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January 31, 2021 3 min read

Stand In What You Stand For with ISlide Founder, Justin Kittredge

To read the full interview by Billion Success, click here

What is ISlide all about?

ISlide is all about self-expression, and the freedom to do so. Back in 2013, the trends in footwear showed as much as a 25% growth in the slide industry, specifically. I saw there was no one filling the void of creating a high-quality version that is also customizable. Fast forward, 7 incredible years later, and we’re the only premium slide sandal company in the world that can make and send out a pair to anyone under two weeks. And with that, we’ve seen an incredible amount of designs. From licensed and custom logos, to phrases, to family photos, and even inside jokes, people love the opportunity to create something that they feel connected to.

Tell us how you started your company and then ended up on Shark Tank?

I was the Head of Basketball Product at Reebok when ISlide became an idea. Having spent 10 years at Reebok at that point, I knew I wanted to create a brand of my own. The idea of creating a product, service, business model, and working with incredible minds had long been a dream of mine. And to be honest, I’m not sure exactly what led me to quite literally start the research and process, but I do recall being at one of my daughter’s soccer games and noticing the custom gear that went head to toe… well almost. I mean, her team had custom team hats, sweaters, water bottles, pants, and just about anything else you could imagine, except slides. As far as Shark Tank, that really came to fruition through persistent pitching for about 3 years. The DJ Khaled collab we did also played a major factor. That got us a lot of attention that we were able to leverage and really introduce ourselves to the world. One of the Shark Tank producers really fell in love with our story, so we also got help on that end.

What was the biggest problem you encountered with your business and how did you overcome it?

I’d say the biggest problem, or more so challenge really, was and continues to be, how to grow at the right speed. So many companies fail due to growing too fast and not being able to keep up or growing too slow and dying out. Cash flow is also a big part of our strategy. We have investment rounds every 12-24 months to maintain funds and really capture some big opportunities that our team is ready for.

What were the top mistakes you made starting your business and what did you learn from it?

Gratefully I haven’t had any major mistakes. I think a lot of that can be attributed to having great investors who also act as advisors. Our group of investors have an incredible amount of experience and success in a variety of different parts of the business so as long as I continue to be communicative, I have the luxury of learning from them and avoiding most mistakes. One of my favorite sayings is “life is too short to make the same mistake twice”. Obviously, there is also a bit of luck as well but as a team we also do a great job of finding creative and alternative solutions.

What is one thing that you do daily to grow as an entrepreneur?

In 2021, I’m really focused personally on being more aware of my body and health. I’ve learned a lot about how all the different types of health correlate, mentally, physically, emotionally, and understand that ultimately I can’t continue to become a better CEO, Mentor, Innovator, Leader or whatever, without being bettering myself first. Starting with my mind and body.

To read the full interview by Billion Success, click here


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