Darrell Alston just launched his own luxury sneaker business, and he came up with the idea while serving time in prison in Pennsylvania. While being incarcerated in Graterford Prison for more than six years for selling drugs, Alston started drawing shoe sketches.
“The whole time that I was there, I was trying to figure out ways I can draw the shoe to make it look like art,” Alston told Inside Edition Digital. “The only love that I’ve had for the longest time was fashion so I just took a stab at trying to sketch a shoe I already had.”
Those sketches ended up turning into his own luxury shoe brand, Bungee Oblečení, which launched in 2020. Those convicted of felonies have historically struggled to obtain jobs after being incarcerated, and so Alston created his own business plan.
He initially said he didn’t think it would happen because he “had a criminal background.” and didn’t think he could secure a loan from the bank.
But when he was released, Alston landed two jobs as a barber and tried to save money. It was one of his customers at the barber shop that led to investors for his business plan, including former boxing legend Bernard Hopkins. Hopkins also became a mentor for Alston.
Now, Alston is a thriving CEO who wants to encourage others who may not have a perfect past. He also hopes to hire people with criminal background for his company as his company expands.
“I really want people to understand No. 1, just because we have a criminal background and we may have made mistakes in the past, that doesn’t mean we’re never going to be a better person,” he said.