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Recap 2019 - What a year!

Posted by Leonie - on


Wow, what a year! 2019 was the year when Feelgrounds turned into reality. We released our first barefoot shoe model Feelgrounds™ Original and raised $250,000 by over 2,000 backers from more than 75 countries to fund our first production. Later this year, we launched our own online shop feelgrounds.com and released our second model Feelgrounds™ Highrise for pre-order, we grew our team and our community. Thanks to your feedback, we were able to improve and work on the best version of ourselves continuously. Thank you so much for your love and support! We couldn’t have done it without you.

 

/// Januar - March 2019

The development of Feelgrounds™ Original

We started with sketches, traveled to Taiwan, and worked closely with our development team. Together we developed countless prototypes until we were satisfied to run a small sample production finally. We loved our new barefoot sneakers. But would the community love it, too? 

The Feelgrounds Original during its first and final development stages in Taiwan.

/// April 2019

Crowdfunding - 100% funded within 48 hours 

We now worked at full speed to finally be able to present our shoes to the world. We took our brand-new samples on a 2-day photo shoot to create our crowdfunding video (watch below) and lots of content for our crowdfunding page. We worked with a lot of talented people to put our page together, and on the 15. of April 2019 was the due day: We launched our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

Shooting for the Feelgrounds crowdfunding campaign successfully launched on Indiegogo.

After eight months of hard work, sweat and tears, we were thrilled to see how you would react... and your tremendous support touched us. Within only 48 hours, the campaign was completely funded! We had raised the minimum amount that would make our first big-scale production possible. Feelgrounds here we come! 

 

/// May 2019

The Feelgrounds community is growing 

During this month, we continued raising money through Indiegogo. At the end of the month, we had sold Feelgrounds worth over $200,000 and had thereby more than doubled our original funding goal. We can not say thank you enough! Because of this, we were able to hire new team members, pay for faster import and shipping to you guys and save some money for developing a new model later this year (see Feelgrounds™ Highrise in September 2019). We also celebrated growing our community by reaching 10.000 followers on Instagram and even had the first barefoot enthusiasts review our sneakers from the first sample production.

 


/// June 2019

Production completed

June was an especially exciting month for us, as we traveled to Haiphong, Vietnam, to see our first massive batch of Feelgrounds being produced. We looked closely at every working step, checked out all facilities, and asked many questions, as sustainability, fairness, and transparency are important values to us. Our factory in Vietnam is part of the European BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative / amorfi.org) and Better Work Vietnam (betterwork.org). We believe in fair salaries and excellent working conditions for everyone involved in Feelgrounds. That's why we went to Vietnam to see the production of our shoes live. While we were in Vietnam, you guys had almost sold out the first batch of Feelgrounds, and we were thrilled to be able to place our 2nd order with the factory.

Feelgrounds barefoot shoes being produced in Vietnam.

 

/// July - August 2019

First Feelgrounds shipped 

And finally, the time had come! At the beginning of August, our first batch of freshly produced Feelgrounds had finally reached our warehouse in Germany, and sticking to our promised timeline, we could proudly send them on their last journey to you guys. It took our warehouse team almost 3 weeks to prepare and send out all the parcels. But all the work of the last months was worth it because you guys loved your new Feelgrounds.

Tranport and logistics of Feelgrounds barefoot shoes.

 

/// August 2019

Launch of our Online Store

Just a few days after closing our crowdfunding campaign, we launched our own online shop with fast, easy, and secure payments by Credit Card or PayPal. We were also able to offer you free worldwide shipping, no matter where you live. All orders placed there could now be sent out immediately. No more waiting for you guys! 

 

/// September 2019

Development of Feelgrounds™ Highrise 

In September, we not only reached 15.000 followers on Instagram and added an Express Shipping option to our online shop, but we also traveled to Taiwan to finalize the development of our new Highrise model. Together with our experienced development team (and the help of you guys - thank you Instagram surveys) we decided on new colors, new materials and perfected the fit of our 2nd Feelgrounds model.

Feelgrounds Highrise barefoot shoes are being developed in the colors All Black, Cloud Grey, Off White, Olive Green and Gum Graphite.

 

/// October 2019

Moving into our first office  

October was the month we decided it was finally time to move from all of our separate home office spaces into a proper office. We now have our own Feelgrounds office in Larnaca, Cyprus. Come visit us or leave us or leave us a review here: https://g.page/feelgrounds?share

We also introduced the possibility to buy gift cards in our online store and found a way to enable free return shipping on PayPal orders for the majority of countries (learn more). 

Feelgrounds team celebrating the move into their first office. Feelgrounds with one of their partners Exercising Health.

 

/// November 2019

Improving Customer Experience + Black Friday

As we had recently changed our logistics provider, we took that as an incentive to review and improve all our processes established over the last three months. We did, for example, introduce a new, more convenient return system. In November, we also launched our huge Black Friday deal, and you guys bought more than 200 pairs of Feelgrounds within 24 hours.

 

/// December 2019

Highrise is available for pre-order! 

On the 2nd of December, we could finally make our Feelgrounds™ Highrise available for pre-order. They are a bit less classic and bolder than our Original and we were excited to see how you would like them... and the pre-orders keep coming. We are ecstatic and give our best to speed up the delivery process as much as possible. The estimated delivery is in March 2020. Did you know that the trendy knit fabric of our Feelgrounds™ Highrise is not only made out of 100% Recycled PET but also features a water-repellent treatment? Cool, right? (click here to pre-order) 

The first barefoot boots from Feelgrounds, the Feelgrounds Highrise, in different colors worn by models.

/// 2020 - Start of a new era

We're ready!

2019 has been good to us, and we are working hard to make 2020 an even better year for Feelgrounds. Thanks to every one of you guys who supported us throughout our journey.

We are looking forward to rocking 2020 together with you. Join us on our mission to make barefoot shoes available and appealing to more people. Let’s make barefoot shoes cool! 2020 here we come!

Happy New Year!
Your Team Feelgrounds

Ken

January 25, 2020

Received my first pair of Originals last night and was thrilled with the look and the fit! I’ll be wearing them around the office and am looking forward to seeing how durable they are for basic, everyday use. I’ve been looking for a stylish, barefoot sneaker for years now, and you guys are the first ones to deliver. Vivobarefoot has some products that can compete, but they seem to be over-priced, and Vivo insists on putting their branding onto the shoe. The clean design of the Feelgrounds is exactly what people want (I think). If possible, find models of shoes that customers are loyal to, and please please don’t stop making those models! The most frustrating thing is finally finding a shoe that looks good and that fits, and then learning that the shoe company discontinues the model or changes it in some way to “make it better”, but really just messing with something that works. I’m looking forward to rocking my Originals and the hightops in the spring. Best of luck in 2020!

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