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YSU student keeps shoes fresh

Awarded $2,400 Burgan prize to open storefront

Click here to learn more about MBG Restoring LLC.

AUSTINTOWN — Maeson Green suspected there was potential to grow a business in the sneakerhead and shoe fashion culture, even as a young teen.

MBG Restoring LLC began small, as most good business ideas do, with a 15-year-old Green cleaning and restoring the worn out kicks of his classmates at Austintown Local Schools for $5 or $10 per pair, bringing the shoes back to life as if they fresh from the box.

Fast-forward five years and the 19-year-old, a sophomore business management major at Youngstown State University — a self-admitted sneakerhead — has gotten the jump-start he needed to grow and open a store with the John Burgan Entrepreneurship Award.

EARLY BEGINNINGS

Green said he always found a way to keep his shoes clean. He had to because new shoes weren’t always attainable in his younger years — his mother was sick battling cancer and his father worked, so the means to go sneaker shopping wasn’t always available.

His friends and other students took notice that his shoes, although not new, looked as if they were — all the time. So, he said, he started to clean their shoes, too.

“From there, the exposure just came little by little and five years later, we’re doing sneakers, purses, hats, bags, all types of restorations,” Green said.

In 2017, he started reselling shoes as way to raise money to open a store.

So far, his business has restored more than 1,200 pairs of shoes. It’s been a mix of tennis and other shoes in men’s and women’s styles.

RELACED

“Relaced” is the name of the store he plans to open somewhere in the Austintown-Youngstown area using the $2,400 Burgan Entrepreneurship prize.

While Relaced still will be based mainly around shoes, it will be a one-stop shop for all restoration needs ranging from shoe restorations, purse restorations, hat restorations and watch link removal. Green hopes to have the shoe cleaning service ready for same-day delivery, with full restorations in as little as five days.

On the resell side, Relaced will resell shoes of all kinds, from high-end to economy sneakers as well as clothing, including vintage clothing.

The viral outbreak upended plans for him to open in early 2021, but he’s scouting locations in the area and hopes to be running by the middle of next year.

“I want to stay close to home because I definitely want to have a family-owned business atmosphere,” said Green, a 2019 graduate of Austintown Fitch High School.

BURGAN AWARD

The prize was created last year to help students at YSU’s Williamson College of Business Administration with ideas for a new business.

The award is funded by Patrick Burgan, broker and second-generation owner of Burgan Real Estate, in honor of his father, John, an entrepreneur, businessman and community leader.

Nineteen proposals were submitted from students in a variety of majors across campus and were evaluated by a panel of judges based on feasibility, market assessment, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. Four students were invited to present to the judges via WebEx in late April.

“I saw a great deal of myself in Maeson, but I also saw my father as well,” said Patrick Burgan. “Maeson’s approach encompassed everything my father taught me about going for my dream and starting my own business.”

While businesses did not have to exist in order to be considered, the panelists were impressed by Green’s established company and how the money would further his efforts.

The idea for the prize dates to when Patrick Burgan was 10 and spoke to his father about a business idea he had to sell custom watches to commemorate an anniversary of an automotive vehicle.

John Burgan gave his son $2,400 to start the business. Patrick sold all of the 100 watches he created. His father helped Patrick invest his profits and, at 17, the investment and earnings were used to purchase Patrick’s first house, which sparked his interest in real estate.

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