The Vault Melrose Co-Founders Sebastian Moftakhar, 17, (left), and Rami Eadeh, 31, (right). Courtesy of Ben Norouzi.
Although most other 17-year-olds are satisfied with just focusing on school, Sebastian Moftakhar has already founded a retail storefront in one of the most prime locations in Los Angeles with his partner Rami Eadeh. The Vault Melrose is a sneaker store and recording studio located on Melrose Avenue, frequented by celebrity names like Swae Lee, Jake Paul, Madeintyo, SOB X RBE, YBN Cordae, Lil Mosey, and others. Moftakhar also throws parties and events in Los Angeles each generating 5-figure revenues with live performers under his brand “310.” I had the chance to interview him to learn his story and to share the strategies behind his success.
When did your entrepreneurial journey start?
I had always liked sneakers, but it was an expensive hobby to have. In the sixth grade, my parents told me that they wouldn’t fund my sneaker obsession any longer. The only route I had was to pay for my own sneakers. I figured out that every weekend high demand sneakers were selling out and reselling for more on the resale market. I saw that I could take advantage of this opportunity to make money to afford my own sneakers. I would buy three sneakers, then sell two of them and that profit would pay for me to keep the 3rd. I decided to scale this model and made a business out of it. I called it Snkrs Supply. I started selling rare sneakers and clothing to the other students at my school and in the area as well as celebrities and athletes. I became known as the “sneaker plug” and had every “hypebeast” coming to me for every release. I also sold on Facebook Groups and my website.
What businesses are you involved in today?
My time is split between running two businesses, the first being an event company called “310.” I host events and parties in Los Angeles bringing music artists to perform, and charging approximately $20 a ticket. We provide unforgettable and enjoyable experiences. I have a whole team of people helping with these events from a DJ to a professional security team to multiple different photographers.
Next, my partner Rami Eadeh and I created a sneaker reselling store within a music recording studio located at 7372 Melrose Ave and combined the popular cultures of both hip-hop and fashion into one community space located in the mecca of “The Culture.” We frequently network with artists and celebrities providing them with studio time and sneakers. It’s great that we found a way to combine these two worlds and I hope to create more joint experiences like this in the future.
What other activities are you involved in?
I had a big passion for basketball. I’m on the Varsity team at my school, and I dedicate a large portion of my life to it. I’m also News Editor and Business Manager of The Student Voice, my school’s newspaper, and President of both Entrepreneurship and UNICEF Clubs. I’m able to manage getting good grades in school, participating in extracurriculars, and running my businesses by having really good time-management skills and a lot of passion.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
People are often stuck in the trap of believing their goals are impossible or require too much work to achieve. They have a mindset where they think they will either succeed or fail. You have to have a growth mindset, where instead of worrying about failure, think about it as an opportunity to learn and grow. With this mindset, you take each failure you’ve had, examine and learn from it, then try again. Most entrepreneurs fail several times before they get it right. So take a chance and chase that seemingly impossible goal, the worst thing that can happen is you’ll learn something.