‘It was always my dream to open a shoe store’: Naptown Kicks turns heads & soles in Carmel

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CARMEL, Ind. — Starting a business is never easy, starting one in the middle of a global pandemic, at the ripe old age of 18… that makes things even tougher.

Daniel Lamers is turning heads and ‘soles’ in Carmel at Naptown Kicks near the intersection of E 126th Street & S Rangeline Road in the Mohawk Landing Shopping Center.

“I get asked all the time, are you the owner? How old are you?” Daniel said. “I’m 18 and I think it’s cool and unusual to have an 18-year-old own his own business. Definitely don’t see a lot of people owning their own business still nowadays.”

His work ethic speaks louder than the colors on the dozens and dozens of shoes displayed on the walls and tables of his pop-up shop… and many have taken notice. 

“I said to myself, I’ve got to meet this kid,” President of the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners Mark Heirbrandt said. “Just really wanted to help encourage him and his business, anything that I could do, and I’ll tell you what, I almost bought a pair of Jordan’s while I was in there and I’m 56 years old!”

Obsessed with quality and selection, whether you’re looking for a pair of Jordan’s, Yeezy’s or some retro kicks, you’ll likely find them at Naptown.

“It was always one of my dreams to just open up a shoe store,” Daniel said. “It has been a journey and it has taught me so many valuable business lessons.”

Working the business. Buying and selling shoes – he even rebounded a pair from a hometown hero.

“So, this pair was from Malcolm Brogden of the Indianapolis Pacers. He came in here one day with a bucket of shoes to sell,” Daniel said. “It was probably like the highlight of my store career.”

With the support of many behind him, his parents, who thought this was, “just a phase” are laced with excitement.

“I really did, I thought it was just a phase… didn’t think it’d go anywhere… and it just kept growing bigger and bigger and bigger but now I see this is the perfect opportunity for him,” Daniels dad Mike Lamers said. “I’m so proud of him to see how well he’s doing with it. He’s doing a great job and people are interested. People are supporting him, and I just think it’s fantastic to see.”

To connect with Daniel, you can connect with him through his cell, 317.296.5116. His Instagram, @naptownkicks.317 or his email daniel@naptownkicks.com

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