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Daniel Shemtob is the co-founder of Snibbs, a shoe line known for its supreme comfort, long-lasting materials, and slip-resistance designed for people who work on their feet all day. We spoke with Shemtob to learn how his time working in restaurants helped him develop a shoe that can withstand even the longest days on slippery, sticky floors.
What’s your background?
I’m a born entrepreneur. I was born in Rhode Island to immigrant parents and grew up in Orange County, California. My mom and brother were uniquely inspirational to me. My mom told me I could do and be anything I want, and my brother supplied me with entrepreneurial books from a very young age.
I started my first business when I was 10 years old. I employed older kids in the neighborhood to do chores and would take a split. Then, when I was 19, I started my first “real” business, and it failed quickly after. I realized if I wasn’t passionate and truly believed in my company, I wouldn’t be successful. So I packed up my stuff, moved back to my twin bed, and started [food truck] The Lime Truck. We quickly got some amazing press, and I worked harder than ever and was happier than I could have ever imagined.
We then were asked to do the Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race” and we just won the only All-Star Season!!. We also got great accolades like best new restaurant (we were the only food truck to get that), and I quickly realized when you are passionate about your work, the rest will fall into place. We later expanded into multiple brick and mortar [locations], international licensing, and more. After that, I created Hatch Yakitori, Snibbs, and Modern Art Catering. I live in Los Angeles with my dog Peaches.
What inspired you to start Snibbs?
I was so tired of all the chef shoes in the industry. You either get some type of form (typically lacking all the features you need) or aesthetic, but never both. For example, restaurant workers use a running shoe, and it’s dangerous due to the slippage and the insole breaks down quickly. Or you go to a clog, which is somewhat comfortable, but as soon as you need to move around, it becomes difficult, and, of course, it’s pretty ugly. I knew there needed to be something better, so I started my search and R&D to create the best work shoe ever.
Who else is on the Snibbs Team?
Haik Zadoyan is my longtime best friend and business partner. Dr. Jason Snibbe is a world-famous orthopedic surgeon. Karina Ruiz is our head of customer service.
Tell us a little bit about your best-selling work shoes.
It took 40 revisions, and we are still looking for ways to improve the shoe. It takes all the features you would ever need while working, wraps them in a beautiful shell, and to top that, it’s actually designed to be good for you. We did countless biomechanical tests and work-wear tests to make sure we created the best shoe in its class.
How long did this whole process take?
We put a full three years into R&D. That meant the 40 revisions I just mentioned alongside more than 15 separate revisions for our custom-formulated Ortholite insoles. Haik and I also traveled overseas a bunch of times to see our factories and meet our material suppliers in person. That’s how much we cared – for a perfect shoe, we needed to see perfect manufacturing processes with our own eyes. We weren’t afraid to go to factories that normally produced $500 shoes.
The idea here was to prioritize quality at all costs, even if that meant waiting forever to get our shoes into the world. We were looking to create the best work shoe around, not just another pair of sneakers that would inevitably fall apart. And we did exactly that.
Has Snibbs won any awards or recognition, or are there any customer reviews or notable press reviews you would like to share?
We’ve definitely gotten some great praise in the world of YouTube unboxing videos, but what’s more important to us than influencers and press loving us is that we’ve won the hearts of many everyday customers. We literally call customers every week to see what they think, and they’re always way happier than before they found us. They tell us we make the best work shoes they’ve ever used.
Here’s one of my favorite recent customer reviews: “I run around a hospital all day and these are comfortable to do that in. The fabric is easy to remove stains off of. Great shoe!” This is exactly what we go for at Snibbs. Comfort when you’re on your feet all day, no-hassle cleaning, rave reviews. Just a better quality of life for folks like myself who have had their feet totally killing them at the end of pretty much every shift.
What Snibbs products are you most proud of?
Our Spacecloud men’s and women’s shoes are my personal favorite. I’m so proud of their design, comfort, and look. Like all our shoes, they’re built for long-lasting comfort from sturdy, durable materials. They also have a speckled, splatter-like look on the midsole to make sure that when we give you comfort, we give you fashion too. You just slip them right on to look and feel good all day no matter how crazy work gets.
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