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Shred Soles

60% YOY growth - comfortable insoles and accessories for action sports.

Highlights

1
60% year over year revenue growth
2
Expanding into brick and mortar and international markets
3
Developing a new insole to meet strong demand in the skiing market
4
Profitable
5
Founded by a lifetime snowboarder, skateboarder, professional boot fitter & I-Tunes New and Notable Featured Podcaster
6
Over $500,000 lifetime revenue
7
Featured on Tim Ferriss's blog - "muse case study"
8
11 core products launched to date

Our Founder

As a lifetime snowboarder, skateboarder and professional boot fitter - Shred Soles, was a clear intersection of my passions. Bringing foot comfort and performance to snowboarders and skateboarders is how I help to give back to the activities that I love.    


The Story of Shred Soles

We started in 2008 with the goal of increasing foot comfort,  boot fit, and performance for snowboarders, but the seeds of the company were planted in the late 1990's. 

Planting seeds. 

In 1996, I (Nate Musson, Founder) had just graduated high school and moved from rural Montana to the Washington D.C. Metro area. I was working with my uncle at a ski and snowboard shop, called Ski Chalet, located just off of the D.C. Beltway.  

Under my uncle's tutelage, I learned to perform professional ski and snowboard boot fittings, as well as create custom insoles 

As an amateur snowboard racer, one of the technologies my uncle used to gain competitive advantage was to place a cant plate in between his snowboard bindings and board.  A cant plate is basically a wedged shape piece of plastic snowboard racers used to help leverage additional edge hold as well as realign their snowboarding posture to a more comfortable and natural position.   

One day on the commute home that we shared together, we discussed the idea of adding this canting directly underfoot to the insole, but that was all the farther we went with it at the time. 

Tim Ferriss 

In 2007 I picked up a book with a catchy title, "The Four Hour Work Week (FHWW)," by Tim Ferriss. The book was an instruction manual on how to design a lifestyle business, by selling products or services directly to consumers on the internet. 

I already had the seed planted for what the book called "the muse" or the product or service that I could offer (a canted snowboarding insole).  

I started to execute on the plan that Tim suggests in the book by calling potential manufactures and finding a web designer.

After hundreds of phone calls with potential manufacturers, I found a manufacturing partner that helped develop the first production-quality samples.  

The original Shred Soles Snowboard Boot Insole

Around this time, as instructed in the FHWW, I performed viability tests with Google Ads. The goal being, get traffic to the purchase page and see if it converts - even if you don't yet have a product. 

With-in a couple of days of spending a whopping five dollars a day ad spend - I had my first order! But, I didn't have any product! I contacted the potential customer and ended up sending him one of my last samples. A couple of months later, he emailed me with this unsolicited feedback: 

“After two foot surgeries, I didn’t think my feet would be able to handle snowboarding, but thanks to the Shred Soles, I’m carving up the mountain. Thanks again!” - Shred Soles First Customer

Gaining his testimonial was (and still is) the best feeling! It was the exact confirmation that I needed to go full speed ahead into production and eventually launch the brand. 

Roughly two years after launch, I noticed a tweet from Tim Ferriss - asking about people that had executed a muse business by following the instructions in his book. I responded and the Shred Soles muse case study was featured on his (very high traffic) blog: 

https://tim.blog/2010/11/28/4-hour-work-week-case-studies-muse/comment-page-6/

Growth, Podcasting & Skateboarding 

From our launch until 2016 I ran Shred Soles as a side project. Sales grew steadily, each year better than the year previous.   I was able to reinvest profits to add new products each season (like the boot bag pictured below), grow the team and sponsor events - gaining grassroots market awareness. 

Shred Soles Snowboard Boot Bag with changing mat - gives snowboarders a clean and dry place to boot up in muddy resort parking lots!

Snowboard Boot Bag with Changing Mat, Goggle & Helmet Pocket

In 2014, I started a podcast to complement the brand, The Not Snowboarding Podcast. The podcast was hugely successful and went on to be the number 1 snowboarding podcast in I-Tunes! 

I ran pre-roll and post-roll ads for Shred Soles on most of the episodes. The ads resulted in significantly increased growth of the brand - in both sales and overall awareness throughout the world. I got to connect with many snowboarding industry luminaries by having them on the show. 

In 2016, my wife had just finished her MBA, I had just left my full-time role in higher education financial aid software sales - the timing was perfect to level-up the brand.  We decided to launch a new insole for skateboarding. Drawing on my lifetime of experience in skateboarding and the feedback from our team riders - we developed a technical insole that blended impact resistance, control, and board feel!  

Maximum Performance Skateboarding Insoles

California & Big Growth

We were headquartered next to a small resort in South Central Pennsylvania from 2008 to 2017....

The 2016/17 winter was so bad at our home mountain that the resort CLOSED in February!

This was the catalyst we needed to move the business to a more consistently snowy location closer to others in the snowboarding and skateboarding industry.  

In June of 2017, we relocated to Bear Valley (not Big Bear) California.

Bear Valley sits at 7100' in the Sierra - located just south of Lake Tahoe over a pass that's closed in the winter and spring. 

From our new location, we were able to successfully launch a record number of new products over the following 16 months!  

Shred Soles Founder, Nate Musson & The Maximum Performance Snowboarding Insoles

Amazon and Shopify 

We've experienced exciting growth on our two main sales channels, Shopify and Amazon -from the winter of 2017/2018  to 2018/2019.   

Q1 2018 combined sales totaled:  $39,457

Q1 2019 combined sales totaled: $84,785 

112% growth year over year. 

I focus on this Q1 example as the bulk of our business is still largely seasonal - most of our sales occur during this time period. 

The chart below compares monthly data for November 2017 through July 2019.

 

In an effort to compare like to like, we focused on the sales for the same periods each year. This data shows a 76% growth between periods. The bulk of our sales come during Q4 and Q1 during the snowboarding season.

Shredding along 

As a lifetime snowboarder and skateboarder, my goal with Shred Soles is simply to help make action sports footwear more comfortable with insoles developed specifically for the participant's activity. Sport-specific insoles improve fit and performance - as well as reduce the chance of injury by increasing control and impact protection. 

We look forward to growing into the skiing market, continuing growth in our current markets and partnering with the best action sports retailers in the world.  

 

Overview