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Julie Adams is taking her brand to the next level.
Denver-based packable-shoe brand Pakems is launching its first warm-weather shoe for men and women for spring '15. Founded in 2013 with a focus on post-ski travel-friendly winter booties, the line now offers high and low après-ski and travel-oriented cold-weather styles. The fledgling brand has found pickup with accounts including Sahalie.com and, for the upcoming fall season, Backcountry.com.
Starting spring '15, Pakem will debut the Sol Light, a $55 men's and women's style that is the first step in becoming what Adams describes as "more of a lifestyle brand — the lifestyle of being really active outdoors and actively relaxing after."
Here, Adams talks about breaking into the footwear business and how summer looks can shape her business.
1) As a newcomer to the outdoor industry and the footwear industry, what kind of reception did you meet?
JA: The reception has been incredible in terms of people being open to talk to me — it has been humbling. My first experience was going to Outdoor Retailer [trade show] when Pakems was really just a thought I had, before I even had a prototype, and so many people said, "I know somebody who can help you source or can help you with your tech pack."
2) Did you find that retailers were open to seeing product from a new vendor?
JA: [Bigger names] want to see that people are willing to buy into the concept. But retailers willing to give newbies a chance are definitely out there. I think it's easier to break into the footwear industry when [you have] a novel idea — that's definitely made it easier for me.
3) What do you have on tap for the spring '15 season?
JA: We're launching a Pakem geared more to spring/summer, the Sol Light. It's mesh and has drainage so you can wear it in the water. It fills a void: The concept is still there, it's unstructured and really packable and comes with a bag, which is a signature of our product. But now we have year-round product and [product to offer] our stores in the South where it's warmer all the time. I want to offer them a way they can have Pakems on their shelves all year round — we want to target those retailers.