76. Jack Grace USA Founder Bart Walker: Developing Patented Customizable and Interchangeable Golf Shoes
Jack Grace USA Founder Bart Walker
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"I have always had a passion for shoes. As a kid I remember being so thrilled to get a new pair of sneakers I would place them (one laterally and one pointing at me) in front of my bed so I could stare them as I fell asleep at night. I would study what details set each shoe apart from the others, which color combinations were best, and what improvements I would make.
As an adult, my love of shoes only grew. I would often be caught staring at and recognizing people by their shoes. But even with this strong passion, I never expected shoe design to be my destiny. In fact, I was a banker by trade. I am also a golfer.
A golfer, who, like many golfers, cared about my appearance on the golf course. And as a shoe guy, my golf shoes particularly mattered. I wanted shoes to coordinate with my clothes. I wanted shoes that would be comfortable. I wanted shoes that wouldn't break the bank.
You can imagine my frustration when I couldn't find any cool golf shoes... anywhere. So, I decided to do something about it. The first shoe was built on my kitchen table with my wife's kitchen shears and a handful of old golf shoes I found at second hand stores. I spend endless nights and weekends figuring out how to create one shoe that fit all of my criteria.
I was determined to figure it out. After the concept of the interchangeable saddle was proven to work, I set out to make one pair of golf shoes for myself to wear on the course. I found a talented cobbler in a strip mall to help me with the details. I shared my prototype with friends who loved the concept and encouraged me to make more.
So, after quitting my banking job, taking out my 401K and with the help of industry professionals, we created the Innovator 1.0. I’m proud of my golf shoe. So proud, I named the company after my two children. And I hope you will be proud to wear them, too."
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