While searching for a solution for women having trouble finding shoes that are both comfortable and stylish, Desert Vista '07 alumni Abhay Modi and Marc Pendergraft started BackUpSoles in November.
The new company sells roll-up flats that, according to the duo, can be worn anywhere.
"BackUpSoles are like ballet flats, which can be rolled up," Modi said. "They can be kept in a purses or small places such as clutches or glove boxes for emergencies. Compared to other shoes, BackUpSoles are more affordable and skid resistant with a whole lot of goodness."
Both Modi and Pendergraft were inspired to sell the shoes because of a story their friend told them. On her way to work she forgot that she put her heels away while cleaning her car the day before. Once she arrived to work, she was surprised to find that she forgot her shoes. Then she realized that if she had a back-up pair, she would have been more prepared for work. After studying how women handle their shoes, Pendergraft and Modi came up with the idea of BackUpSoles.
"We started about three months ago," Modi said. "We're both into the whole business idea and we kind of wanted to do something here (in Ahwatukee Foothills) and we had our own defined product, which was needed on the market. So we went out and found it and went for it."
Even though the company started late last year, Modi said it is already gaining in popularity.
"We were just at a quinceañera expo where people were raving about them," he said. (The customers) love to wear them around the house because they are simple, light, and fit everywhere."
Currently, the shoes are on sale online for the average price of $10.99. They also come in four-pair combo packs for $39.96. Shoppers can also choose from different colors of the shoe such as white, silver, gold and black.
"We get many orders for weddings and quinceañeras," Modi said. "They can also be placed in clutches for dancing."
Although Modi and Pendergraft are currently students at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, they plan to continue to grow their business. They are currently pursuing retailers and partnering with other businesses for gift baskets, weddings and quinceañeras.
"In a couple of months we will have more colors, designs and a new feature on the shoe," Modi noted.
Ahwatukee resident Anna Carlos is a senior at Xavier College Preparatory and plans to attend the University of Arizona next year. She is interning this semester at the Ahwatukee Foothills News.