We now have a Kickstarter campaign and a great distributor that is ready to take this nationwide. We started production of the mid-tops and should have them in stock just in time for summer.
While designing and testing my longboard, I was disappointed in how quickly my shoes wore out. Vulcanized shoes look great and have good grip, but because of the soft rubber used in the soles, they wear out extremely fast when being active. So, I set out to develop a vulcanized shoe that would outlast all others on the market. To do things right, I collaborated with veteran designer Michael Ditullo from Nike/Jordan/Converse to design the shoe for the launch. I was blown away to discover that he was a fan of my previous design efforts and was excited to be part of the project.
Through our core community of skaters, we will be putting out a series of high impact videos. Also, we started with a niche, so word-of-mouth is very strong. We now are able to sponsor the top riders in the world and get amazing footage and feedback to keep making the best shoe we can.
The athletic shoe market brought in $14.4 billion in revenue in 2013. It is mainly dominated by well-known names like Nike, Adidas and Vans. Being part of the core community of skaters gives us the ability to wedge into that market. Having quality shoes that people are buzzing about should keep us growing.
How We Differentiate From the Competition
A big draw to make the shoes was to fill an actual void in the market. Skaters who ride short boards have a number of options in skate shoes that cater to their riding styles; but for longboarders there were none. And because of techniques like foot breaking (basically dragging your foot on the ground to stop), they can rip through a pair of shoes in just days. The Brooklyn Workshop shoes have proven to last at least twice as long as the competition. It is a real solution for skaters who need the extra durability.
In 2013, we launched with the introduction of our low tops. The response was great and we sold out quickly. We are now releasing the mid-tops and will follow with the next generation of low tops.
Now that we gained market acceptance in the core community, we would love to hear from partners that could help us leverage that to expand to the masses.
BrooklynWorkshop logoHeadquarters: Brooklyn, New York
Founder: Alon Karpman
Year Founded: 2010