Chicago based shoe retailer, BucketFeet, launched in 2011 with the mission “to connect people through art by tapping into the creativity and diversity of the world.” Different artists around the world, including illustrators, painters, tattoo artists, writers, and graffiti artists, design each shoe and print the company produces.
The startup recently raised $7.5 million, and is extending its sales to retailers such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Lord & Taylor, in addition to its own studios and pop-up shops.
BucketFeet accepts design submissions from artists around the world and handles all of the manufacturing and distribution of shoes. Artists receive a minimum of $250 down payment and an additional $1 per shoe sold, with the average artist making at least $1,250 on a single design.
Cultivating an environment that blends backgrounds and celebrates cultural diversity is a priority of BucketFeet, as the company utilizes the power of the arts to connect people and to foster cultural exchange. The company notes, “Art is universal. It speaks every language, cuts through cultural differences, and outlives creators.”
Cofounder Raaja Nemani was inspired to create the company after traveling through Argentina wearing a pair of customized shoes that an artist friend of his had designed. Nemani said, “It wasn’t really about the brand name, it was about the story.”
Learn more about BucketFeet shoes at Bucketfeet.com.
Photo: Jana Cruder, courtesy of BucketFeet.