Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” When you are focused and driven by the love of what you do, you’ll build a prosperous empire. But overpowering challenges while remaining focused on pursuing your passion as a young entrepreneur is demanding. Establishing your business project is nerve-wracking and challenging and requires hard work, dedication, and resilience to start up and flourish in the business world. This is the story of Saahil Yerkola, a young man who followed his passion and established a sneakers business in junior high school.
Saahil Yerkola is a young entrepreneur and the CEO of a sneakers business, 919 Hype Drip LLC, which he established in the 7th grade. With less than $200 in capital, Saahil began reselling sneakers and reinvesting every dollar into the business. During the 2020 pandemic, he invested his time into growing the business. After a short time, he started the LLC, directly generating thousands of dollars in sales.
Despite taking challenging classes and maintaining a high GPA, Saahil spent many hours working on his business, talking to clients, purchasing inventory, and doing financial management. In time, he devised a suitable business model and committed to mastering it. “My business model focuses on consignment and wholesaling. I have different stores where I provide products for those who sell and give me large payouts. After networking and connecting with stores across the country, I have a select few stores with which I have done six sales figures yearly. I also wholesale bulk sneaker inventory, providing it to those who may need it for their customers. This allows me to move thousands of pairs just with the click of my phone. Last year, I generated seven figures in revenue and was looking to continue that this year,” Saahil shares.
Saahil has put on the shoes of prominent entrepreneurs over the past couple of years. He stands out for excelling in academics and sports and for his dedication to improving his business and its components. The 17-year-old is proud to pursue his love for business through an entrepreneurial venture that has been a great success. In 2020, Saahil made seven figures in sales. Driven to give back to society and raise awareness of his brand, he held a sneaker drive, collecting used sneakers and donating them to those in need. He also contributed to the food bank, Salvation Army, Durham rescue mission, and specific customers in the market, and usually donates a percentage of his profit monthly to the food bank.
The passionate entrepreneur faced negativity and hate from friends and family. They told him the business was just a waste of time and that he should only focus on his academics. However, that could not deter him from achieving his entrepreneurship dreams. He kept working toward his goal. Equally, Saahil lost thousands of dollars to lost packages and a lack of sales during the pandemic. As a result, he re-evaluated his business model and changed it to meet the new economic conditions.
“Work hard towards something, and you will achieve it. Also, realize that failure is just a part of success, and you will have hurdles along the way, which will be learning curves,” Saahil advises upcoming entrepreneurs. In the future, he aims to study business, continue the sneaker business, pursue an entrepreneurial venture outside of shoes, and get into business development and real estate.