In this episode of Good Business, Indosole's founder Kyle Parsons talks about sustainable footwear and their innovative use of waste tires.
What would you do if your sandals broke in the middle of your holiday? For Kyle Parsons, it was creating a brand new sustainable shoe brand – made from waste tires!
In this episode, Kyle discusses how he turned his passion for sustainability into a successful sandal brand, and his unique approach to doing business. His story is a testament to the power of following your values and creating a company that not only generates profits but also makes a positive impact on the planet. Listen in as he shares his personal journey, from the early days of handmade shoes to becoming a solutions company that uses recycled materials to create new products. You’ll also learn how Kyle’s collaborations with other like-minded brands have helped him grow and why authenticity is key to standing out in a crowded market. Don’t miss this inspiring conversation with a true innovator in sustainability.
In this conversation, we learnt…
– How Indosole was started (03:10- 06:14)
– Indosole’s evolution from handmade shoes to a more operationalised organisation (07:03- 13:23)
– The pandemic’s impact on the business (13:30 – 18:01)
– A breakdown of the Indosole distribution (18:52 – 21:32)
– How partnerships with influential independents has helped Indosole grow( – 23:08)
– How certifications can help influence our consumer habits (23:53 – 26:52)
– Indosole is not just a sandals brand but a solutions company (28:37 – 30:52)
“We’d like to think of ourselves as environmentalists first and business people second.”
While like many brands, Indosole struggled during the pandemic, ultimately driving Kyle to lead the business with passion. For him, it isn’t always taking the easiest or even best route with streamlined processes and immediate profitability, but rather he and his team take time to invest using pre-qualified, natural, and good materials. So they have had a challenging road but through B Corp certifications and consistent and authentic storytelling, they have been able to be successful.
“A typical habit of eco-conscious consumers is to find the brands they really like, that fits well, and is going to be durable. So they’re going to stick with them.”
While Indosole is in numerous big name stores, it’s not necessarily at a big volume. But they have been chipping away and have found that their target customers like the sandals, and the brand’s origins and will keep coming back.
“As a small brand, the power is in partnerships.”
Every year, Indosole has collaborations with different brands that share the same vision or have an eye towards sustainability. They have done collaborations with brands such as Industry of all Nations, Vissla and Catch Surf. Kyle and the Indosole team believe that it’s more sustainable and economically to partner up with people that are doing similar things as well. So instead of competing with them or rebuilding existing resources, collaboration is good for everyone.
“So what we promote is a truly authentic story.”
Being a heavily saturated market, with a lot of sandal brands out there, Indosole is trying to do more to differentiate itself. First is through the B Corp certification and the 1% for the planet collaboration, which helps establish them as eco-conscious. And sincehey can’t compete with big brands as they don’t have big marketing dollars, Indosole shows transparency in its process. Showing how they pulverise the tires, the materials they use and the people behind the product, helps them connect with the audience.
“In addition to a sandal brand we think of ourselves primarily as a solutions company.”
Kyle describes his job as selling sandals but on a larger scale to help create a mindset where consumers are shopping more consciously, going beyond just fashion to ensure good purchases. With their established technology which uses waste tires and old sneaker pasts, they are able to create a number of products that don’t need to be made out of virgin material. They are currently making custom products such as coasters or bar mats too.
Chris Edwards (01:27)
Have you ever had a sandal or flip flop blowout when you’re on holiday? Well, that’s exactly what happened to Kyle Parsons, who is the founder of Indosole. And it was that very thing, the breaking of his sandal while he was in Seminyak, Bali, that inspired him to create his whole company. I just loved this interview with Kyle, who talks about how he got the idea to produce flip flops or sandals out of use tires, and how he reiterated the business and the product from actually just using raw time material to now popping down that material and kind of melting it down to make shoes out of moles. This is an incredible story about a guy who has a really big vision, and really doesn’t let any obstacles deter him from reaching his vision. He talks a lot about building his brand through partnerships, and using influential independent stores to really build his brand. But the thing I love most about this chat today was how he doesn’t really consider himself in the footwear business. But in the solutions business. I think you’re gonna really enjoy this interview. Let’s get into it.
