$34,548
pledged of $195,000pledged of $195,000 goal
98
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Jan 28 2014
$34,548
pledged of $195,000pledged of $195,000 goal
98
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Jan 28 2014

About

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Above is a video from the TV show TakePart Live on the Pivot Network.  InSoul Footwear was invited on to discuss our Dress Sneaker.  Great exposure for our project.

InSoul is a brand that celebrates the evolution of shoes/sneakers.  The brand's core stems from American Sports styling but aspires to compete with the detailing of a wealthy italian brand.  The line is all about details (leathers, linings, laces, eyelets, stitching, etc...).  The shoe shapes are understandable.  

Here is a photo of the brown and black low tops.  The waxed canvas on the black will be darker than this sample shows.
Here is a photo of the brown and black low tops. The waxed canvas on the black will be darker than this sample shows.
This was our catalog layout for the trade shows.
This was our catalog layout for the trade shows.
Here is a good shot of the Artifact High Top in the 3 colors.
Here is a good shot of the Artifact High Top in the 3 colors.
Designed to combine the comfort and styling of an athletic shoe with the craftsmanship and detailing of a dress shoe.
Designed to combine the comfort and styling of an athletic shoe with the craftsmanship and detailing of a dress shoe.

The name InSoul is an obvious play on the word "insole" but spelled "soul" to embrace the tie between music culture and the sneaker culture. Hip Hop music is currently associated with sneaker culture but InSoul seeks to celebrate the "soul music" that many artists take their inspiration from (samples). Using this foundation will hopefully give kids and their parents common ground to enjoy the brand's product and lifestyle.

Traditional inspiration translates to timeless product.
Traditional inspiration translates to timeless product.

About 5 years ago I reached out to a friend who worked at an expensive dress shoe factory and asked them to make me a sneaker using all of the quality and craftsmanship they used on the dress shoes. I wanted the shoes to appear like a sneaker at the first glance, but at a second look see the details were actually hand made by an authentic quality shoe maker. 

We replaced the rubber sidewall with this beautiful saddle leather.  Very expensive but there is no better quality on the market
We replaced the rubber sidewall with this beautiful saddle leather. Very expensive but there is no better quality on the market

The colors and material inspiration are drawn from the evolution of photography and television.  The base colors reflect on sepia tones (browns, oranges, cremes) and the grey spectrum referencing black and white timeless imagery.  

The laser etched logo allows you to be proud of our brand while not being too in your face.
The laser etched logo allows you to be proud of our brand while not being too in your face.
InSoul Team Sean O'Shea, Geoff Deas, and Tara Livingston.  35 years combined footwear industry experience.
InSoul Team Sean O'Shea, Geoff Deas, and Tara Livingston. 35 years combined footwear industry experience.

Product Creation & Manufacturing Plan:

Although complex by nature, our manufacturing plan is quite simple to execute.  We have partnered with a small family owned and operated factory.   They have been with us from the inception of our project, crafting our initial development prototypes and beautiful sales samples.   We have negotiated pre-payment terms in order to manufacture our initial production runs.  Together we have agreed to keep production order quantities smaller to ensure quality craftsmanship standards and traditional shoemaking techniques are used to assemble each and every pair of InSoul dress sneakers.  

Design Phase (sketching, materials, and colors) 

1st step was to define the brand direction and design the shoes.  Our goal was to keep the general look of a classic and timeless sneaker, but replace all components with dress shoe details.  Sounds easy however this took a lot more exploration that we had anticipated.  We try to spend more time on sketching to avoid excessive sampling costs. 

This is the CAD of the white leather color way.  We bring these into the computer so we can quickly make changes on the fly.
This is the CAD of the white leather color way. We bring these into the computer so we can quickly make changes on the fly.
These are our initial vision of the high and low top dress sneakers.  As you can see we originally wanted leather outsoles with a herringbone pattern embossed.  Would have looked amazing but not practical for traction.
These are our initial vision of the high and low top dress sneakers. As you can see we originally wanted leather outsoles with a herringbone pattern embossed. Would have looked amazing but not practical for traction.

1st Round Prototypes

A huge milestone to reach, 1st round prototypes were our first opportunity to see our beautifully illustrated 2-dimentional concept become a product in hand.  We had already made the decision to execute development with a small dress shoe factory because their thorough understanding of the subtleties needed to make these samples more than just another pair of sneakers.   Our 1st round wasn’t far from our mark.  Upon review we made a few major changes and several detailed revisions, ultimately investing in another development round.

