There are quite a few brands that offer customised shoes but Toesmith, a startup founded by two IIT Delhi graduates – Ashish Prakash and Aayush Jindal – is India’s first tech-driven footwear brand, offering customisation of shoes at an affordable price.
The duo worked together in health-tech startup Aermed in 2016, post which Jindal started working with his father who has been in the shoes manufacturing business. “Having the needed infrastructure, Aayush came up with the idea of using it to manufacture customised shoes,” says Prakash, who has experience in making websites and product development, and putting their skills together, they came up with Toesmith.
They have developed an innovative 3D interactive design tool that lets you customise more than five different parts of a shoe. “We started studying the entire process of customisation on other websites. Unimpressed, we thought of coming up with an easier way of customisation, thus, we started working on the 3D interactive design tool that took us almost three months.” Using this tool, one can easily change five aspects of a shoe – Vamp (the front part of the shoe), Quarters (sides), Heel Counter (backside), Binding (inner part) and the Collar Lining. One can choose from materials offered or upload their own designs.
It has been just three months since they started and today they receive around 40-50 orders per day. Currently, they are working with a handful of designers but in the near future, they will soon make it a platform connecting shoe designers with buyers. “The problem most footwear companies face is that of design keeping in mind their inventory but since we work on an order basis, we can keep as many designs as we want. So, the idea is to open the platform for different designers, giving commission on every sale of their design, creating a pool of unlimited designs.”
While the feedback has been encouraging, everything comes with its own set of challenges and the duo have their own fair share of them. “Unlike other footwear companies, our manufacturing process is completely different. Keeping the inventory came with its share of challenges. Also, currently, we deliver in eight-day but we are working towards speeding the process,” adds Prakash.