Show your team spirit…on your feet! Kolyr, a University inspired footwear born in Miami Florida, allows you to do just that. Comprised of 100 percent vegan cruelty free materials, Kolyr is the brainchild of Alexander Shapiro, Whitney Kimmel and Tessy Michan whom happen to be one of the winners of the University of Miami 2013 Business Plan Competition. We chat up Shapiro on the made-for-fans footwear collection.
Why the name, "Kolyr"? Kolyr is pronounced “co-leer” or color with a “K.” It's the Yiddish word for color and speaks to the idea of self-expression through style and color.
Explain the brand for those not-in-the-know: Kolyr is a line of active footwear that lets you show your true “Kolyrs” in a variety of university-inspired color combinations. All our shoes are ultra lightweight, flexible and 100 percent vegan and cruelty free. These brilliant, unisex styles are made to fit any active lifestyle. Whether you’re at the gym, headed to the beach, at the office or out on the town – Kolyr will go too.
As winners of the University of Miami 2013 Business Plan Competition, describe the business' genesis: The idea for Kolyr was born when we realized that there are no stylish shoes to show off our school spirit. The University of Miami Business Plan Competition was a natural way to begin mapping out our thoughts and coming up with the next steps to make our dream a reality. We harnessed each of our natural skills to get the job done. I took the reigns on strategy and financial planning while Whitney used her design background to develop the prototype and marketing materials, and Tes worked as a liaison between our production partners in China and on the ground to begin building the relationships necessary to get Kolyr off the ground.
Which other Universities are represented in the line? Because the idea started here, we are doing an exclusive launch for all those University of Miami fans. We will be unveiling the product in two variations of our own orange and green and then opening up the line to showcase most major universities across the United States. Even those Florida Gators.
Where are they sold? Kolyr was inspired by and made for fans, so we have developed a Campus Ambassadors program where that will get those fans involved. As a Campus Ambassador, student will work with Kolyr to promote and sell the brand through our e-commerce platform. This gives other students the opportunity to work for an entrepreneurial startup and earn a little money on the side. We’ll also offer direct online sales on our website, www.Kolyr.com.
Is there anything else you would like to add? As Kolyr grows, we plan to make the brand fully customizable so that consumers can pick and chose exactly how their shoe will look, but the heart of the brand speaks to all those fans out there. Few things unite a community like team spirit, so what better way to harness that love than through a killer pair of shoes?