2. ABOUT ME:
The 3 most famous EDM shuffler girls on Instagram--- Elena Cruz @ecruz_n, Gabby David @gabbyjdavid, and Beckie Joy of @girlsthatshuffle --- all love Groove Soles. They each said Groove Soles "make dancing so much easier," and that they want Groove Soles on ALL their dancing sneakers. (Watch Elena's hidden-camera testimonial video here).
Combined, their dance videos have over 100 million views from their highly engaged followers, mostly girls 12-24 who love EDM. Their loyal fans buy every product they endorse.
However, I haven't paid them to endorse Groove shoes yet because the expensive, laborious, low-margin, hand-crafted process I've used to prove the concept of low-traction sneakers is not scalable.
We need to produce high-margin Groove shoes in Asia first, with inexpensive polymer outsoles that perform on dance floors exactly like the expensive Italian leather outsoles I've been using, inspired by the leather-soled shoes of James Brown & Michael Jackson.
A dance shuffling star like Elena could generate thousands of orders with one promo video if Groove shoes were ready-made for customers to buy directly (rather than having to send me shoes from Zappos to retrofit, then waiting months for thousands of hand-crafted orders to be fulfilled).
Thus I need a footwear partner to produce & distribute sneakers with low traction that customers can buy directly at brick-n-mortar stores & online.
- Beyond EDM, we've had a wide range of customers, from 7 year old boys & girls to a 64 year old male salsa dancer in London (who's already spent $520 including shipping & customs fees for 2 pairs of Nike SB Janoskis with Groove Soles), as well as many other demographics worldwide. I've had orders from all over the U.S., Canada, France, U.K., Germany, Finland, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Columbia, Argentina, Dubai, Indonesia, Singapore, etc.
- Pro musicians buy our shoes for their live performances, especially drummers because our smooth outsoles let their feet get into a more natural rhythmic flow on their drums' foot-pedals than sticky outsoles do.
A diverse array of customers have spent a lot of $$$ on several pairs. They include:
- A 24 year old black male hip hop dancer in L.A. who got hooked on his first pair of adidas Tubulars x Groove Soles, then bought 4 more Tubulars in 4 different colorways, and then the tan Yeezys in the photo above. He spent $120 for each pair of Tubulars + $100 for each pair of Groove Soles. That's $220/pair x 5 pairs for a total of $1100. Then he spent $200 for his Yeezys direct from adidas + $100 for Groove Soles = $300, for a grand total of $1400 spent on adidas with Groove Soles in just 6 months.
- A 40 year old middle-class white male "jam band" concert-goer in D.C. bought $180 adidas Ultra Boosts + $100 Groove Soles; then $140 Supra Skytops limited edition gunmetal color + $100 Groove Soles; $120 adidas D-Rose Boost Lakeshores + $100 Groove Soles; $140 adidas D-Rose 7's + $100 Groove Soles; and now $200 in re-solings for his Ultra Boosts and Skytops that he's worn down over the past 18 months by dancing every day for exercise at home, as well as st many concerts by The Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic, Phish, et al. Total spent = $1180.
- A wealthy white mom of teen customers in Tulsa Oklahoma (black adidas Yeezys on eBay for $500 + $100 for Groove Soles; three Converse Chuck II high-tops at $80/pair + $100 for Groove Soles; and, for herself, $350 Mephistos + $100 Groove Soles). Total spent = $1590
- A middle-class white mom of young children in Phoenix (Converse Varvatos for her husband, Nike Lunartempos for herself, Nike kids shoes for her daughters, and now she's working on her 2nd order for all). Total spent on first order = $740
- A 28 year old white male in Greenwich CT for his entire wedding party of groomsmen (glowing LED shoes + Groove Soles). Total spent = $900
- A 40 year old creative executive bought 5 pairs for herself & her friends to use at a specific party within the Burning Man festival (gold Nike Dunk hi-tops, adidas Stan Smiths, Puma Suedes). Total spent = $875
- A 37 year old white male in L.A. had Prada sneakers x Groove Soles made for an Oscars party ($820 for one pair), in addition to the 3 pairs he already had: two Puma Suedes ($160 each including Groove Soles), and one Nike Dunk SB ($200 including Groove Soles). Total spent = $1340
- Child dance phenomenon Adilyn Malcolm is already on her 5th pair of Air Jordan x Groove Soles because she keeps outgrowing them, but keeps getting fresh pairs for major performances, such as the Vail International Dance Fest. Total = $1000. To see her amazing dance videos in Groove Soles, click here.
