For Daniel Shemtob, launching his own brand of shoes was obvious.
As a self-taught chef with a cult food truck that was crowned “all-time food truck champion” on Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race,” and a gourmet restaurant, Hatch Yakitori, that won the best Yakitori restaurant and best Japanese restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles, Shemtob has worn many hats – and pairs of shoes.
After years of watching his shoes fall apart on the job and feeling the pain that comes with standing in the kitchen for long hours every day, Shemtob was on a mission to find a better alternative. As he researched other work shoe options, Shemtob couldn’t find styles that were attractive and functional.
“You had shoes that were cheap, broke quickly, looked ugly, or weren’t good for you,” Shemtob told FN in an interview. “It was clear that people on their feet all day needed a better solution.”
So, Shemtob enlisted the help of orthopedic surgeon Dr. Snibbe and his longtime friend Haik Zadoyan to create Snibbs. After four years of design and development, the soft trio launched their “SpaceCloud” work sneaker in April 2020 – at the height of the pandemic.
“It was a weird time to start a business,” Shemtob said. “At the same time, we were grateful to have products to support healthcare workers, nurses and frontline professionals at a time when individuals in the industry were indeed at their most fatigued and overworked. “
And for Snibbs, the pandemic presented the company with a unique opportunity to give back to the community by launching its “Sole Support” campaign, where Shemtob sent his food truck throughout Southern California to feed thousands of workers in front line while giving them shoes.
Snibbs also used this same period to gather customer feedback on his first sneaker design. “We called our customers weekly for honest feedback and reviews on Snibbs,” Shemtob explained. “Since our soft launch, we have been able to update different components of the shoes to further improve and continue to perfect our product.”
Among the improvements to his sneaker, Shemtob said the company changed some of the components, including a smoother, easier-to-tie lace cage, and some internal materials to give the shoe a better overall feel. It has also made a pivot to become a more eco-friendly brand by using 100% recycled cotton and post-consumer polyester/microfiber made from 100% recycled plastic bottles in various parts of the shoes.
Now, as the shoe brand celebrates its official launch, Snibbs is focused on spreading the message while giving back to the community it serves. “Our goal has always been to make the best shoe possible,” Shemtob said. “By being active in our community, adding sustainable components to our product, and donating to our favorite charities that are aligned with our causes, it means our customers also want the world to be better. We hope that the people who support us, as well as our loyal customers, believe in what the brand stands for and trust in our shoes and our company for a better future.
Looking ahead, Shemtob goes full steam ahead on Snibbs. “We are building the business of our dreams,” admitted Shemtob. “I say we because everyone who buys a shoe, our factory workers, our salespeople and our employees are all part of that vision.”
The Snibbs “SpaceCloud” work sneaker, which sells for $135, is available now for men and women in five colorways at Snibbs.co.