Chris Edwards (02:47)
Hey, Kyle, so great to have you on the podcast. Thanks for joining me.
Kyle Parsons (02:51)
Yeah, Chris. Thanks so much for having me. I am honoured to be here.
Chris Edwards (02:54)
Awesome. I love your story. And I really wanted to just start from the beginning. And it starts as I understand with your sandals breaking on vacation. Do you want to just share that story with our listeners?
Kyle Parsons (03:10)
I grew up with a curiosity of Bali as a faraway tropical place and just, you know, always dreamed of being able to visit one day and I finally got my shot in 2004 it was a family trip to Bali and I was captivated by everything that was going on there is so beautiful. Obviously the beaches, the culture, the food is amazing. I’ve always been into kind of manufacturing and brands and products. So I saw a lot of that going on. So I was intrigued. But yeah, lo you know, lo and behold, I was walking down the sidewalk in Seminyak one day and the sandals that I was wearing at the time they blew out I don’t know if you know what a blowout is. But when the thong just pulls out, you’re pretty much your flip flops are rendered useless and he had to figure it out. So I was barefoot on the sidewalk. It’s a little dirty. So I needed to find a solution. I need a new pair of sandals. So I started shopping in boutiques in Seminyak. And I really wanted kind of like a unique pair of sandals. I wanted something that really called to me that was different than all the big brands out there. I wanted something that just was very Bali right so I found a pair of sandals had a natural weave on top and then on the soul they had a tire. It was a raw cut tire that came from a motorbike and when I asked the woman working in the shop, she told me that it was handmade from a motorbike tire. So I looked out the window and then you Know, sure enough, there’s 1000s of motorbikes going whizzing by. So I kind of put two and two together. It’s a wow, that’s, you know, that’s so you know, resourceful of the Balinese people to use this, you know, tire and make it into a pair of sandals. Yeah, so I bought them, I started wearing them, they weren’t extremely comfortable. They were honestly like this thick and thick and not flexible. But they were cool looking. So I wore them and brought them back to California at the end of my trip. And I started doing some research about tire pollution, I found that tire pollution is actually a big problem that not a lot of people know is a problem. And think more now than back in the early 2000s When I found the sandals, but each year billions of tires are either in the landfills or clogging the rivers or ended up, you know, polluting the land. And there’s a lot of problems that waste tires create. So I was intrigued by, you know, this pair of sandals that just kind of ended up being the catalyst for a future brand. But for selfish reasons, I just really wanted to go back to Bali too. So the sandals were also a vehicle and an excuse to like get back to Bali and, and to go and tinker around and making sandals,
Chris Edwards (05:54)
I can totally relate to that. And I have a business in Bali for the very same reasons I fell in love with Bali and really wanted a really good excuse to have to travel that often. But my business isn’t quite as innovative as yours. It’s just a media business. I was just chatting with another guest last week about how actually using waste is a massive opportunity and tires are one product that does as you say, live forever. But I could imagine there’s a lot of challenges about getting a tire from being a thick, hard piece of rubber, to something that people can actually wear that’s comfortable on their feet. So kudos to you, that would be quite a big challenge. I’d love to hear how did you do that?
Kyle Parsons (06:42)
Well, yeah, well, that was the hardest part, right. So as I did some research about tire pollution and why tires are a problem. But I also found that wasn’t really the Balinese that had this idea was you know, they were one of many, but anywhere in the world where there’s tires, which is pretty much everywhere. And there’s also manufacturing, you can make tire sold sandals, so the Mexicans had the huaraches you know, in Africa, you know, kind of like inspire but the book Born to Run, there was people you know, running marathons, it would tire strapped to their feet. So the idea had kind of been around since tires had been around. But it was just always done, you know, very simply with just kind of string and attaching the tire to the soul or the foot. Our idea was how are we going to make this fashionable? How are we going to make the you know this into a fashion and functional pair of footwear that people actually want to wear? And how do we make it fun? Right? So that was the idea. And it’s way easier said than done? Because none of us had a background in manufacturing or developing footwear. So we had it was totally trial and error.
