communitycommon.com

Blue lace project exceeds expectations

By Wayne Allen

December 23, 2013

Wayne Allen


Common Staff Writer


As the Blue Lace Project Kickstarter project comes to a close, it has exceeded the expectations it its originators. Because of the response the blue laces will now be sold through New York-based Flint and Tinder.


The Blue Lace Project originated with Flint and Tinder with the idea to restore the practice of purchasing products made in the USA.


Behind that thinking, Flint and Tinder has partnered with Portsmouth based Sole Choice inc., to manufacture shoe laces for the Blue Lace Project.


Since the launch of the kickstarter campaign, the project has been able to generate $144,435 with an original goal of $25,000.


The funding has been generated through 11,217 backers as of Wednesday morning.


Jake Bronstein owner of Flint and Tinder recently traveled to Sole Choice to see for himself how the Blue Lace are made.


During his time in Portsmouth, Bronstein sat down with the Daily Times to talk about the success of the project.


“I think the reason why it’s (Blue Lace Project) taken on a life of its own is because the people who are engaging this idea are not really buying shoelaces or the stuff I’m selling,” Bronstein said. “The backers of the Blue Lace Project are buying into a couple of ideas. Those ideas are, you get what you pay for so you should invest in things and that cheaper is not always better. It’s also time that we invest in each other again, I think that’s really exciting to people and it’s been fun to be apart of and to watch it happen.”


Bronstein said the reaction and response to the Blue Lace Project has been positive.


“When we set out to do it (Blue Lace Project). I called Bryan (Davis, Vice President of Sales at Sole Choice Inc.) and said I have this idea and what would be the minimum order,” Bronstein said.


He said the minimum order amounted to about 5,000 laces.


“That was our goal, we told ourselves it would be great if we could achieve that, to allow this idea to exist at all,” Bronstein said. “That many people supported the project in day one.”


According to Davis, Flint and Tinders total order is now at 40,000 pairs.


The project description states, “We asked one of America’s very last shoelace manufacturers (Sole Choice, Inc.) to produce the very best shoelace they’d ever made. Adding extra pressure to the pot, we promised that if they could develop something truly impressive, it had the potential to become more than just a simple shoelace; it could become a symbol.


This symbol could do more than just help their business; it could help break the ongoing cycle of outsourcing and making things cheaper, faster and worse. It could help all American manufacturers.”


Davis said the lace is a triple-dense, double-waxed canvas lace tipped in Aluminum.


Bronstein said everyone involved has been amazed with the success of the Blue Lace Project and to see how many people are eager to support.


“Their support means something very specific in this factory. Sole Choice is having to figure out how to do a couple of things they were not doing yesterday and they are having to bring in a couple of more people there were not here yesterday to support this,” Bronstein said.


According to the project description, “Flint and Tinder wanted to put the lace to the test. They called upon American strongman Matt Mills and asked him to put the laces to the test.


With nothing but a single pair of Blue Laces linking his harness to a set of ultra-heavy duty tow straps, Mills was able to pull a 13,000 pound truck.”


Bronstein said when the concept of the Blue Lace Project was first envisioned a few mile stones were set.


“We had a couple of different missions within the Blue Lace Project. We wanted to make a shoelace and we wanted that shoelace to become a symbol,” Bronstein said. “We said if 5,000 people join us in this then we will start telling some great American manufacturing stories. We’ll do for other business what we’ve done for ourselves. When we reached that first milestone and asked supporters of the Blue Lace Project what’s the first story that should be told. There was some interesting ideas.


The thing they (supporters) wanted to know first meeting the shoe lace factory. Let’s learn what the processes are and how this shoelace gets made.”


Bronstein said the thing that’s surprised him the most about how the Blue Laces are made is the process.


While at Sole Choice, Bronstein brought a film crew to Sole Choice Inc., to shoot a film about how the blue laces are made. Once completed the film will be available on www.flintandtinderusa.com.


For more information about the Blue Lace Project visit www.flintandtinderusa.com.


Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-1151, or tallen@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.