Saturday, August 18, 2007

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.

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