9 Shoe Designing Business Success Stories [2023]

9 Shoe Designing Business Success Stories [2023]
Start A Shoe Designing Business

Here are some real life success stories of starting a shoe designing business:

1. B Street Shoes ($720K/year)

Blake Barash (from Newport Beach, CA, USA) started B Street Shoes ago.

$60K / month
1 founders / 8 employees

Case Study

My name is Blake Barash, owner of B Street Shoes. I’m a custom shoe painter located in Orange County, CA. People know me for my custom painted Nikes, Jordans, and football cleats for NFL players.


2. Creative Souls ($12K/year)

Drew McNamara (from Chicago, Illinois, USA) started Creative Souls almost 5 years ago.

$1K / month
1 founders / 0 employees
Chicago, Illinois, USA

Case Study

I am Drew McNamara, the founder of Creative Souls. We print designs created by individuals with disabilities onto canvas shoes and apparel. Our artists earn money every time their design sells on one of our products. Our customers are people who want to make a difference in style!

Since August of 2019, we have paid our artists over $1,000 and are looking to make a greater impact in 2020! Today, we average about $1,000 a month from our sales.


Learn more about starting a shoe designing business:

Where to start?

-> How much does it cost to start a shoe designing business?
-> Pros and cons of a shoe designing business

Need inspiration?

-> Examples of established shoe designing business
-> Marketing ideas for a shoe designing business

Other resources

-> Shoe designing business tips

4. Rothy's ($132M/year)

Rothy's is an environmentally-focused women's shoe startup worth over $1 Billion. See how they scaled with SAP Business ByDesign.

Stephen Hawthornthwaite and Roth Martin (from San Francisco, California, USA) started Rothy's about 11 years ago.

$11M / month
2 founders / 222 employees

Case Study

Stephen Hawthornthwaite and Roth Martin founded Rothy's, a sustainable lifestyle company selling fashionable shoes and accessories for everyone out of recycled materials.

To set industry-leading standards for sustainable manufacturing, Stephen and Roth opened a fully owned and operated factory in China in 2016.

Additionally, they created a waste-reduction 3D knitting production process. They consider sustainability at every stage of creating their products and running their enterprise.

Rothy's transforms environmentally friendly materials into stunning, long-lasting product designs that their customers absolutely love.


Read the full story on nbs-us.com ➜

5. TOMS ($391M/year)

In the fall of 2012 the author decided he needed to do some soul-searching. The start-up he’d founded six years earlier had grown into a global company with more than $300 million in revenue, and it was still delivering on its promise to donate a pair of shoes for every pair sold, but Mycoskie felt disillusioned. His days were monotonous, and he had lost his connection to many of the executives in charge of daily operations. He and his wife moved to Austin, Texas, so that he could take a sabbatical. He dedicated a lot of time to private contemplation, but he also spoke regularly with his executive coach, entrepreneur friends, and business nonprofit leaders he admired. He traveled to conferences around the country to learn from experts in social enterprise and international development. And he read Start with Why, by Simon Sinek, about leaders who inspire action and companies that create compelling products. All this, combined with a chance conversation about the coffee trade in Rwanda, led to the creation of TOMS Roasting—which, like TOMS Shoes, would have a one-for-one model: For every bag of coffee sold, the company would provide a week’s worth of clean water to a person in need. As TOMS approaches its 10th anniversary, the author writes, he feels more energized and committed than ever.

Blake Mycoskie (from Los Angeles, CA, USA) started TOMS about 17 years ago.

$32.6M / month
1 founders / 671 employees

Case Study

TOMS was established by Blake Mycoskie as a designer footwear business selling trendy shoes for both men and women.

Blake is a best-selling author, philanthropist, and serial entrepreneur best known for founding TOMS Shoes. He also developed the concept of One for One®, a business model that donates money to a charity for each item bought.

They donate one-third of their earnings to local products. Over 100,000,000 lives have been improved by TOMS since they first launched.

They have always aimed to make people's lives better through their business.


Read the full story on successpodcast.com ➜

6. Fuchsia Shoes ($7.2M/year)

So, you want to start your own shoe line brand. With our detailed business plan and marketing approach, creating your own shoe line has never been easier.

Afshan Abbas (from Seattle, WA, USA) started ** Fuchsia Shoes** about 7 years ago.

$600K / month
1 founders / 5 employees

Case Study

Afshan is the co-founder and CEO of Fuchsia, a sustainable footwear company headquartered in Seattle.

Before starting her business, Afshan worked for Microsoft for six years as a senior product manager in the company's global OEM division. She received a Master of Science in Information Management from the University of Washington.

Fuchsia sells South Asian-made, artisanal shoes to customers all over the world. It is a direct-to-consumer fashion company that sells handmade women's footwear, pouches, masks, and so on. They do a very transparent job of selling expensive fashion accessories.

Their shoes are made with inaccessible premium quality raw materials and offer comfort without compromising on style. The brand also offers a dedicated vegan range.


Read the full story on upflip.com ➜

7. Smoove Creations ($40K/year)

What happens when you take a product that everyone knows and already owns, and customize it to match or fit individual styles and aesthetics?

Isaiah Kelly (from Newport, Kentucky, USA) started Smoove Creations about 4 years ago.

$3.33K / month
1 founders / 8 employees

Case Study

Isaiah Kelly is the founder and CEO of Smoove Creations, a Newport-based startup that caters to people who are "sneakerheads" or fans of athletic footwear.

He and his eight-member team serve customers who want unique, personalized sneakers that match their personal style.

Kelly's first experience with business ownership came while working for his father, who ran a landscaping business in LaGrange. Unexpectedly, Kelly didn't care about sneakers until he started working at a Shoe Carnival during the summer.

In 2020, Smoove Creations generated revenue of about $40,000 despite the pandemic.


Read the full story on nkytribune.com ➜

8. Nike ($1B/year)

Nike is a champion brand builder. Its advertising slogans—“Bo Knows,” “Just Do It,” “There Is No Finish Line”—have moved beyond advertising into popular expression. Its athletic footwear and clothing have become a piece of Americana. Its brand name is as well-known around the world as IBM and Coke. So it may come as a surprise […]

Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman (from Beaverton, OR, USA) started Nike about 59 years ago.

$83.3M / month
2 founders / 112479 employees

Case Study

On January 25, 1964, Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight founded the premium athletic footwear brand Nike.

The company was initially named 'Blue Ribbon Sports. They later changed the name to Nike on May 30, 1971.

Headquartered in Beaverton, OR, Nike is now one of the world's top manufacturers of athletic apparel and footwear.

It all started with a shoe and a t-shirt. Today, it is a complex and diversified multinational corporation.

The brand sells products under the Nike and Jordan names and through its Converse and Jordan Brand divisions.


Read the full story on startuptalky.com ➜

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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