March 22, 2021 – Stephen McMillon, an e-commerce entrepreneur, approached Porch with a proposal last year. McMillon has been working to develop a footwear brand focused on comfort and style, and he wanted to see if Porch – who records under the moniker “AP” – would be interested in putting his name on a new product. McMillon sold a line of sneakers with another local musician under his Koncrete Eden brand, and he figured Porch might be part of his next major collaboration.
Anthony Porch was a recipient of such kindness decades ago and that made his family made the news when he was a kid even though it wasn’t for positive reasons. “My mom, she made the newspaper because, basically, how broke she was. She was a single mom with five kids. My siblings and I were sharing coats,” he said last week, standing in a recording studio at Colfax Avenue and Depew Street.
Following the publication of the article, a woman named Jackie from Florida began sending them necessities. “I started calling her my auntie,” Porch said.
Porch never met the woman who helped his family from afar, but she made an impression on him. He also feels obligated to pay it forward decades later, after relocating to Denver and establishing himself in the city’s hip-hop scene. “I just want to do something dope in this city. I love this city, and I think that it’s gotta be done,” he said. “It’s necessary.”
Porch moved to Denver as a child from Illinois, where he attended Montbello High School until it closed in 2010. He said he’s seen firsthand how the pandemic and subsequent recession have wreaked havoc on communities, and he has a special bond with people who are homeless or on the verge of being homeless.
“I thought it was brilliant,” McMillon recalled. “Especially during this pandemic, where there doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of hope right now, I think this would be something big and huge to be able to give hope back to the community.”
McMillon had to manage both design and development for the sneakers and boots. He’s researched the “dropshipping” business model, in which entrepreneurs distribute goods to consumers without the use of conventional retail middlemen. It’s a relatively new business model, made possible by the internet, that helps keep startup costs low. He’s been teaching people how to navigate the e-commerce world and working as a marketing consultant for the past few years. His effort to bring all of these disciplines together is Koncrete Eden. He used to fantasize about working for Nike when he was younger.
“That was my dream as a kid,” he said. “So me being able to do this, and being able to grow and expand in it, is a dream come true.”
Porch and McMillon launched a crowdfunding campaign for their “Denver Shoe Project” last week, with a target of raising $75,000 for the project. They intend to use the funds to produce 1,500 pairs of Koncrete Eden sneakers and boots, which they will distribute to homeless people and families going through a tough time.
For more information on how to be a part of this project, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/xtvx7y-the-denver-shoe-project?qid=292c3cfa400d5b5fa717b1a75b48b99a