Here is a photo of our first prototype.  As you can see there was too much toe spring so we asked the factory to bring it down.
Here is a photo of our first prototype. As you can see there was too much toe spring so we asked the factory to bring it down.

2nd Round Prototypes

The completion of our 2nd round prototypes was a huge success.  Our initial requested revisions were executed without flaw.  Pattern proportions were corrected, details precisely executed, general esthetics were achieved, and the overall fit and comfort were completed.   We felt confident moving forward with our desired 3 color ways.  

Here you can see the leather outsole with a herringbone emboss versus the rubber outsole we decided to move forward with.
Here you can see the leather outsole with a herringbone emboss versus the rubber outsole we decided to move forward with.

Production

If all goes well, Kickstarter will help us raise enough money to order the minimum first round of production (1000 pairs total).  We will pre-pay the factory for the raw materials, labor, packaging, and shipping.  The factory will then proceed to order the raw materials.  This could take up to 12 weeks before all parts are received.  Once in hand the project managers will schedule production space in the factory.  We plan to meet with the team to view pre-production samples for final approval.

Production of the 1000 pairs can take up to 30 days to complete due to the smaller factory size and the nature of hand made shoes.  Next we will be in the shipping phase.  The shoes will arrive in the United States approximately 45-60 day later.  Upon arrival we will have to ensure that our product can clear customs.      

Our team will personally pick and process each pair of shoes purchased.  We will ship each customer their order via USPS or Fed Ex and will email everyone specific tracking numbers for their records.  The process maybe labor intensive but will be the most exciting part for our team. 

We ask everyone to please make a pledge so we can afford to get production started which will ultimately give our brand a chance to get off the ground.  We will then be able to further pursue building this brand from the bottom up and push to provide the footwear industry with a diverse product that speaks to US, the consumer, for all occasions in our lives.  Thank You for Your Support! 

New $30 Pledge Option
New $30 Pledge Option
New $30 Pledge Option
New $30 Pledge Option

Risks and challenges

There are always risks and challenges when launching a new project from the ground up, however my small team is well experienced with strong backgrounds in the footwear industry.
The KEY ingredient missing for this project to become reality is the financial support. Our biggest obstacle is the fact that we need to pre-pay our small factory in order for 1st round production runs to be started. With your pledges and support here on Kickstarter we can make this happen. We WILL reach our goals, pre-pay our small factory and launch the original DRESS SNEAKERS by InSoul Footwear.

And just a reminder for all our backers: If we don't raise the funds enough to meet our GOAL, our project WON'T receive any of the partial funding.....Kickstarter is ALL or NOTHING!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    This is the foundation of kickstarted. $1 from every pledger adds up quickly. Thank you.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Thank you. You will receive access to all project updates, photos, videos, and future discounts.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Thank you so much! You will receive a designer signed copy of the original sketch and your name front and center on our website as an initial pledge. PLUS you will get access to all project updates, photos, videos, and future discounts.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    T-SHIRT: InSoul Branded cotton blended with screen printed graphics. Choose between a Black base or a white base. Drawing of the t-shirt at the bottom of the page.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Thank you for the amazing support!!! You will receive a personal phone call and thank you from the designer. PLUS all of the above.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $195 or more About $195

    LOW TOP: ONE pair of limited, Founder edition InSoul Dress Sneakers complete with certificate of authenticity. This is a true value, once these get to retail, they will sell for nearly $350. (Colors: White, Black, Brown)

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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    HIGH TOP: ONE pair of limited, Founder edition InSoul Dress Sneakers complete with certificate of authenticity. This is a true value, once these get to retail, they will sell for nearly $450. (Colors: White, Black, Brown)

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $585 or more About $585

    LOW CUT: Full set (All 3 colors) limited, Founder edition InSoul Dress Sneakers and certificate of authenticity, with free US shipping, plus a mention on our website. (Colors: White, Black, Brown)

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    Pledge $675 or more About $675

    HIGH CUT: Full set (All 3 colors) limited, Founder edition InSoul Dress Sneakers and certificate of authenticity, with free US shipping, plus a mention on our website. (Colors: White, Black, Brown)

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,260 or more About $1,260

    FULL SET: All 6 colors (3 high tops & 3 low tops) limited, Founder edition InSoul Dress Sneakers and certificate of authenticity, with free US shipping, plus a mention on our website. (Colors: White, Black, Brown)

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Funding period

- (46 days)