Twenty years ago, Devlin Carter was in the Coast Guard, serving his country on the waters around the United States. All the while, however, his passion for fashion — sneakers in particular — traveled with him.
When he was stationed in his hometown of New York in 2011, Carter scrolled through Instagram one day and realized that social media was an efficient, inexpensive way to get his unique talent for transforming an existing shoe into a fashion statement in front of countless eyeballs.
That revelation led Carter on a creative endeavor that by 2019 evolved into SIA Collective, which is now a multimillion-dollar brand that produces trendy shoes with futuristic designs and contrasting colors that are distinct from mainstream options.
Carter’s company brings in at least $25 million in sales annually just through social media and word of mouth; he has spent no money on advertising, he said.