Chris Edwards (07:55)
And share with me a little bit of detail about the trial and error like can you share an example of a learning that you had through the process?
Kyle Parsons (08:02)
Yeah, well, tires are naturally are in this shape, right. So we were working with motorbike tires, and motorbike tires were great, because they didn’t have any metal in them, they didn’t have any steel, or they didn’t have like steel belt on it. So you can take a motorbike tire with a knife and you can cut right through it. So our crew was literally cutting motorbike tire into four pieces. And you can make two pair out of out of one tire. So that was great. But what happened at the beginning was the tires were so strong, and they were so determined to go back to their original shape that the early edition product was either folding in half, or the tires would you know the glue wasn’t strong enough to hold it on and the tire would disconnect. And then it would be back into its, you know, into its shape. So there was so many challenges at the beginning and how to make this product that it was pretty frustrating, really, but just, I guess passion and persistence and just going through iteration after iteration that we finally finally figured it out. But with any handmade product, even after you figure it out, scaling up and producing consistently and at scale is obviously going to be hard, right? So handmade products have so much charm, but it’s going to be inconsistent. And Indonesia, you can always find the same materials twice. So
Chris Edwards (09:30)
Right. And where are you at on that journey now? Are your products still handmade?
Kyle Parsons (09:35)
Yeah at the beginning we had it was really fun The first few years we scaled up, we started getting some demand and we started getting orders and people wanted the sandals and then liked them, they still weren’t very comfortable. They weren’t like as good quality as the big brands that had out there. But, you know, it was kind of the early days of you know, environmental or eco fashion like people are like into it, like, Okay, we’re gonna go this eco fashion train, we, you know, we could sell them, but we always believed that the product can be improved, you know, more and more, we had 40 artisans, hand making sandals and, and on the sewing machines and cutting tires and cranking them out, but we really can only make 15 to 20,000 pair a year that was at full capacity. And the, the lag time in between placing an order to actually get out of the factory to get on the boat and delivered to a customer was so long, you know, it was like take us four months to turn around in order to in order to delivery. So we weren’t, we weren’t able to turn it around quick enough. Although it’s still, you know, again, had a lot of charm. And it was a lot of fun. But it was almost more like we were like this kind of like backyard boutique brand for years. But then when we got to 2016, so that was 2010 to 16. We went six years like that hand making the sandals, we got 16 We kind of hit the bottleneck, and we’re like, Okay, well, we’re not making money. And aside from being broke, the quality and the consistency just like isn’t quite there that we weren’t sure we can really sell to a major retailer. So we had to go back to the drawing board, we realised that we either had to like give up on the business or we had to change it had to adapt. So we went out looking for, you know, for a new way to just kind of reimagined the way and working with tires. So we teamed up with an engineer and we found like a really qualified good manufacturing facility in Java. And then we started pulverising the tires down to a powder and then making a mould and, you know, so that process is like, it’s not quite as pure, because just cutting the tire and then slapping it on and it’s so cool. It’s so much charm, and you can read the brand of tire and the soul. But efficiently, it was better for us to start grinding down the tires and making no mould and then recycling, you know, so now we have these recycled tire soul sandals which are, are consistently made, and really nice quality way more comfortable and consistently done. And when our factories and when they’re in full production and make like 10,000 pair a day. So at that point, we spent a full year redeveloping everything in 2017. And we relaunched the brand of the product in 2018. And so it hasn’t really changed since.
