Revolutionary Forsake Shoe Company: Style and Creativity
In honor of small business saturday, Snowblooded continues its focus on cool new companies and functional gear with an interview with Jake Anderson, one of the founders of Forsake shoes. We think their products are really revolutionary and stylish in addition to a cool and inspiring history of the company’s founding. We’ll be following up this post with a gear review of Forsake shoes in a few weeks. Our questions to Jake appear in bold.
Where did you guys meet? In your time as friends, what was the best day you spent on snow together?
We met in the first few weeks of our freshman year of college and immediately bonded over a love of skiing. To date, the best day we’ve spent on snow together was a hike up Tuckerman’s Ravine last May. We were testing out the latest Forsake prototypes while enjoying a few late-season turns. Perfect combination of work and play!
How did you decide to start Forsake? What are two lessons that you learned in launching Forsake?
We both took some time away from college to live and work at ski resorts in the rockies. I was in Big Sky, MT, and Sam was in Alta, UT. When we returned to campus we saw signs promoting a business plan competition on campus. We decided to team up and write a biz plan for a footwear company that made shoes for the friends, co-workers, and ski-bums we met out west. We ended up being the only team in the entire school to enter the competition, so they cancelled it for lack of participation. But we liked the idea and, after graduation, decided to give the plan a shot. Two lessons… 1) You can do A LOT with a little. The difference is simply creativity. 2) Everything takes longer than you think/hope/plan; manage expectations…always under-promise, over-deliver!
Forsake has three lines in this years collection, the Thurston, the Pilot, and the Hiker? Tell us about them.
All three models in our collection have the same features and technologies. The difference is in the style and materials. We took a lot of inspiration from casual sneakers and skate shoes, which is what we wear day-to-day. We blended those looks with performance features you’d typically see in a trail shoe or winter boot. The result is a collection of very rugged, all-weather high tops that work equally well on the hiking trail, to/from the resort, or on a snowy walk to your local watering hole.
Forsake Pilot, Brown
Forsake Pilot, Grey
Forsake Hiker, BlackForsake Hiker, Brown
For the Kickstarter campaign, your video is a little different from a traditional business pitch, what did you do? I guess its a little hard to carry notecards in that setting?
Still from Forsake Kickstarter Video
We did a spin on the traditional “elevator pitch” by pitching the company and products while freefalling from 12k feet. The buttoned-up suit-and-tie thing just isn’t really us, and after pitching a business idea dozens of times, you come to realize that people are often more captivated by how you say something than what you’re actually saying. We really wanted to convey the energy, passion, and enthusiasm behind the products. However it was a bit stressful because we only had enough money to try it once. We were screwed if Sam forgot his lines.