Entrepreneur of the Week: Anthony Joiner, Shoozed

Anthony Joiner’s newest business, it’s safe to say, has something of a foot fetish. The Atlanta-based serial entrepreneur is soon to launch Shoozed.coma social-commerce company he describes as “eBay meets Pinterest” for lightly worn women’s shoes. (The company’s name is a portmanteau of shoes and used.)

The Internet has certainly made connecting buyers and sellers easier than ever, yes, but . . . used shoes? “There’s a huge market for lightly used shoes!” exults Joiner, 39. “Resale shops and other high-end or ‘middle-high-end’ thrift stores are doing really well, especially in this look-for-a-deal-first economy.”

Shoozed, set to launch later this summer, will collect a commission on each pair of kicks sold. The idea came to Joiner during the pregnancy of his wife, a shoe maven whose closet contains more than 100 pairs – and whose feet grew substantially over those nine months. “Her doctor said there was a chance her feet would remain at least a size bigger, and then she’d have a closetful of unwearable shoes, he says. “I saw an opportunity there.”

Seeing opportunities is something of a habit for Joiner, who is also the founder of The Weekend Collection, which offers travel deals within several hours of Atlanta. His efforts have hardly gone unnoticed; he was recently brought into the funding-and-mentoring program of 100 Urban Entrepreneurs, the nonprofit foundation that provides $10,000 startup grants and eight weeks of mentoring to urban businesspeople nationwide. (In March, Joiner accompanied 100UE and Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic-development authority, to ring the opening bell at the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York.)

Nor is his visionary streak limited to newfangled e-retail sites like Shoozed. Three years back, he started a summer fish fry in his front yard; this year, it’ll be held on July 7, and he’s expecting more than 8,000 people to show up. “It’s called ‘Life’s a Fish & Then You Fry,’ “he says. “I’m partnering with the county this year, but I’m looking for sponsors for that as well.” He laughs. “Yes, I’m always grinding like this.”

Spoken like a true entrepreneur.

Read more about Anthony Joiner and Shoozed.com at 100UrbanEntrepreneurs.org