Jimmy Tomczak, a young entrepreneur from Michigan, is taking the footwear world by storm, with his original line of shoes made from recycled billboards, Paper Feet.
Jimmy says he’s an outdoors guy who likes to walk barefoot as much as possible, but he always felt like he needed something to protect his soles from the hot asphalt. So, one day, he decided to create some sort of revolutionary footwear that had to be tear resistant, waterproof and light enough to make people feel like they were actually barefoot.
The first thing he tried was Tyvek, a material mostly used on FedEx envelopes, but even though it was puncture-proof and waterproof, it was way too thin for footwear. But when someone suggested he use an old billboard as tarp for his leaky roof, Mr. Tomczak knew he had found the material he was looking for. Billboards are five times as thick as shower curtains, and just light enough for his revolutionary “foot condoms”
And that’s pretty much how his line of Paper Feet was born. He created prototypes out of the billboard he used for his roof, and noticed he could make about 100 pairs out of just one billboard, each one unique, thanks to the different patterns. Considering he can buy a billboard for just $20, the $30 price tag for just one pair of shoes seems a little steep, to some people. But Jimmy Tomczak says the Velcro he uses for his Paper Feet is pretty expensive, and that, according to statistics, the people wearing this kind of things as spas (his target audience), don’t pay less than $30 on shoes.
Jimmy admits he has high hopes of making big money from his unique line of footwear, but he also wants to help his home state by offering jobs to the American people recovering from the recession. Right now he’s just trying to get his Paper Feet in retail outlets before the summer clothing lines hit the shelves.