19.
“The most challenging and useful elements of Sneaker Essentials were learning the background details of the design process and the production line process,” says Thomas. “Even though I’m very familiar with the topics being discussed, I’m being exposed to new aspects that will be really valuable to me as I move my brand forward. This knowledge is giving me the opportunity to take my future into my own hands by learning the business from the ground up.”
As demand for his designs grows and his side hustle gains traction, Thomas’ master move would be to develop his entrepreneurial vision and follow in the path of his design heroes Jerry Lorenzo and Ronnie Fieg by opening a design boutique in Atlanta.
“It would be a place where sneakerheads can create their own shoes, like NikeLab Bespoke iD in New York,” says Thomas.
Thomas’ designs can be seen, and he can be contacted, via his Instagram page – @NoraltheCobbler.
Working in partnership with the world’s leading universities, brands, and industry experts, Yellow Brick creates learning experiences that help tomorrow’s leaders discover and pursue career paths in growing, global industries that align to their passions, including fashion, sports, beauty, music, and media.