Chris Edwards (12:27)
So it’s almost like you had a very, I suppose two parts to your journey, the handmade stitch kind of tire and then a totally different evolution of product once you started, I suppose. Did you say melting down or crushing down the tire?
Kyle Parsons (12:43)
Yeah, he basically goes through a tire grinder. So comes out into a powder into a granule. And then we mix it with some other recycled contents, a little bit of synthetic, and then it comes in it gets moulded. That’s kind of the secret formula. It’s like, you know, I can’t really tell you exactly how we did it.
Chris Edwards (13:01)
Don’t share with me the secret formula. And at what point in this journey, did you get funding? I know you raised 2 million, right?
Kyle Parsons (13:09)
Yeah, we’ve raised a couple million over the years, which, you know, is bootstrapping it to the hilt really, that’s just kind of scraping by and really just based off our organic growth. We raised a little more capital this past year with a great group in Bali called the Bali Investment Club. And they’re a group of angels and based in Bali, it’s kind of a collection of interesting people from around the world that have moved to Bali, and they’ve, you know, helped us out and believed in the brand and so coming out of the pandemic, we you know, had an opportunity to to relaunch again and you know, now we have three flagship stores in Bali. So we have our headquarters in Chun Gu, Bali, and we have a shop in Woburn. And then we have one into the watch, you know, as well,
Chris Edwards (13:58)
Yeah, cool. Good timing, because Bali is going nuts. It’s like a different country, isn’t it? Like post pandemic?
Kyle Parsons (14:05)
Yeah, it’s going off. Like, you know, you mentioned before it was when it reopened in April. It was like going from zero to 100. It went from sleepy down to just craziness almost overnight.
Chris Edwards (14:17)
Yeah, it’s phenomenal. I mean, it’s unrecognisable. I was back there last year, and I was just like, Wow, it’s really changed a lot and there seems to be a lot more tourists from all over the world. So I mean, that’s a really nice kind of rebound, but also fairly crazy. I’d love to come I just understand how you survived through the pandemic with a business that sounds like it has had some really big evolutions, like you said, bootstrap to the hilt. So how did it look like through that? Dark couple of years?
Kyle Parsons (14:58)
Yeah. Oh, great, great question. Brands like Indosole, and like others these days, you know, like we’re leading with passion. And we’re, you know, we’d like to think of ourselves as environmentalists first and business people. Second, you know, for better and for worse, and doing things with wood in a way, which we would consider being the right way isn’t always the best way, it may not always be streamlined, quick, profitable, right off the bat might not have the highest margins, we’re used to using materials, which are pre qualified and are natural and are good, you know, the B Corp rating is something we are really into. You know, like I said, like, we take a really challenging road, a really hard road, whereas a lot of other brands have probably raised like $5 million dollars, and then they go to the factory, we did it kind of the other way around. We’re just kind of patched it together for years and years. So I won’t lie to you, when the pandemic hit, we are already on shaky grounds. I mean, we had some, we got some, some major retailers that we had, and then, you know, we are just about to deliver them for the spring season. Like in the USA, we went big one called Rei, which is, you know, big outdoor retailer. And, you know, everybody kind of like shut down overnight. So you know, and the phone rang. And we were told not to ship the order. And so it was tough, because we have dependable revenue. But you know, what we always say about the pandemic times is that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, because we actually were able to take that time and huddle up and just take a deep breath, realising that everybody in the world was in the same situation. And we just we weren’t alone. But it was hard, because like I said, a cash flow just was turned off overnight, but we were able to shift and, and just move some things around and then put all of our attention onto the web, and telling stories. And in Bali, we worked with this group that, you know, got food to people who need it in northern Bali area where there were literally people starving to death, I was trapped in California. And we’re because Bali was shut and there wasn’t any business. We are hustling here on the web and sending our money over sending our money over to take care of our team keeping everybody employed, and also trying to donate to this programme of getting people food. But our team in Bali, my business partner, Kai and the rest of them were like literally in there like cooking food and trying to help people during that time. So it was gratifying, at the same time while being dark and scary.
