Okay, maybe you won’t save the world, but when you buy a shirt, you will be helping out besides having a really cool shirt, there are some other benefits.
I honestly feel that a business is like a child. If you force it to grow up before it’s ready then it could do more harm than good. Because of this we have been growing slowly and at a very steady pace. But everyone has to grow up sometime. We all reach a point where we have to do something drastic like move out of our parent’s home, go to college, etc. Sometimes growth comes in spurts. Our little company has come to a point where we need to expand in order to keep up with demand. It’s time for a growth spurt.
Some of our competitors have moved away from custom sizes and toward mass produced sandals offered in standard sizing. While this is a great move for business, I feel that minimal huarache sandals with a flexible sole should be cut relatively close to the foot without excess sole. This keeps the front of the sole from flopping around. I’ve also seen so many different types of feet that I can’t imagine how one standard size can fit everyone!
One of the things that makes us unique is our Pah Tempe design. I have found that this design is more forgivable when it comes to size. I began toying with the idea of offering a version of the Pah Tempe sandal that is pre-fabricated. It would substantially lower turnaround time and if they didn’t fit, customers could return them. It seemed like a great idea but I still had that lingering thought in my head about all those different types of feet. I began to wonder how I could design a sandal that would be even more functional while allowing a flexible fit for a wider range of foot types. I have had a design idea in my head for about a year now that I have begun to develop. This design will marry the idea of mass production with flexible fitting and an easy and simple adjustment system that Unshoes is known for.
We will continue to make custom sandals but we are also moving forward with this design. In order to do so we need some extra cash to get it off the ground. When it comes to money, I’m a little old fashioned… I would prefer to save money and earn as much as I possibly can on my own before I borrow. This is where the t-shirts come in. We are selling t-shirts in order to raise funds for the development and production of the new design. None of the funds we receive from t-shirts will go toward marketing, advertising, or even payroll. 100% of funds received will go toward the new design.
To help get you excited about the new design, here are some of the cool features it has:
1. Secure fit with no slipping
Who doesn’t like splashing through a mud puddle in the middle of the trail? The problem we’ve had with our current designs is that mud + rubber footbed = slippery. The Pah Tempe is better with this as long as it is cinched down tight. The goal for the new design is to eliminate slipping and create the most secure minimal sandal on the market. This is also going to be ideal for those who frequent steeper terrain. It will also allow a wider range of activities performed in the sandal.
2. Standard size, custom fit
It’s probably impossible to really create a “one size fits all” shoe but the new design should fit a much wider range of foot types than most sandals. While the new design might seem hi-tech and cutting edge, it was actually inspired by a good old fashioned, ancient type of footwear.
The ability to offer affordable prices for our products is very important to me! The more funds we can raise in advance, the more affordable we can make prices. I won’t sacrifice quality for affordability but I will continue to think of ways that we can lower costs to bring a good product to the table with lower prices.
3. Fast turnaround
You order, we ship, the end. We will also be able to sell them through retail stores which will give more people access to Unshoes. This will also give people the opportunity to try on sandals before they buy.
3. Sustainable & Responsible production
We will do everything we can to use recycled materials, and to reduce our environmental footprint while producing these sandals. I would like to have the sandals 100% made in the U.S. This will help grow the local economy and allow us more control over the process. The prices are higher but the shipping costs (and environmental impact) would be much lower. If we cannot do that, we will make sure we use a manufacturer that pays fair wages and has a lower environmental impact.
Of course we always want sandals that look good. When we first entered the market, huarahes and minimalist shoes in general had a reputation for being less attractive. We set the standard higher and others have followed. Future designs will be no different.
In the end you the customer will get:
—faster turnaround time
—better quality product
—the ability to return sandals
—a really awesome shirt
We understand that selling a few t-shirts is not going to raise all the funds necessary, but it will give us a good start. The t-shirts will be $15 and can be purchased on our website. Please help us get a jump start by buying a t-shirt and spreading the word!