Burn Rubber, a Michigan mainstay, built a name for itself over the years through collaborations with the likes of New Balance, Fila, Reebok, and more along with an Eminem-produced reality show profiling the shop’s blue-collar mentality. The shelves at the Roland “Ro Spit” Coit’s Royal Oak, Michigan shop stay stocked with essentials: Air Force 1s, Adidas Top Tens, Converse collabs, and Saucony runners to list a few. For added shopping convenience for local patrons, they offer a “fast shoes” walk-up window, which more stores should consider employing to encourage social distancing.
Williams and Coit realize the importance of collaborating with different companies and creating an association to further the common interests of the members, so Webster dictionary would call those, alliances, including with grant programs. They have also partnered with business innovators in Michigan to help fund their store as well as online operations from minority grants and other sources. Anyone who needs to know more can also find small business grants for Black businesses in Michigan.
In the beginning companies viewed the store as an urban entity until the store was featured in the Northwest Airlines Sky Miles Magazine and took the store all over the world thus making it international. The store has also been featured in the “best of” issues of Real Detroit Magazine and The Metro Times, the Lifestyles section of the Detroit News, Vapors Magazine, renowned online fashion magazine Hypebeast.com, Highsnobiety.com, Nicekicks.com, Strictlyfitteds.com, and won WDIV’s Vote for the Best in men’s shoes in 2008.
In the beginning companies were reluctant to work with such a small store and in the almost three years that Burn Rubber took over new ownership and became Black owned, companies realize the large following the store has and how Burn Rubber is a staple in the sneaker and street wear culture in Michigan and the original sneaker and street wear boutique.