Thanks for checking out Gurus! We got the idea for Gurus about 3 years ago and are very excited to finally share them with everyone. We have redesigned a 5,000-year-old ancient Indian sandal to be the most comfortable, eco-friendly and unique piece of footwear you will own. Our beta test group (including the two of us!) has been wearing production samples for the past few months, and we have been blown away by how Gurus feel and the positive feedback we have received so far.
With your support, we'll be able to make molds, purchase raw materials and start production of Gurus, reinventing one of the first pieces of footwear known to exist. We hope you will be the first to wear Gurus!
- Prem & Joe
What are Gurus?
3 years ago, Prem was visiting family in India when he saw the ancient wooden methiyedi (meth-ee-yed-ee) sandal in a furniture store. He loved the artistic design and soon found out that the traditional version was worn by his grandfather and even Mahatma Gandhi, the father of modern India. Prem shared the design with Joe, and the two became inspired to reinvent the classic sandal into a modern piece of footwear.
Joe and Prem met while working in NYC and later found out that their families grew up on the same street almost 7,500 miles away in Kerala, India! Both of our families are in the rubber farming business, so we decided to bring a part of Kerala to you in Gurus: every pair will have some natural rubber sustainably hand-harvested from our families’ rubber farms.
Yes, we get the rubber for Gurus from trees! In a process kind of like tapping maple syrup, natural latex is harvested and processed by hand from rubber trees. This process can continue daily for 25 years without harming the tree.
Using primarily natural rubber also makes Gurus biodegradable and much better for the environment than traditional flip-flops and sandals. Because Gurus come from trees, we plan to plant a tree for every pair we sell.
Gurus really are a modern twist on a very traditional style. Its eye-catching design will have people stopping you in the street and they won't fall off, we promise :)
- Traditional Indian toe post design makes Gurus more comfortable than flip-flops: no toe scrunching and they stay on better during activities like walking on the beach or even running
- Straps adjust to any ankle and foot size with an easy twist
- Natural rubber is more comfortable and durable than standard flip-flops and sandals but more environmentally-friendly and biodegradable
- Thick sole adds plush foam-like softness and durability
- Launching in 5 colors that Kickstarter supporters will choose!
- Gurus will be available in 7 sizes, check out the chart below:
Here are a few shots of Gurus in action!
Prem Thomas, CEO
Prem is currently also the Cofounder and CFO of an early stage biotech company. Prior to founding Gurus, Prem was a Kiva Microfinance Fellow in Manila, Philippines. Before leaving for the Philippines he worked at the New York City Investment Fund, a civic venture capital fund. Prior to that, Prem was an Investment Banker for Bank of America, where he met Joe. Prem received a B.S. in Business Administration from UNC Chapel Hill and grew up in Tampa, Florida.
Joe Choorapuzha, President
Joe is currently a 1st year MBA student at UPenn. Prior to joining Gurus, Joe worked with an investment fund in NYC. Before that he was an Investment Banker at Bank of America, where he met Prem. Joe received a B.A. in Economics with a concentration in Political Science from Columbia University and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Indy (Indiana) the Lab
Indy is our mascot. He is a 10-week-old yellow lab who likes eating sticks, taking naps and chewing on Gurus. Indy lives with Prem in Tampa.
This is our first product launch, so we recruited some great advisors with experience bringing products from an idea to the market. Meet our Gurus:
Our goal with this Kickstarter project is to get Gurus on your feet. As a result, the rewards for your support are pretty simple: you get Gurus! For all rewards that include Gurus, you can pick what color (5 colors) and size (7 sizes) you would like at the end of our Kickstarter campaign. To make you part of the design process, you get to rank your top 3 colors from a palette of 7 "Colors of India"
The 5 colors with the most votes (at least one of your top 3) will become part of the Gurus family. Each pair of sandals you back gets you one vote.
For every reward tier, we will plant a tree for you and invite you to our launch party in NYC or Florida. After that, we have a few options to choose from, all of which will get you at least one pair of Gurus at a discount! Check them out here, and alongside the campaign to the right. Based on your requests we are now offering international shipping. Shipping in the U.S. is free!
$5: We’ll plant you a tree and invite you to our launch party
(All the higher tiers also include a tree planting and invitation)
$25: One pair of Gurus (any color and size)
($10 LEADERS discount limited to 100 supporters)
$30: One pair of Gurus (any color and size)
Separate awards for Canada (+$12) and international (+$20)
(~15% 1st FOLLOWERS discount limited to 200 supporters)
$33: One pair of Gurus (any color and size)
Separate awards for Canada (+$12) and international (+$20)
(Over 5% discount for all FAVORED SUPPORTERS)
$60: Two pairs of Gurus (any colors and sizes)
Separate awards for Canada (+$24) and international (+$40)
$90: Three pairs of Gurus (any colors and sizes)
Separate awards for Canada (+$36) and international (+$50)
$145: Five pairs of Gurus (any colors and sizes)
Separate awards for Canada (+$45) and international (+$60)
That pretty much sums it up. We really appreciate all of your support. Thanks again for checking out Gurus and learn more at www.ilovegurus.com!
Risks and challenges
We have literally spent years searching for the right manufacturing and design partners, and we will continue to perform diligence and ensure that our supply chain is reliable and productive. Our manufacturing partner has now been working with us for almost two years in enhancing our prototype, and that firm works with well-known and reputable brands that are sold throughout the U.S. We have agreed to an initial production run, but if our Kickstarter is wildly successful, we may need to delay some shipments due to manufacturing constraints. With the help and experience of our advisors, we have been able to predict and plan for many known issues that could arise during the manufacturing and shipping process. We love Kickstarter and together we have personally backed 26 projects, so we still know that unexpected issues may arise and will always keep you informed throughout the manufacturing process of Gurus.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)