Chris Edwards (17:39)
Yeah, and I feel like anyone who had a business in Bali through those years, the pandemic just was on another level because of how there was such little government support compared to other countries, right. So it feels to me like a really bad dream.
Chris Edwards (17:55)
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Chris Edwards (18:19)
So now I’m interested with the business. So what percentage of your revenue is online, internationally? And what percentage is from your flagship stores in Bali?
Kyle Parsons (18:30)
Yeah, so our strongest markets, you know, had been North America, like the crossover between Bali and California was strong, and it resonated. And a lot of people are into environmental causes and in the USA, so we called it the Bali Fournier crossover at the beginning, where we’re able to have our two main marketing efforts based in Bali and in Cali. So really, you know, Bali with the tourism and then California with its strength in retail and surf culture and yoga and outdoor had been our strong points. But once we got a good crew in Australia that started to jump off pretty quickly. And then we got into some major retailers like the iconic general pants, and then just a lot of other boutiques. And then we just sort of slowly moved outward to Europe. We have a distributor in Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, just opened up in South Africa, in the Middle East as well. So we have really good people that really believe in the mission in like the product that have taken, taken on the brand and that we’re working with, so it’s, going pretty well. But as far as a breakdown, it’s you know, it’s about like 50%, the US 30%, Indonesia. And then the 20% is kind of made up in various other areas of the world, the web was really strong for us and 2020 2021. But since wholesales come back, we’re, we’re all about supporting, you know, kind of the smaller shops and getting back in the mom and pop shops and independent retailers, like, you know, we call them influential independents. So over in Bali are retail partners there are called onboard, and they have four shops and in Bali, and they’re doing a really strong, strong business. We work with yoga barn, and lots of other surf shops, and Lombok, or neat who want to, and a few in Java, as well. And then over on the California side, you can find us on maidwell.com, which is a J. Crew owned retailer, we’re also working with the Urban Outfitters and free people.
Chris Edwards (20:47)
Yeah, wow, you got some pretty big names there.
Kyle Parsons (20:50)
Yeah, I mean, it’s not you know, are not big volume. But we’re chipping away, we have a following that of people that like our sandals, and they liked the story. And if you’re here and eco conscious consumer, a typical habit of an eco conscious consumers to find the brands they really like fits you well, and you know, are going to be durable, and you’re gonna stick with them.
Chris Edwards (21:09)
So really amazing range of brands, one thing that you said there that really stands out to me is influential independence, because I presume, like just being in the right shop, and getting exposure to the right people is a large part of the marketing strategy. Is that how you say it?
Kyle Parsons (21:30)
Yeah, definitely over over the years, we’ve had retailers that have stuck with us, we have retailers that we’ve been in with for five, seven years that are still ordering, year after year, each year, we try to do a collaboration with a different brand that shares the same vision or Yeah, an eye towards sustainability. So I don’t know if you’re familiar with them. But industry of all nations is some brand that they work with 16 different countries and artists in groups, and they’re doing different series of products. So they’re they’re a close partner that we collab with, every year, we did a collaboration with a surf brand called vissla. Last year, and then this year, it’ll be one called Catch surf, which is based in California. And then what I’ll get to later is that, you know, we have some Indonesian collaboration partners to so in your small brand, it’s just the power is in partnerships, the partnerships that you can create. So we also believe that it’s actually it’s more sustainable, or it’s more, you know, healthy economically, to partner up with people that are doing things as well, rather than to compete with them. Right. So you don’t need to rebuild all these resources that already exist. Right.
Chris Edwards (22:46)
Yeah, I think that’s a very valid point. And I, you know, I think a lot of small business owners listen to this podcast. And I think what you’re saying there about the power of partnerships for small brands is immeasurable. Because it’s a multiplier effect to right. It’s just crossing each other’s audiences and making something worth some, you know, attention with partnering up together. So I love that and wanted to ask you about you have done a TEDx talk about redesigning our consumer habits. And you talk a bit about closing the loop and creating a cradle to cradle approach. Can you share how these principles have guided you within yourself?
