Saturday, August 18, 2007

Great Feedback!

Here are some fun photos that have been sent to us from Seth Anderson, who bought a pair on his way out of the show and headed straight to the mountains to try them out. Here’s what he wrote:

“We enjoyed the Pocket Slippers we bought. They were very comfy and convenient. The slippers were much more comfortable than I expected. We had very little extra room for this trip so the packability was nice too. We are looking forward to years of fun with the pocket slippers!”

Seth Anderson and Randi Marsh
Grand Junction, CO

Here’s another believer in our “Boots Off. Happy On.” philosophy:

“Hi Kim, We met at the O.R. show last week. I purchased a couple pair from you. I must say that I love them. I posted them on my blog: I thought you might want to know.”

Melo Jubilo

MEDIA COVERAGE - published 8.12.07

Outdoor Retailer
28 DayFour•August12,2007 OutdoorRetailerSummerMarket

Creators of Pocket Slippers Hope
For Retail Traction at Summer OR

Kimberly Earlewine and her dad are putting their money where their feet are. So if slipping tired and swollen feet into a super-light pair of slippers sounds good, drop by Booth #32845 to see Zinetic’s Pocket Slippers.
Earlewine credits her dad, Dr. Dale Sloan, a Ft. Wayne, Indiana, surgeon, with pushing the idea of developing a lightweight pair of slippers that would appeal to skiers, hikers, climbers and those counting ounces in their packs.
"I’ve skied my whole life and I loved to take off my ski boots and walk around the lodge, but not in my socks," Earlewine said. While on a family ski vacation, her dad started tinkering with the notion of latex slippers that would slip smoothly into a pocket or pack. When lunchtime rolled around, pull off the boots and slip on the slippers.
"We looked into it, but using latex wasn’t practical," she said. Instead the father/daughter team went back to the drawing board. Using a thin, high-traction rubber sole, surrounded by a synthetic fabric upper combined with lightweight mesh, they developed a 7.5-ounce pair of slippers that roll up into a tight and tidy nylon bag.
"They have a bare-foot feel," Earlewine said. And the method used to roll them up is unique enough that a patent is pending on the design. "Cyclists told us they would use them when road riding. Others said they were perfect for backpacking and adventure travel. Everyone had a personalized use for them," said Earlewine.
Last winter she got a booth at SIA and launched the product. It took hold and is now sold by retailers in 13 states.
The slippers, made from stretchy fabric, come in sizes ranging from extra small to extra large and are sold in pre-packs of 30 pair. At the company’s booth, retailers can toss a rolled up pair into a ski boot, hiking boot and pack.
Hit two out of three and Earlewine will enter your name into a drawing and some lucky retailer will win a lifetime supply. Earlewine picks a winner today at 2 p.m. at their booth.

Coming Up for Air...

I'm not even sure what to write here. I've barely had time to think, but I know some of my family, friends, and loosely connected acquaintances may want to check this blog because they probably think I'm dead. Well, the reason I haven't called/talked/seen anyone is because I've been working 24-7 for 2 weeks straight. (The week before that I was on vacation.) AAAAHHH....vacation...

Just a second. I need to daydream for a little bit and remember what that was like. Here's a picture. :)

OK. I'm back. So, here's the story, morning glory:

On Tuesday, Aug. 7th, I flew into Salt Lake City, UT for the Outdoor Retailer Summer Trade Show. The show was supposed to start on the Thursday the 9th, but I got there early to set up. Needless to say, I could have got there at the last minute because trade show logistics lost my booth display until 6pm on Wed. night. So, there I was, sweating in my empty booth all by myself in the very farthest darkest corner of the Salt Palace for 2 days. If you haven't been to Salt Lake City in August, let me tell you that air conditioning is a necessity. The Salt Palace does not use air conditioning during set-up. Nice.

My booth space was also hidden behind a 3-story skyscraper that Saucony (running shoes) was trying to pass off as a trade show booth. I was feeling lonely, discouraged, and like a little fish in a very big pond. A nobody.

The show started. I started talking about our humble little product to anyone who happened by and before long, orders were being written. ORDERS, I said. ORDERS! The first day I couldn't leave to go to the bathroom, get a drink, eat, or answer my phone. I had no help and no breaks. I couldn't believe we were this busy. There were times when I was talking to 7 or 8 people at once. Finally, Dad got there and I at least got to go to the bathroom. That made me happy.

The show continued that way for the next four days. We sold about 100 pairs to people at the show who weren't buyers, but just wanted a pair for themselves. So, that was cool to see people from a consumer's perspective getting excited about Zinetic Pocket Slippers. Dad did a great job of fitting people and talking to buyers and press, as well. He seemed to be having a good time and getting pretty comfortable with the sales pitch as the week went on. Me, I have no shame when it comes to sales. I was selling all day long and late into the night.

After show hours ended at 6pm every night, I would head to the parties to network. And I must say that I did that quite nicely. But, even better than getting people to stop by the booth the next day or collecting important business cards, was that I made tons of new friends! Here's a shout out to: Eleanore, Brent, TJ, George, Lindsey, Galahad, John, Kyle, Bruce, Britt, Moe, Melo, Micah, Nick, super-awesome massage therapy student guy whose name I can't remember... and the list goes on... I can't wait to see you all again in 6 months.

So, to make a long story short. I've been working on order fulfillment, following up on leads, sales forecasting, product development, production schedules, new packaging, collecting outstanding payments (Oh, that part sucks by the way).

I do regret to tell you that I was so busy I didn't even get a picture of the booth. But, I am attaching our awesome press hit! The Trade Show magazine published an article on Zinetic Pocket Slippers! Read to your heart's content and smile for us.