Shoelaces. Where do I begin? They can make your sneakers look like a million dollars or make them look like a total mess.
Knowing this, every time I bought a new sneaker I’d take out the shoelaces and re-do them so they could tuck inside. It would give me a trendier look as I wouldn’t have this ugly knot on top. However, my sneaker would sometimes loosen as they weren’t tight enough. Worse, the shoelaces would come outside of the sneaker, hurting my look. Sometimes I’d be walking and the shoelaces would end up in dirt and water.
I also heard stories of my little cousins going to school and my uncles and aunties always concerned about them running around with their sneakers undone. “Hey come here, let me fix up your sneakers,” they would say to my cousins as they tried to run off 😂 . And it was a genuine concern. They didn’t want them tripping over because of untied shoelaces (one of them already had in fact done so in the past because her shoelaces were undone; she came back home with a big cut on her elbow and teary eyes 🙁 ).
Then there's the story of my mom. At the gym, on the treadmill. Next thing you know she's landed face flat. She's come home with bruises on her arms and legs. Why? Because she thought she was Wonder Woman who could fix her shoelaces whilst running. *Facepalm*
It was then I knew I had to find a solution. For me, it was was my style and for my cousins, their safety. For my mom, well, to try and stop her ending up on one of those 'gym fail compilations'. I searched on Google, Facebook and Instagram to find anything that could fix this problem. And I found some. But there was a dilemma.
Many of these no-tie shoelaces I found always had something that made me go “Hmm, it’s ok” but they did not convince me to buy them. Either their design was poor, they were overpriced (some at USD $40), and some websites looked like they were made in less than 30 minutes (seemed like they were trying to make a quick dollar). I know everyone isn’t perfect, I’m not nor is FreeTheLace, but I felt like more affordability and definitely effort could have been put into this idea.
I told a friend about this and he said, “Why not just do it yourself.” He was a fan of the 1999 hit film Matrix and started saying “There is no spoon,” and then quoted Morpheus saying “You have to let it all go Neo; fear, doubt, and disbelief.” I rolled my eyes and walked off (sorry if you're reading this 😂 ), but the question sparked me to think.
That night I thought about it, and the next morning I sat at my laptop and planned out a roadmap. I thought, “why not?” I’ll invest a bit and see what happens; just test it out. If it works it works, if it doesn’t it doesn’t. It is what it is.
I spoke to many manufacturers and designers until I found one that had the same vision as me on the design and quality I wanted. I started showing family and friends and they were keen on it. Some wanted it as it would make their sneakers look better, others for their children’s safety. I could see it had potential and began selling to people that they knew. It was then FreeTheLace was born.
Now it's no longer me alone. It's the FreeTheLace team. We're slowly building FreeTheLace everyday. From the website to the social media pages. There’s still a long way to go, but we are proud of where it is today. We have not only been able to satisfy customers around the world but build a community. And with that, we'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who has made a purchase and continues to support us. There’s still more to come, especially with those capsules (more colors and designs), new clothing and maybe, just maybe some sneakers. So stay tuned!