Behind the Scenes: 10 Things I Bet You Didn't Know About Lems Shoes

Posted by Brad Maniscalco on 11/27/2013 to Cool Stuff
10 Things I Bet You Didn’t know about Lems Shoes

Now I know all of you out there are just DYING to learn more about those studs behind Lems Shoes.  So since the World Wide Web has allowed us to adapt the attention span of our canine friends, without further ado, I pull back the curtain.....

1.) Contrary to popular belief, we don’t sell Lems from behind our desks made of rich mahogany while staring at a beautiful collection of leather bound books.  

Actually, we work off of tables our mothers have generously donated (Hi mom!!), which have been used at multiple family cookouts and still smell of onions and grease

      Meanwhile my half-dead computer has a penny wedged between the display and the keyboard so I can ensure what I'm writing is coherent and makes partial sense.

 *Note: If ever anything you read from this blog is neither coherent nor sensible, just assume the penny loosened and I continued typing because the day was coming to an end.

2.)   We share our office with a Steel Factory.

      Nothin’ like dodging a few steel beams to make your way into work.  See kids, maybe, just maybe, a company with less class than that of yours truly would lie about this fact to hype up the American, family-owned facet we pride ourselves on.  But not Lems, no sir, next time your on the phone with one of us and a deafening sound of falling steel engulfs the phone line, just remember these words and pray that we are still on the other end and not under a pile of metal. 


3.)  Introducing the unofficial Lems' Mascot: Zooey.   

 We all get bent out about work from time to time, but being able to cuddle with this cutie instead of squeezing a stress ball is pretty much the bee’s knees.  I mean look at that face, who wouldn’t want her around??  (5 to 1 odds you just said “Awwww” sitting at your computer desk alone)


4.)  Heat can sometimes be a problem.  

     Yeah we hike, ski, and accept dares to roll around in the snow shirtless, but that doesn’t mean we all embrace the cold.  I am one tough cookie (I mean who do you know that can pull off a Fu- Manchu fashionably?) but cold temperatures make me weep like the little girl my father used to call me.  Surrounded by space heaters and equipped with the latest in Grandma’s knitwear, we get by.


5.)  Customers who share names with celebrities get put on our Wall of Fame.  

 Don’t be offended.  Let’s face it, if you coincidentally share the same name as American singer-songwriter Michael Bolton who won over our hearts with the hit single, “When a Man Loves a Woman”, you’re going to be enshrined forever in the Lems’ office.


6.) We like to pose as models for our photo shoots.  

 Yeah, working at a start-up shoe company can be the cat’s pajamas, but it wasn’t always my ideal career choice.  I tend to think I have a pretty mug and whenever the opportunity arises for a product shot, I go ahead, throw my hand up in the air, and volunteer to “Zoolander” the crap outta the camera.  (You’re welcome world)


7.) The Lems’ Mobile turns heads in small town, Pennsylvania.  

 Entrepreneurs, shoe models, blog writing extraordinaires (stop, stop, you’re making me blush); although we wear many hats around here, including the “Man of many hats” Steve Perna himself, we don’t mind some subtle extra attention.  And by subtle I mean painting up our cars in bright colors, honking horns, and representing Lems Shoes on the mean streets of Hermitage, Pennsylvania.


8.) We have to walk through a closet to get to our office.

 Yeah, that’s right, after we finish our coffee, cruise the Hermitage strip in our advertisement-laced vehicles, and dodge some steel workers; we have to blindly navigate through a filing closet to arrive in the Lems' office.  (Impressed yet Ladies??)


9.)  The Lems' logo is a prehistoric symbol that represents good luck.

 You may have found yourself asking what the h-e-double hockey sticks is this picture on my Lems’ box?  Is it a guy jumping rope?  Is it a guy doing a full split in mid-air while jumping rope?  Can Lems allow me to do a full split while jumping rope? No. No. and Absolutely not!  The Lems' logo is an ancient symbol called the Indalo Man.  Legend has it that the Indalo was a ghost that could carry a rainbow in his hands (take that Chuck Norris)  While we don’t recommend the straddling rope jumps, go ahead and grab that rainbow by the horns!!

10.) (Insert random "Us against the world” quote)

Now I am not a betting man (except that one time in Tijuana when I was labeled the Gringo chicken and was left with four fingers on my right hand), but I BET there are many of you out there who think there are a lot of us in our Steel Factory Closet.  Well, my friends, there are only 3 of us over here, accommodating your minimalist shoe needs.  And while selling shoes is our #1 priority, keeping you highly entertained, when you should be working on those TPS reports your boss keeps asking you about come in a close second.  So sit back, relax, and see what those guys working out of the closet have to say.


