GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – High-end sneaker seller, buyer and trader, Filthy Kicks has set up shop at ‘The Goods’ pop-up shop on Main Street in Greenfield.
Founder and CEO of Filthy Kicks, Eli Vaillancourt anticipates a positive reaction and great potential from the surrounding communities. “Greenfield and the surrounding towns are full of people who love shoes, but they are limited to online purchasing or driving to Fitchburg or Holyoke to buy them,” says Vaillancourt. “I want to create a store that has a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for all buyers and makes this type of fashion accessible to all people in our region.”
‘The Goods’ is a combined effort by the City of Greenfield and Greenfield Community College and has been operating since September and will continue to do so through the end of June. The goal of The Goods is to transform vacant storefronts into thriving businesses, while providing a free, no-risk opportunity for local entrepreneurs to test their businesses, according to a release that was sent to 22News from the Mayor’s office.
Someone particularly excited for the opening of Filthy Kicks downtown is Greenfield Mayor, Roxann Wedegartner. “Filthy Kicks represents the new, fresh, young energy we need more of in Greenfield. Businesses like this will complement our new skatepark and will become a beacon for bringing more youth and younger shoppers to our downtown,” says Mayor Wedegartner. “I’m really excited to see where this new business goes and am thrilled to welcome Eli and his team to Greenfield.”
A new Entrepreneur Membership program operated by Greenfield Community College, Greenspace Co-Work and LaunchSpace have provided additional support to Vaillancourt to help grow his business. This six-month program works with entrepreneurs from all across Franklin County, which was partly funded by the Massachusetts Office of Housing and Economic Development Community One Stop for Growth program.
“I’m doing pretty well with online sales and I know I can grow this part of my business. I also know that many buyers feel more confident making online purchases when businesses have a physical storefront. I imagine a storefront that allows me to serve in-person customers, simplify my shipping process and serves as a production studio for my YouTube and TikTok sales strategy,” Vaillancourt says.
GCC Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Max Fripp has had a great involvement in the program and with Vaillancourt while also expressing excitement for the pop-up shop. “Eli is a smart, savvy and hungry entrepreneur. The passion and knowledge he has for his products is
contagious, he is positive and welcoming and he has a unique niche that I think can be a real draw for bringing new, diverse customers to downtown Greenfield,” says Fripp. “I’m excited to see where this business goes and am so grateful to be working with amazing entrepreneurs like Eli.”
Filthy Kicks will reside at The Goods at 357 Main Street through the end of June. They will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.