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Every skier needs a decent pair of shoes to put on before and after their ski boots. It'd be nice if that pair of shoes were comfortable and kept your feet dry when stomping around in snowy parking lots. Which is why Jake Anderson, 24, and his business partner, Sam Barstow, 23, decided to launch a new footwear company this year called Forsake, which is currently raising money in a Kickstarter campaign and plans to debut men's and women's products in full next year. We spoke to Anderson about why these kicks are perfect for skiers.
So you and your partner are both skiers?
Yep. We both spent time working at resorts out West during our junior year of college. I was in Big Sky while Sam was in Alta and then Mt. Hood for the summer. I actually took a labor economics final exam from the HR office at Big Sky Resort. On a powder day. I didn't do too well.
Are these shoes designed with skiers in mind?
Our goal was to build shoes that embodied an active outdoor lifestyle. For us, that lifestyle centered on skiing, but it also extends to mountain biking, snowboarding, surfing, climbing, and more. I think our approach to footwear is something that many outdoor athletes can identify with and relate to.
What's different about these shoes from all of the others currently on the market?
In a word, versatility. Footwear today is very specialized. I think I own work boots, running shoes, and hiking boots: It's great to have for a workout or occasional backpacking trip, but doesn't help me when my usual routine involves shoveling the driveway, taking a few tram laps, heading to work, and then going out with friends. Our shoes are a unique combination of clean, urban style with all-weather performance, resulting in a very versatile product that feels at home in both casual and rugged environments.
Why did you start Forsake? What did you think the shoe market
We started the company immediately after returning to college from our work-cations out West. I don't think either of us were thrilled to be back in a classroom in Upstate New York, so building Forsake became a way to stay connected to that lifestyle. We also had pretty poor weather that spring, resulting in at least one ruined pairs of kicks and adding to the urgency. I believe most outdoor footwear right now lacks everyday wearability. We focus on practical technology and functional design.
Where did the name, Forsake, come from?
The word "forsake" expressed our attitude toward designing footwear: build shoes that are unique, original, and not based off any existing product. We also consider ourselves to be our own target market. Forsake is a combination of For Sam & Jake.
In this down economy, how have you been able to fund the business and
get it off the ground?
Like many other start-ups, a combination of creativity and generosity. Loans from family and friends, partnerships with the right people, and carefully managing our expenses has allowed us to do a lot with a little.