I talked to Chris Hearn of Sole Classics at Juneteenth on the Ave.
Tell me what is going on.
Sole Classics is one of Columbus’ sneaker and street wear boutiques. It is in the short north. We are doing a partnership with Adidas to celebrate Juneteenth. And we are partnering with Maroon Arts group and everyone else that is putting on Juneteenth on the Ave. On this side, we are doing shoe customizations. We have free shoes that we are giving to folks so they can customize them and take them home. On the other side, we have our career tables. Have people that have opportunities for employment who are doing interviews on the spot, and/or talking about different employment opportunities in Columbus. The final thing we have is, a community mural. It is a paint by number. We are chillin, and enjoying ourselves with our people. It’s a good day.
Is your company involved in outreach?
Sole Classics, the sneaker boutique, has been around for sixteen years. The current owner took over a few years after it opened. Since then, we have been community oriented. Every year, Sole Classics has an initiative that is called “Employ the Neighborhood.” For Juneteenth, we usually set up our career tables at different places across the city. Around Thanksgiving and the holidays we do “Feed the neighborhood.” We set up at different Recreation Centers across the city. We pass out meals. We try to find ways to stay tapped in and to help out where we can. Community is part of our main focus in everything that we do. This is just a part of that.
Is there anything that I didn’t ask you that you think I should have asked you? If so, go ahead and answer that question.
How do you feel today? How is it to be out among your people on Juneteenth?
I feel great. I feel thankful. I feel happy to meet cool people and see smiles on peoples’ faces. And to interact on a relaxed, happy, celebratory Juneteenth. God is great!
Sidebar: According to the Juneteenth on the Ave website, Sole Classics is one of the partners who produced the event.