Meet the Guys Behind Escape Sports!!!

Posted by Brad Maniscalco on 11/18/2013 to Shoe News
Meet the Guys Behind Escape Sports!!! 

Escape Sports is an outdoor recreation store located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Not only does Escape Sports offer amazing, high quality gear, but they also offer lessons and rentals in Stand Up Paddleboarding Yoga, snowskating, and tons of others cool activities. Additionally they are also Lems Shoes’ only retailer in Canada! We recently interviewed, founders Marcus and Jonny, to learn more about themselves and their awesome store!

What inspired you (Marcus) and Jonny to open an outdoor store? And why Saskatoon, Canada? 

 The store really never planned out like a business school would expect you to. The inspiration for it lies in a climbing trip to Joshua Tree National Park where we had been talking about bringing in some specialty equipment like slacklines, unicycles and longboards for ourselves... and maybe a bit for friends too if they wanted anything. Then we'd find out about some other neat product that you couldn't find in Saskatoon... then an innovative shoe or clothing company. Things just kinda snowballed and now 10 years later we are into all sorts of stuff. SUP (standup Paddleboarding), disc golf, roller derby, all sorts of boards and stuff really. Why Saskatoon? We're born and bred here in town...and it just so happens the city is booming like nowhere else right now. 

What were you both doing prior to going into the retail business? 

 Marcus was working alongside our parents at the sign/printing shop when we first opened the store. After we were up for about 3 years he quit there and was fulltime with Escape. I, on the other hand was a university student and treeplanter during the summer. Wound up dropping out mid-term to take the store seriously, and now here we are! 

From your social media we can see   that you're not just another typical   outdoor store.  What would you say differentiates you from other stores? 

  Everything we sell...we also do. That   means every board, SUP, scooter, X-   country ski, unicycle, kiteboard... I     can ride them all! The store is an         extension of our lifestyle. And then     there is the clothing/footwear side of   the shop. Our focus has always been     to find smaller innovative brands that   nobody carries in town or often times   even in Canada. It provides a special   challenge of course, to be building a brand awareness from scratch (unlike the traditional method of jumping on popular existing brands) but it's a lot of fun working with startup companies, and it has helped to define our shop as the place to go if you want to find new products. As is the case of Lems Shoes! We are also open to listening to what customers are looking for. Numerous times we have found out about products that have been hugely successful for us because of a customer’s request to bring something in. Most shops operate on a rigid buying schedule, where as we are open to picking up new products at anytime, especially if it means being among the first in the world to carry it! 

By owning an outdoor retail store, you must be enthusiastic about certain outdoor hobbies. Care to share which ones? 

 Some of the favorites would be kiteboarding, surfing, SUPing, biking, ultimate...disc golf...long boarding. This list could get lengthy! I'd say the most memorable though would be kitesurfing in waves... it's an unbelievable experience. 

You obviously carry Lems Shoes, and are our ONLY Canadian retailer, how did you discover our products? 

What on honor to be the only Canadian retailer! Kinda crazy though, since they are such fabulous shoes. I would have found it while doing some snooping around on some barefoot running websites. Stumbled upon the Stem Footwear site and got in touch with Andrew. He told me at that time that they didn't actually have any shoes made that he could sell us, they were about 6-7 months away from landing in America! So we put in an order and said that we would love to have them as soon as we could. I've got a couple pair of the Stem version of your shoes, which I still wear. They are going strong! 

What does the future hold for Escape Sports? Anything new on the horizon? 

 Funny you should ask. I can't really say what new products we might be bringing in, cause I haven't even discovered them yet! But an exciting venture that we are involved in is a cafe/restaurant that we will be starting right next to our shop. You'll be able to get a cup of coffee, have lunch or hit the wine bar upstairs and then move smoothly from there into our store for a little shopping, chatting, dreaming... whatever it is that you're feeling! 

A huge thank you to Jonny and Marcus for sharing their experience with us and supporting Lems Shoes!

Barefoot Convert 3 of 3: I'll Wear What She's Wearing

Posted by Brad Maniscalco on 11/7/2013

Society is obsessed with looks. Period. Many of the things we do in our normal routines are to enhance our physical appearances. Buying news clothes, going to the gym, getting our haircut are just several examples in which we often pay top dollar to ensure that we look top notch. We get “made up” whenever we believe there is that small chance we will run into someone from the office or a potential new love interest. We walk past window reflections or often go the bathroom for one reason, to check ourselves out.

If, suddenly, we no longer cared about our outward appearance or how others perceived how we looked, I believe we would see more gym shorts and t-shirts in the local watering holes and restaurants while gym memberships would decrease significantly. We are constantly striving to look good, which in return allows us to feel good…. Or does it?

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