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Jared Everett, 14, has earned at least $50 from his fellow pupils after starting up a shoe polishing profession. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Student takes a shine to shoe business

A 14-year-old student has started from the ground up to build a shoe shining enterprise within his school.
Hauraki Plains College Year 10 pupil Jared Everett has been charging $2 to shine the shoes of his fellow students.
The budding businessman is in a class of his own and says the response to his polished profession has been “unexpected”.
“It’s quite an interesting concept; you pay a kid in the 1930s a quarter and he’ll polish your shoes… they didn’t get any praise, did they?”
Jared started shoe shining in 2021 after his attempts at selling origami didn’t take flight, but the venture depended on students approaching him as he walked around the school.
Now, he has a station set up at the college’s hub, and he is there almost every lunch and morning tea time.
“I just thought to myself one day: the teachers are always bugging people to polish their shoes, and the kids would rather pay someone to do it than do it themselves, so why don’t I do it?
“I’ve always been shining my own shoes because I find it therapeutic.”
Jared started out charging 50 cents to polish a pair of shoes, and reckons he’s earned anywhere between $50-$70 since the business’ inception.
“People usually bug me and ask for a free shoe shine or say: ‘Will you do it for 10 cents?’ but when people do come with money, it’s really nice,” he says.
The college’s dress code requires boys to wear clean, black leather school shoes, and it expects students to maintain “a high standard of dress and personal presentation at all times”.
Jared says if shoes are polished, they will last longer.
“If you care for them and make sure they’re clean, then they’ll be good to you and last a long time.”
After student hub administrator Amanda Fitzpatrick posted a video of Jared hard at work, New Zealand shoe care brand, Tedd’s, sent him a raft of products to use. He has plans to continue shoe shining until his final year at college, after which, he will train up a protege to carry on the legacy.
“I tried to do business before – a lot of businesses – and I didn’t even get a cent. So, this is the only business that’s ever worked out for me and that’s really amazing,” he said.