SUMMARY. My customers spend $160 to $1500 for sneakers retrofitted with our smooth outsoles for dancing. They buy them for concerts, music festivals, raves, nightclubs, hip hop dancing, salsa dancing, Zumba, weddings, bar mitzvahs, birthday parties, and physical therapy. Many customers come back to buy more pairs, such as the hip hop dancer who's spent $1400 on 6 pairs of adidas x Groove Soles. (See detailed info on customers below.) Despite the inconvenient mail-order process, high prices, and zero sales reps or stores, customers bought $100k of shoes in 18 months. I'm a full-time musician who did this on the side to prove the concept that people will pay $$$ for sneakers with low traction for dancing & other applications (see below). Now I'm seeking a footwear partner to produce ready-made shoes that people can buy much more easily at stores. Below is key info about the shoes, me, my customers, and utility patent written by Apple's law firm Wilson Sonsini:
1. ABOUT THE SHOES:
The Yeezy photo above is an example of how I created everything on this site by myself with minimal resources... just passion & creativity. I even did all the footwork in our videos that I shot & edited, even though I could barely dance before making the 1st pair of Groove shoes for a concert 8 years ago changed my life forever. (Full story on "About" page).
3. ABOUT MY CUSTOMERS:
My customers spend $160 to $1500 for "Groove shoes." For example, $60 Vans + $100 Groove Soles = $160 total. $180 adidas Ultra Boosts + $100 Groove Soles = $280. $720 Prada sneakers + $100 Groove Soles = $820. And so forth.
Many customers come back again & again to buy more pairs to match different outfits. Some have already spent $1500 each.
The easiest market to sell to has been female EDM fans ages 12-24 who are into the dance style called shuffling, especially the shuffling sub-genre called "Cutting Shapes," which involves non-stop footwork, gliding, spins, and moonwalking:
- Even non-dancers with bad knees (ACL / MCL damage) buy our shoes for just walking around because the smooth natural traction allows natural footsteps that don't trigger knee pain like sticky outsoles that push back against your knees' natural rotation with each step.
- For example, a 56 year old customer who hadn't been able to run without severe knee pain since tearing his ACL & MCL in a surfing accident 10 years ago bought adidas Pure Boosts with Groove Soles for walking around with less knee pain, but then discovered that these shoes let him finally run again without knee pain. (He also bought P.F. Flyers x Groove Soles, adidas Superstars x Groove Soles for himself & his 11 year old daughter, adidas Stan Smith x Groove Soles for his 9 year old daughter, and several gift pairs for other friends, including snakeskin adidas Superstars x Groove Soles for a rock drummer.) Of course, I'm not saying we should market Groove shoes as "running shoes for people with bad knees," but I'm just letting you know there are many health benefits & applications for sneakers with outsoles that have NATURAL traction levels that don't restrict natural lateral motions like sticky outsoles do.
Why are people willing to spend so much $$$ for Groove shoes?
Because Groove shoes are fun, great for your body, great for your social life (smooth dancers are more attractive), and great for your performances if you're a dancer or live musician.
Groove shoes are a life-changing product. The endless fun I've had the past 8 years since Groove Soles transformed me from a non-dancer to a good dancer is why I'm so passionate about these shoes, despite the difficulty of producing them without a manufacturing partner.
We're filling a void in the market. People can buy running shoes for running, basketball shoes for basketball, skateboarding shoes for skateboarding, golf shoes for golfing, spin shoes for spin class, etc... but what about music?
For music, consumers are stuck with the lame choice between uncomfortable dress shoes with smooth outsoles that make dancing much easier, or comfortable sneakers with sticky outsoles engineered for sports, which make dancing much harder. It's ridiculous.
That's why I had to make my own pair of Groove shoes back in Oct 2009 for a concert in New Orleans. I wanted shoes with smooth soles like James Brown & Michael Jackson wore, but the only shoes with smooth soles in the market were $600 loafers by Gucci & Prada that I didn't want to buy or wear to concerts, clubs, music festivals, and my own live music gigs.
I wanted the comfort & style of sneakers + the smooth feeling of dress shoe soles, so I combined those 2 elements.
People like me, my customers, and millions of other music-lovers around the world need comfortable sneakers with smooth soles that make dancing easier & more fun. I've proven that people are happy to pay $$$ for them repeatedly.
Another method I've used to prove the concept is this: sometimes I buy discounted adidas, Converse, Puma, etc, at discount stores like Ross, then add Groove Soles to them, then sell these ready-made shoes to impulse-buyers at my music gigs.
This method has proven it is MUCH easier to sell Groove shoes to people in person because they can try them on first.
The 2 most common notes from people who try on Groove shoes in person are how much fun it is, and how much more traction our soles have than they expected. People often think the shoes will be "too slippery," but they have the perfect amount of grip to control what you're doing while dancing, which is why James Brown & Michael Jackson ALWAYS danced in leather soles. Did you ever see James Brown or Michael Jackson slip? Never. Leather soles are perfect for dancing, but now we need to replicate their performance with inexpensive polymers instead of leather.
Given the extraordinary positive feedback from my customers, there is no doubt that if brick-n-mortar stores carried a more affordable version of Groove shoes that people could try on in person, they would sell well. So let's produce some.
I have a strong utility patent-pending (written by powerhouse law firm Wilson Sonsini, which also represents Apple, Google, et al) to create smooth outsoles with polymers instead of the expensive leather outsoles I've been using because they have the perfect amount of glide AND grip, but leather outsoles are obviously too costly & labor-intensive to scale efficiently.
Let's create polymer outsoles that perform on dance floors exactly like leather outsoles do, but are much lighter, more economical, flexible, and durable.
We can either create a whole new shoe to stand out on store shelves, or we can add polymer Groove Soles to a popular shoe style (such as adidas Superstars with Boost, or Converse Chuck II with Lunarlon, etc, but they MUST have premium cushioning because what makes Groove shoes so revolutionary & fun is the unprecedented combo of sneaker comfort + smooth outsoles). Or you could make polymer Groove Soles an add-on option to sneakers at your customization sites like NikeID or mi-adidas, etc.
5. LET'S GO
Depending on which demographic you want to focus on first, I have valuable insights for each demo I've sold to.
I strongly recommend starting with a high-top sneaker for hip hop and EDM fans, who've been easier to sell to than fitness people. Why? Because fitness people already have the option of using those cheap plastic "gliding disc" plates for sliding exercises, or even just putting towels on the floor so they can slide their feet on them. But hip hop & EDM fans have zero footwear options for smooth outsoles besides us, or $600 Gucci dress shoes that they don't want. They want sneakers. The most popular sneakers in hip hop are Jordans & adidas, and the most popular sneakers in EDM are Vans & Converse.
Furthermore, a shoe launched in hip hop or EDM will subsequently seem cool to fitness people, who will then adopt it for fitness uses. But a product launched in fitness will not feel as cool to hip hop & EDM people, especially the trend-setters who can easily ignite this trend on Instagram with viral videos that cost almost nothing to produce.
We can bring this shoe to market with minimal upfront costs. For example, we could start with just 250 pairs to seed to your brand's influencers to ignite the trend online, generate pre-orders, then do a larger production based on those pre-order #'s.
If you're a footwear executive wondering what Groove shoes feel like, go try on $600 Gucci loafers with leather outsoles, but imagine they're as comfortable as running shoes. That's it!
It's a simple concept, with massive potential for music fans around the globe.
Music is even more popular than sports worldwide (e.g., all women love music, but not all women love sports), but while there are billions of sports shoes in the world, there are no music shoes like this yet.
But don't worry: my customers & I still wear your rubber-soled sports sneakers all the time when we're not dancing or playing live music gigs, so this new shoe category won't disrupt sales of your traditional sneakers. They will add revenues as a product line-extension, and a cool brand-builder that will create massive buzz when your launch video goes viral.
Let's meet. I'll bring Groove shoes for you to try on because no one understands how good it feels until they feel it on their own feet. It feels amazing, and customers love them enough to spend hundreds of dollars on them, even thousands of dollars.
Now let's make it easier for people to buy them in person.