Kyle Parsons (23:31)
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So the TEDx was a wonderful experience. It was a lot of work. It was back in 2016. So I feel that what we had to say at that time was is, of course, still relevant, but a lot of what the vision was then, you know, 7-8 years ago is actually happening now. And it’s happening in a multitude of ways. I’ll start with B Corp, B Corp as a symbol or as a sort of incentive as a certification is so so important to IndoSol, but I believe the industry as well, where the bar needs to be raised. Greenwashing is a real thing. And there’s all these big companies that just want to jump on board and they just want to throw the recycle sign out there. Like it’s $1 Bill and just get in the game, right? B Corp really kind of tests you know, each one of us as as companies to make sure we are doing what we say we’re doing. And so I really attribute you know, a lot of you know IndoSol’s validity. Eat to be core, which we’ve now recertified three times. So when you talk about redesigning our consumer habits, certifications are a big part of it. And to be a truly eco conscious consumer, you’re looking for these types of certifications, or it’s almost like a checklist, right? So you’re going in, you’re like, Okay, this company is, you know, maybe they’re organic, or maybe they’re plant based, or whatever the case may be no pesticides. But if you see the B Corp sign, you know, they’re good, you know, they’re worth it, same as fair trade. So we were the B Corp, like our badge. Since then, we’ve also joined on with 1% for the planet. And we really like what they have to offer from a give back and social mission standpoint. But like I mentioned, there’s there’s a lot of options on the marketplace. You know, clearly we chose a category which is quite saturated. There’s a lot of sandal brands out there, and we don’t have nearly the marketing dollars that these big ones have. So what we promote is a truly authentic story. And again, doing what we say we’re doing so transparency in the process. Yeah, we like to show how we pulverise the tires, we like to talk about it. We like to talk about the materials we use and to collaborate with those that are working hard to do things in the right way too. So there’s has to be a screening process along that when it comes to the materials be used as a brand. But also, as a consumer, what you put on your body or what you consume, it may not always be the cheapest route, you have to spend a little bit more money to wear good stuff or to shop at more organic market.
Chris Edwards (26:28)
I’m also curious about your consistent investment in r&d and AI? Can you talk a little bit about your recently launched lost sole which pulverisers defected sneaker soles into a powder, and then produces a mould? So how does this research play into, you know, your overall mission?
Kyle Parsons (26:47)
Yeah, so by starting with the tires, there’s such a strong material. And we had a great run with having that kind of build the brand through that story. But what we realised as time went on is there’s all this great material out there that needs saving. So it’s like we got the tip on somebody that was taking flip flops out of the rivers and then cleaning them and then grinding them up. And you can make that into yoga mats. Or you can make that into foam, which goes on the floor underneath the carpet, there’s always amazing things you can do with you know, recycled or upcycled materials. So we got the line on the sneaker parts, which are defective coming out of major factories in Indonesia, just in the kind of the zone where we’re producing. There’s factories that are making like over a million pair of sneakers a month in some of these factories. So if you’re making over a million pair of sneakers a month, that means you’re going to have hundreds of 1000s of defective sneaker parts which don’t make the cut because there’s going to be blemishes. So all of those blends that are being thrown away. Were otherwise destined for the landfill. But the same supplier that we work with it pulverises The tires, they were also getting the sneaker parts. That’s kind of a spillover from these big manufacturers. So we’re started pulverising down the sneaker parts and it comes out to a really nice fine white powder. And then what’s exciting is we can add colour in there. So if you take a natural dye, you can match any Pantone colour and you can put some dye into it. So now we have coloured souls whereas before we are restricted by only black soles from the tire.
