Do you have school spirit? Love ethical vegan footwear? Love helping out fellow ‘Canes? Then look no further than KOLYR (pronounced “color”), a business school idea turned reality for three students from the University of Miami business school. Three students came up with a business plan for launching a line of socially responsible shoes fused with university-inspired spirit that will raise money for the university with 5% of proceeds going back to UM.
KOLYR is a lightweight, flexible footwear which launches this winter, just as we move into the peak of the UM football season. 100% vegan, these unisex styles are ethically made and allow you to show your true ‘kolyrs’ in a variety of university-inspired color combinations, whether it be at the beach, the office or the town. In an effort to bring fans and the community together, KOLYR shoes gives students an opportunity to support their favored university by showing off their school’s ‘kolyrs’.
The KOLYR team consists of founders Alex Shaprio, Whitney Kimmel and Tes Michan who competed in the University of Miami’s School of Business Administration’s annual business plan competition. Since then, they have been working to ensure their dream is turned into a reality. In order to secure funding, KOLYR is hosting a Kickstarter campaign to launch the line in time for March Madness, expanding its line to include color combinations that appeal to most major universities across the United States. At present, its inaugural line will showcase designs by our own team to promote local business.
Shapiro explains, “Taking classes at the Business School made me realize that it is possible to make these dreams a reality. After 13 months of sweat and tears, we have a product prototype that is ultra-lightweight and flexible, amazing offshore production partners, and an awesome product that is ready to hit the shelves.”
KOLYR will be sold at sporting events and community gatherings via their Brand Ambassadors program to build on the social experience of being a fan. KOLYR’s Brand Ambassadors will walk around these events passing out swag, creating buzz and engaging fans in cheers and activities to inspire their passion (and getting them in their first pair of KOLYR’s of course). “There is nothing like being a fan. You see students giving the “U” symbol in pictures while studying abroad and alumni doing it at work or out at the bar – why not extend this social experience a little further?” Kimmel notes. “KOLYR is made to give fans one more platform to unite.”
Brand Ambassadors will mostly consist of students passionate about the schools where KOLYR will be sold. The brand will give customers the opportunity to upload fan photos and stories directly to the KOLYR website. Its ultimate goal is a fully-customizable e-commerce platform that allows fans to pick and choose color combinations that showcase their affiliation with various clubs, Greek organizations and sports teams.
Michan and Shapiro believe that without the University of Miami, KOLYR would never have existed. “The idea started here in Miami. Without the education we received at UM and the passion we have for the university, this idea wouldn’t exist, so we want to launch the line here first and make sure to give back part of our proceeds to the school,” adds Michan-Shapiro. Keeping in this spirit, KOLYR will set aside 5% of all their proceeds to donate back to the University of Miami as a way of thanking the school for its support, inspiration and encouragement.
It’s time to leave those Toms at home. Get involved at www.Kolyr.com and support University of Miami students!
words_layla haidrani. photo_courtesy of zac mann.