Check out this interview with Hawaii’s favorite son, as we discuss selling grails, faith, and growing up in the Aloha State.

This is D3 The Concrete, bringing you fashion from the street.

Three weeks ago, I was surfing the web (wow, do people still use that term?) and I found something spectacular! On the video, I noticed this dude who was sitting in a room, full of Supreme, KAWS, and Bearbricks, and a huge cardboard box.

He then reached into the box and proceeds to draw out a Nike shoe box. Then, he does it again. And again. And again. Around 10 shoeboxes later, I became obsessed. In that moment, I felt two things: one, I felt like one of those kids that watches hours of videos of other kids opening toys and playing with them. Gleeful. Secondly, I felt like I had discovered something that was hidden from the greater streetwear world: the “beaterbox” community. “What’s a beaterbox?”, you may have asked yourself. Watch the video below:

As I began to do research (i.e. – watching hours and hours of Youtube videos), I found out this charismatic and enthusiastic guy was named Bryson Honjo, a Japanese Hawaiian who, by day, works as a disabilities counselor. Then what surprised me even more is the length of time from when he began doing these unboxings until now: 2 1/2 years.

A few days later, I decided to reach out to Bryson and, lo and behold, here we are. An interview for the ages and, as always, if you want to comment, please do not hesitate to write in the comments below!

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[Writer’s Note: BOLD: D3 The Concrete // Italics: Bryson Honjo

Please tell the audience who you are and where you are from.

  Aloha everyone! My name is Bryson Honjo from Honolulu, Hawaii, and I operate the Youtube Channel, Untied Hawaii. The channel focuses primarily around Sneakers and Streetwear.

Tell us about your home life: growing up, if you have siblings, etc.

  I was originally born on the island of Kauai and lived there until I was 4. Eventually though, my family moved to Las Vegas and I lived there for the next 10 years. Growing up, my parents were not well off financially, so things like sneakers and designer clothing were not something I was familiar with.

  The majority of my shoes during grade school (and even a little bit of middle school) were all bought from places like Payless Shoes. We weren’t necessarily living in poverty, but money was always tight and buying brands like NIKE just didn’t fit into my family’s budget. Thankfully, when that’s all you know though, you grow accustomed to it and don’t see anything wrong with wearing Payless shoes (and for those of you wondering, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH WEARING DISCOUNT SHOES). Having shoes on your feet is a blessing enough as it is.

  As I got older, I ended up getting a pair of Nike Vomero Running Shoes in high school. At the time, that was the biggest shoe purchase I ever made. I also saved up money, working at Subway, for that pair so I could use it for track. I loved those shoes. It wasn’t until 2016 that I actually got my first pair of Jordans (Jordan 4 Green Glow). I finally was financially stable enough to start buying shoes and was able to buy even more shoes through reselling sneakers.

You are the first sneaker reseller that we have had a chance to cover on our site. Please share with us how you came to discover the world of sneaker reselling. What inspired you to begin reselling sneakers?

  I got into sneaker reselling in the middle of 2016. One of my friends showed me that the Tiffany SB Dunk Lows were selling for $700 and I was completely blown away. $700?! For a shoe!? It blew my mind.

  I started doing my research on the resale market and this was right around the time that StockX and GOAT were starting to take off. It seemed easy enough to get into, so I started buying a few pairs here and there to test the waters. I still didn’t have much money in my bank account so this was a big risk for me. I ended up buying a pair of Jordan Michigan Trainers for $130. I later sold that pair for $220, at a profit of $90) and that was it for me. I knew I had to get into this thing.

As you began to sell more items, when did you know that this was something to be taken seriously?

  I survived through college entirely off of financial aid and student loans. I knew that getting ahead is impossible with the career I was going into (counseling people with disabilities). From that first sale, I knew that shoes could help make up that student debt and give me a boost I needed to get ahead of it. It was from there that I needed to figure out how to ramp up my inventory which lead me to the Sole Supremacy Beater Boxes (Sneaker Mystery Boxes).

What gave you the idea to begin to visually document your “beater box” videos?

  Oh man, this is a great question. I really have no idea what possessed me to put the unboxings on Youtube. I did A LOT of research on beater boxes before I got into them and that involved watching a lot of Beater Box unboxings on Youtube. I guess I figured putting my own experiences online might help others, like how the original guys I watched helped me. I was never the type of person that liked being on camera (and I still don’t), but the channel ended up going to places that I never imagined it would. It has truly been a blessing and I am so grateful for my viewers (Untied Ohana). They changed my life without a doubt.

Tell us about your biggest sale to date.

  Jordan 5 Tokyos from a beater box. Those sold for $2200. The price of the whole box was $2500. The eventual profit for the whole box was $1400.

One of the things that I admired about you is that you are unashamed about your faith. How do you allow being a Christ follower to influence your business, as well as the things that you sell or purchase for yourself?

Oh wow this is an awesome and unexpected question! I’m a huge Christian and think that my faith effects a lot of what I do. I don’t ever advertise it but I actually donate about 2 shoes from each beater box every single time. It affects my “business” a lot because these shoes still have resale value, but growing up on Payless Shoes helped me realize that there are families out there with kids who would love to wear a pair of Jordans, even if they are a little bit used.

  Additionally, I like to keep a few pairs of shoes in my car because we have a huge population of homeless people in Hawaii and I like to just have conversations with those guys and if they need it (and I have their size) give them a pair of shoes or clothing. God is love and He wants us to give what we can to those who need it.

What are some things that you have coming in the future?

  Nothing planned at the moment. I work a full time job as a counselor for people with disabilities so that takes up most of my time. I would love to keep making videos, improve the quality of the content I make, and potentially make new series or do more vlogs, when I have time.

What is some practical advice that you would give to the following people who are looking to get into this industry of sneakers and hype reselling:

A student in high school?

  Start with one shoe at a time. You don’t need 100’s of dollars to start. Just save up, try to cop one hyped shoe for retail, then resell that and use the profit you made to buy 2 pairs next time. Continue doing that and you’ll continue to see growth.  

A person in college?

  Focus on schooling and don’t take shoes seriously. In high school, you have more free time to focus on shoes. In college, your priority should be on classes and using that for a full time job. Sneakers can help you make a quick buck, but I see so many guys skipping classes or staying up late for sneaker reselling and their grades suffer. Sneakers, for the vast majority of people, will not earn you enough money to be considered your full time job. Focus on what matters most.

A young adult working part time / full time?

  Start thinking of shoes as stock. If you have another source of income, you shouldn’t be in a huge rush to make money from selling shoes. Buy a hyped shoe and instead of “quick flipping” it, consider holding it and watching its value go up over time. This will earn you more in the long run.

Thank you, Bryson! Be sure to check out the Untied Hawaii channel here. Also, be sure to buy some of Bryson’s merch and sneakers here. Finally, follow Bryson on all social media platforms here: @untiedhawaii.