Chris Edwards (28:32)
Yeah. Wow. So it sounds like it’s almost fairly unlimited in terms of this waste everywhere. Right? So where do you see Indo in 10 years time?
Kyle Parsons (28:43)
Yeah, in addition to a sandal brand we think of ourselves primarily as a solutions company. So our job is to sell sandals but it’s you know, it’s even more so on a larger scale to help create a mindset or contribute towards a consumers mindset of shopping more consciously, or you know, beyond fashion and in all the choices they make in their consumer good purchases. So the sandal is a sexy product that we founded the idea on but now it’s our mission to carry it on into other products and other solutions. So there’s so many things that we can make with the technology that we’ve developed and using waste tire and now sneaker parts as well. So there’s so many things that can be made that don’t need to be made out of virgin material. Feels like take a trash can, for example, it’s like what’s the function of a trashcan, all it does is hold trash. So we’re open to custom creating products for others. But we’re also doing it on our own. So, you know, like right now like coasters for restaurants or for nonprofits as a promotional thing, right. Right now we’re making bar mats for bar and restaurant that are all made out of recycled tires, or recycled sneaker parts. And then that’s custom branded. So just kind of dipping into the consumer goods space, at a commercial level is the most ideal, you know, rather than, you know, making all this stuff out of plastic, or, or a new rubber. We’ll work with you to custom develop something.
Chris Edwards (30:18)
Yeah. Awesome. And it’s so unlimited. Right?
Kyle Parsons (30:22)
Yeah, there’s 1000s and 1000s of cool products that can be made.
Chris Edwards (30:26)
Yeah, cool. Kyle. I always like to finish off my interview with a few rapid fire questions, wondering, do you have any business advice or a business mantra that you live by?
Kyle Parsons (30:37)
I guess, my personal mantra when it comes to like, what we do is just always be watching, like, always be looking have the blinders off. Because the materials around you or the things around, you can always be reused into something else, right? That everything, the solution may be in front of you, in some way, shape, or form.
Chris Edwards (30:58)
I can say you’re a very big thinker like that you’re unlimited with the possibilities of, of what’s out there, which is obvious with what you’ve created, I presume also, that must be also challenging to balance out when you’re running a company and you’re running, you know, habits, the team, how many? How many staff do you have?
Kyle Parsons (31:18)
Yeah, we have a big vision, we always have logistically, some things that I’ve, as I mentioned before, easier said than done. It’s just it’s taken us a long time to figure out the processes and put it all together right now and go solo 17 people, including our shop stuff, and we’re growing. Yeah, we’re looking to make more hires this year, and keep journeying on towards, as I mentioned, more, more solutions, more consumer goods.
Chris Edwards (31:51)
Yeah, nice. If there was another industry that you could disrupt, what would it be? And why would it be?
Kyle Parsons (31:57)
Yeah, I would say restaurant and hotel. And taking this technology that we’ve created there started as a sandal sole, and then be able to make it into items that are don’t need to be made out of virgin materials, and going after, you know, landscape resort, hotel, construction, automotive industry, and being able to partner up with ideally getting to the point where it’s a giant in the space, like, you know, like a high power company, in conjunction maybe with a tire company and being able to do something really radical and, and impactful.
Chris Edwards (32:37)
I love that. And I think that’s a really exciting call out to massive hotel chain, who might be listening, or a Tire company that might be listening, that Carl’s ready for you, he can pull both of you together to create a really great solution product. We had the guys from potato head on this podcast recently. And they were sharing that a tourist in Bali creates three killers of waste every day. So I definitely think that the hotel industry has a lot of waste, it can kind of count up with some innovative product solutions. Yeah, frightening, right?
Kyle Parsons (33:16)
Yeah, that’s, that’s what it’s all about. It’s good. It comes full circle. So that ways the zoning might be thrown in in Bali, there’s people clean it up out of the streams and putting it into some new products that might just come right around it. Potato Head is a great example. They’ve jumped on board and done some really cool things as well, you know, in their restaurants.
