2416 Times Blvd
Houston, TX 77005
Nestled in and amongst the cozy atmosphere of Rice Village, Premium Goods is bringing the hottest and most exclusive sneakers to Houston.
Jennifer Ford, a Houston native and long time sneakerhead, wanted to bring a sneaker shop to Houston – not just a shop that sold sneakers. We got the opportunity to sit down and talk with Jennifer, “Jen” as she prefers, and ask her alot of questions about how Premium Goods to be where it is today.
Matt – Nice Kicks: We all have the moment in our lives where we know we are “hooked.” When you look back, which shoes did you go crazy for and know that you were really into shoes?
Jen – Premium Goods: The black and grey Jordan IVs from 1989 were the ones I loved. I loved those shoes so much. My sister was really into shoes and I guess we kinda competed with each other about sneakers. I really wanted the Military Blue Jordan IVs and begged for my mom to get them, but despite all of the begging my sis and I did, we were unsuccessful.
Matt: So I am guessing you have a pair of the new retros?
Jen: OH YES! I had to get two pairs of those!
Matt: How did you get your shoes back in the day? How would people get their kicks in Houston?
Jen: The only way that I could get sneakers was from Foot Locker at Willow Brook Mall. My sister and I went to the Galleria a couple times, but almost always at Willow Brook.
Matt: How long have you wanted to run a sneaker shop? What made you want to start one up?
Jen: Well actually the first Premium Goods in Brooklyn is run by my close friend Clerence. I had wanted to do one before he opened, but when he opened his shop up, I was really jealous and wanted one so bad. For the next two years I was saving everything I could so that I could open up a shop.
Matt: I’ve talked to quite a few sneaker shop owners and a lot of them have told me that they had a hard time early on. Did you have any issues in the beginning?
Jen: My biggest challenges happened before I even opened up! Landlords just couldn’t believe that a sneaker shop could make enough money to pay the rent and keep the lights on. I guess a lot of people from the outside have a hard time understanding our culture.
Matt: That had to be frustrating not having people believe in the dream. When did you open up?
Jen: We first opened our doors October 3, 2004 – just turned two!
Matt: When you opened up, what were your feelings like? Did you feel more excitment or nervousness?
Jen: I would have to say that I felt more nervous than excited though I was really excited. I guess my nervousness stemmed from worrying about whether people would break their routine of shopping at big name stores like Foot Locker or Finishline and shop with an independent shop. I was really the first independent sneaker shop in Houston, but before me there were other independents that just sold fakes so for the first couple months people would call all the time asking if my shoes were authentic.
Matt: Two years have passed since you opened and many regard your shop as THE sneaker shop of Texas. How does it feel to know that people from all over look at your store as the premier spot in Texas for shoes?
Jen: It’s really awesome. I can’t believe that I will go around town and sometimes I will see people wearing a something that I sold them, that I helped put their look together. Sneakers are like a piece of art we wear and I like knowing that I am contributing to someone’s self expression. Also, I can’t believe what its like that stores that I look up to respect me too. I have always loved HUF and it was such an awesome feeling knowing that Keith Hufnagel respects me for what I do too.
Matt: Speaking of look, I noticed you have some pretty nice looking clothes in store too. How do you chose what you put in store?
Jen: Yeah, we have 10 Deep, Crooks and Castles, and some of our own t-shirts as well as other stuff too. I mostly select what I think looks really good or whatever others would like. Sometimes I like to bring in something really different to see how people take to it.
Premium Goods is the premier spot of Houston and was recently selected as one of the best sneaker shops in the Dime Magazine Top 25 Sneaker Stores. If you are in town, this is the one store that you must visit. The in store atmosphere is amazing with sneakers displayed in unique ways, sneaker art covering the walls as well as a nice couch to sit down and chill.