So I was flicking through my Insta feed one Saturday morning when I can across a post from @supersk8 who was wearing a pair of adidas Superstars with some chunky red laces. On further investigation, he told me that they were XL fatlaces by @bboylaces. So I thought it was only right to reach out to Tom, the owner of Bboylaces to find out a bit more about his business.
How did the idea for your business come about?
It naturally spawned as part of my previous business, MrShoeShotta, I had built up a good customer base and there was a desperate lack of quality fat shoelaces around. Having a big love of adidas and, in particular, shell toes mainly due to hiphop and street culture, I first started looking into things coz I really needed laces for my own sneakers... I got tired of having to lace these amazing shoes with totally wack laces... and so it began.
I first started contacting UK based manufacturers which resulted in a few problems - the laces were so PHAT they broke one of the first company's machines! Then the next company were slack as f*ck. After waiting nearly a year for them to produce an order I tried elsewhere and got lucky with a contact in Taiwan - who had it manufactured within 2 weeks. I've since built up a good manufacturing relationship with this company which has resulted the product range growing steadily each year.
How long have you been in business of selling laces?
BBoy Laces has been running a little over 5 years now (Oct 2016), although I initially started manufacturing and selling (unbranded) laces in 2007.
What are the most popular lace and colour?
Our most popular laces are white 15mm wide fat laces. Initially I was only going to make the wider 20mm XL laces, but added the 15mm ones to help push the brand and widen our appeal...luckily I did, they are better sellers and have probably kept the business afloat... although I'll always have big respect for those who order the real fatties!
What makes your business/laces different to others?
The laces - simply put they are better quality, which comes at a cost. It's quite a niche market with very little money to be made hence nobody else is stupid / dedicated enough to do it. I guess it's a life style business, I have low overheads and don't care for a frivolous lifestyle / luxuries.... plus I didn't really know how to approach going back to employment after the collapse of my previous business.
I'd built a reputation as somebody who offered a quality product and an efficient service and looked to continue that with the laces business. I enjoy selling a product that I'm proud of, and the customer feedback is great. I just need to sell sooo many in order to pay the bills! I hope the business can continue to grow and provide food on my table for the rest of my days.
What trainers do your laces work well with?
As mentioned - they were designed to go with adidas Superstars / shelltoes, although I feel they go well with many adidas models and plenty of other retro/vintage shoes. In particular Puma Clydes / Suedes / States. It seems our customers also like to use them in Converse and Vans plus various skater shoes, DCs, Etnies etc.
We also sell vintage style cotton laces which go perfectly with vintage adidas!
What else do you provide? Do you do any other trainer customizations?
It's mainly laces but we've also had some logo tees printed recently and currently have some canvas belts being manufactured. There's hope to keep expanding the product range, I have lots of ideas, it's just getting the funds that is holding things back. Our core principles will always apply to all products - simple, retro design, high quality, affordable and a range of bright, strong or subtle coordinating colours.
We also offer trainer customisations in the form of a logo/tag embossing service provided by legendary shoe maker / customiser Benji Blunt. At a bargain price for making your kicks totally unique!