CLEVELAND — Walking into a school year, nearly 80 Cleveland children will be sporting a brand new pair of tennis shoes thanks to a John Carroll sophomore.
On Saturday Hayden Speeth, the founder and owner of 440 Kicks, teamed up with University Hospitals to donate new shoes to kids in need.
“Seeing the smile on their faces and knowing the joy that they have from having a new pair of shoes, that just warms and fills my heart. And I really just feel like I completed where I’ve come from," Speeth said.
The entrepreneur from Parma started his business due to his own experiences as a child.
“I started with zero dollars in my pocket and grew to where I am today. When I was in the eighth grade I felt bullied for not having name brand shoes and I decided to change the narrative myself," he said. "I went around the house and sold everything I could on eBay just to get my money up. I bought my first pair of shoes and from there it just turned into wear them a couple times, clean them up and then sell them and make a few dollars.“
Speeth said as a small, local business it's important to give back to those around you.
"I'm not riding around in this fancy car making all this money, but I have money now where I feel comfortable giving back to the community," he said. "That's so important for small businesses to do as ultimately it is the community who is supporting you."