How Story is stepping into their next chapter

How Story is stepping into their next chapter
Story is a Premium Sneaker, Collectibles & Apparel consignment store

Johannesburg, South Africa – 8 May 2024 – When Idris Elba is in Cape Town, he goes shopping at Story – one of the country’s foremost marketplaces for sneakers, collectables and apparel.

Story grew out of founder Chris Howard’s love of sneakers. It all started during his days as a DJ when he received “an incredible pair” as part of a sponsorship deal. That signalled the start of his sneaker collection: Chris bought hundreds of pairs worldwide, usually unavailable at a retail level in South Africa, where we receive only a very small percentage of top-tier products. 

That led to the start of his Instagram page, Sneaker Stories, where he shared the stories behind each shoe, reviewing aspects like their material and fit – important, because when you’re paying a lot to import an item into the country, you want to know it’s right for you. The popularity of the platform saw it move to YouTube and then, during the Covid pandemic, when Chris’s previous position at large-scale event production company was forced to halt, he decided to open a brick-and-mortar store dedicated to sneakers.

Some might see the move as a bold one, particularly during pandemic times. Howard, on the other hand, recognised it as a way to “close the loop”, providing a safe, secure place where customers could buy the sneakers he was reviewing.

His instincts were spot on. Story has enjoyed outstanding growth in its four years of operations, both online and at its Bo-Kaap store, and is now recognised as one of the leading marketplaces for premium goods. Here, you’ll find everything from a Stanley Cup to a R200 000 pair of shoes, which you wouldn’t be able to find in any stores across the country. “What makes Story different from any other consignment seller,” says Howard, “is our careful accent on curation. Our offering is completely unique – we source privately from people all over the world, and we have very close relationships with both our buyers and our sellers. We check the authenticity of all our products – we have a range of protocols in place to make sure there’s no risk for our buyers. And we choose only the best.”

As a result, Story’s clientele ranges from superstars like Elba to people who love the craft that goes into making a good sneaker – and who appreciate the comfort they offer, too. “One of my most memorable customers was a lady who had problems with her feet, which meant she battled to find shoes. She fell in love with a pair of Jordan 2s, and I loved seeing how they helped her,” Howard says.

He maintains that the store’s flexibility is another factor behind its popularity. For example, due to the growing trend of adopting cryptocurrency as a mainstream payment method, his customers enquired about paying with cryptocurrency, and he swiftly moved to make this possible by implementing Binance Pay

Binance Pay ensures secure transactions for buying, selling, investing in cryptocurrency, and making purchases from a device. This is made possible through a partnership with FiveWest, simplifying the consumer process. FiveWest merges traditional banking with fintech to offer diverse payment and transfer solutions for everyone, making accepting crypto payments seamless with their payment gateway, CoinPay.

Howard says that using Binance Pay has contributed to Story’s growth, making purchases easier for buyers who prefer this payment method. “Previously, they had to settle their purchases using an EFT, which could be a very lengthy process involving many checks and balances. It’s now pain-free for customers.” Meanwhile, Howard’s team benefits, too: Fivewest protects vendors from fluctuations in the value of cryptocurrency, so the store is assured of receiving the correct Rand value for their product. “We saw immediate adoption with our clients from the get-go, resulting in higher than average basket sizes,” Howard says.

He adds that, as he looks to grow Story, he’ll be considering the addition of more exciting products in line with his audience’s tastes. At the same time, Johannesburg fashion and sneaker connoisseurs can look forward to welcoming their own brick-and-mortar version of the store in the not-too-distant future.


About Binance

Binance is the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider with a financial product suite that includes the largest digital asset exchange by volume. Trusted by millions worldwide, the Binance platform is dedicated to increasing the freedom of money for users and features an unmatched portfolio of crypto products and offerings, including trading and finance, education, data and research, social good, investment and incubation, decentralisation and infrastructure solutions, and more. For more information, visit: 


About Fivewest & CoinPay

We are building a platform to serve as the perfect hybrid between traditional banking and the modern world of fintech, facilitating a range of payment processing and international transfer solutions for private and institutional clients.


FiveWest is an authorized FSP and regulated primary accountable institution with the FIC. We also hold a mandate from the SARB to facilitate international payments.


We offer South African businesses the easiest and cheapest way to accept crypto payments, with none of the risk via CoinPay. Settle instantly to your business bank account.


About Story 


Story is a Premium Sneaker, Collectibles & Apparel consignment store Experience, which means pre-approved individuals bring in their supply of products for us to sell on their behalf. Every item is authenticated as original and verified to be in either new, unworn condition, or acceptable pre-owned condition by our trained expert staff. All our in-store inventory is available to shop online, with delivery direct to your door! For more information, visit: