ISlide entered the show’s Shark Tank on the Season 8 premiere. We interviewed owner Justin Kittredge, who launched the company in 2013. To say it caught on is an understatement since now everyone from Dwyane Wade to Justin Bieber have been seen sporting the footwear.
“From NBA to Lebron James to Kentucky Basketball to Playboy Playmates to your 5th grade dance team,” he went on to list when asked about some of their custom designs. “It is truly endless.”
As for his future plans, he replied, “Business is booming and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. We plan to do more than just make slides. We’re starting a movement and plan on helping to reshape the customization world as we know it today.”
Here’s what else he told us about…
How the Idea Came About
Slides are classics. They’ve been a staple in the athletic fashion industry forever. After I left Reebok, I started noticing a trend toward customization. I’d see guys all decked out in custom gear – from their hats to their socks. But I never saw custom slides. That’s when it hit me.
Partnership With the NBA
We currently have a licensing deal with the NBA and can customize slides for any of their teams. Also, we about to launch an added licensing right of the NBA to print any retired player names on the slides. We love working with the NBA. Basketball has been in the company blood since day one, so it’s really amazing to be able to use our creativity to help fans rock their team spirit on their soles like we do.
Working With DJ Khaled
Khaled has been great. We loved working with him to design the slides in his We the Best collection. The guy is a social media genius. He took the slides to Snapchat and – Boom!- the buzz skyrocketed.
Their Philanthropic Work
We launched a charitable arm of the business called ISlide 4 Good. Each quarter we partner with a different non-profit organization to design and sell their own custom slides. For every pair of that custom design sold, we give $20 back to the organization. In addition, $4 from all custom pairs sold on our site during that quarter are donated back to that organization as well.
How His Appearance on the ‘Tank’ Came About
I applied for three straight years and got denied for the first two after making it past the first few rounds. Finally we had enough momentum to talk with a producer and that was our foot in the door we needed to tell our story.