Chris Edwards (33:39)
Yeah, very cool. Interesting that there are some real innovators in Bali. And I think Valley does have this energy that attracts the creatives and the big thinkers. I was wondering, do you have a favourite business book or business podcasts that you listen to?
Kyle Parsons (33:53)
Yeah, well, I really like how I built this on NPR of Guy Raz. And that’s correct or commercial podcast, but it’s just so good. Yeah, as entrepreneurs, we always like to kind of live vicariously through each other, you know, with the good, bad and the ugly. So you, you realise that this is just what we go through and the highs and the lows, it just, it’s par for the course. It’s just that’s how it goes. i It’s tough man. It’s like you know, you, you have to really just dig deep and go for it. So I really get off and listening to other entrepreneurs stories, and understanding how they figured it out and how they were able to put it all together and to keep on going, and pretty much all of them seem to learn through failure. That’s just the way it goes.
Chris Edwards (34:40)
Aint that the truth. And I think, yeah, I can totally relate to that. I think you also, as an entrepreneur need to know that you’re not the only crazy one in the world. And my last question to you is at launch pad, we believe that a rising tide floats all boats, I’m sure you know, a stack of entrepreneurs that are creating good businesses. But if you had to recommend someone to come on this podcast, who would it be?
Kyle Parsons (35:02)
Yeah, I would recommend the crew over it’s Sun gai Watch. Over in, Bali, and if you’re not familiar with them, they’re doing some incredible work. And Justin, they’ve only been in business for three, four years. And now they employ hundreds of Indonesians and they’re, they’re literally going into the rivers and cleaning the trash out and unblocking his rivers and preventing all this trash from ending up in the ocean and ending up in the wrong place. And as a next level to that, in the same mentality of what endo saw does, now they’re able to process it and make it into, you know, real life things. They’re able to take plastic bags and make them into bricks where you can build a building out of it. So I would recommend get in touch with Gary and Sam over at Sun iWatch. And if I can throw one more in there, this is one of our new partners for collaboration called Payble. And PayPal is this crew out of Indonesia, and they in their recycling textiles. So they’re taking somebody’s old t shirt and breaking it down and then rebuilding it into threads. So we have a new collection with them. It’s a table in Windows. So question where we call it revolutionising footwear, and it’s really special stuff.
Chris Edwards (36:17)
Wow, cool. You’re the second person to recommend some guy watch. So we will hand them down and get them on the podcast. But thank you. They’re both great recommendations. I haven’t told you this. But my company every month, there is a most valuable player award and they get a pair of Indosole shoes. So Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah, our team are all decked out in their cells. And I think it’s a really lovely way to give them something that has more meaning than a voucher or, you know, so we’ve gotten to know it, you know, so very well.
Kyle Parsons (36:50)
It makes me so happy. Thank you so much for doing that. Have a great
Chris Edwards (36:55)
No. Thank you. And Kyle, it’s been an absolute pleasure to chat to you today. I think what you’re doing is really inspiring. And yeah, I really appreciate your time. So thank you.
Kyle Parsons (37:05)
Good. Yeah. Thanks, Chris. Big fan of what you do as well. Thank you. Appreciate it.
Chris Edwards (37:09)
Three things I learned from this interview with Kyle. First one is I think it’s a really lovely or ambitious approach he’s got to thinking about our role as founders and CEOs is really to re educate consumers, and really use certifications and guiding principles like B Corp, to help them become better consumers, more thoughtful consumers. The other thing I loved, he talked a lot about how he used really strategic partnerships as a way to build his brand, which is very, very valuable if you aren’t bootstrapped or not funded. And then the third thing, which I really love is the fact that his vision for his business is so much more than producing shoes or sandals, he really sees his vision to be a solutions company that makes things out of waste. So I just love all of that so much. I hope that this chat today inspires you to create your own good business. Thank you for listening to good business.