Donald Simmons is a familiar face in the neighborhood. Since 2006, Simmons has been selling sneakers and work boots on sidewalks in Philadelphia.
Na Fan Ng owns the sneaker stand where Simmons works and has three locations where his products are sold. Simmons said the business originally came from a store that was purchased on Kensington and Allegheny avenues. The store didn’t do so well so the store became a vendor business that is called the Trading Post.
Na Fan Ng has a license for his business to be open and he purchases the merchandise from New York in a warehouse. Simmons said their mission to help provide shoes for low income people and especially single family households. Most of the business is during the first of each month because people who are in recovery homes have a set budget and people who receive government assistance and Social Security get their money at the beginning of the month.
“We cater to them by selling the sneakers for $15 and we also sell the boots for $25 at a very affordable rate,” Simmons said.
Sometimes Simmons said he tries out different locations so each community can know that the business is there. Simmons gets paid a commission and he plans to use the money that he earns from his job to take neighborhood children on a bus excursion to an amusement park. He wants to help keep the children out of trouble and reward those who are in school with something nice to do this summer.