In 2005, Ludo, creative director of a leading athletic lifestyle brand, came across an article written by Petr Hlavacek describing the oldest shoes ever found. These belonged to Oetzi, the iceman, and dated back to 3300B.C. The shoes were quite remarkable considering the time period - made of deer skin stitched to a bear skin sole with an internal woven net filled with dried grass and moss for warmth and comfort. Inspired by Oetzi's ingenuity, Ludo realized he could redesign this iconic shoe incorporating today's trend, comfort and technology. Hence the concept of OeTZI3300 shoes was born.
Fast forward to May 2009, to a time when Ludo was bedridden for 2 weeks with herniated disks in his lower back. The only movement he could tolerate was going for a walk on the beach. The soft sand under his feet made his back feel better. For company on these walks he took Cowgirl, his French bulldog , who over the 2 weeks became acquainted with Spot, the splitting image of Cowgirl except that he was a Boston Terrier with reverse coloring. Spot's owner Skip, a avid surfer who looking for a change from a 30 year law career, and Ludo walked and talked while Cowgirl and Spot became best friends.
At some point in these conversations the boys started talking about the business plan that Ludo had been working on over the prior 4 years and was near completion.
- "I'm looking for an investment partner that will help me build OeTZI3300" a lifestyle shoe brand utilizing a cork footbed for comfort. As Ludo stated though: "I am very particular about who I want to invest in this company. They need to be the perfect fit that can understand the philosophy of the brand and the many potential hurdles ahead".
- "I know an investor perfect for you".
- "You're looking at him !.. haha"
One week later on May 11th 2009, OeTZI3300 LLC was created with the addition of Skip's childhood friend Peter (also as avid surfer) who relocated to Malibu after spending a lifetime in the Financial/Real Estate markets on the East coast.
The original team, including John Spillman as " the salesman," opened up the best sneaker boutiques in the USA including Bodega in Boston, Conveyer in Santa Monica and A-Team in Manhattan Beach just to name drop a few!!
In May 2010, Melissa arrived at her scheduled sales appointment at the "A-Team" sneaker store in Manhattan Beach, CA. She was there representing two athletic sneaker brands. The storeowner, Adrian, had an incredible wall installation that represented our brand and our story that depicts our uniqueness to the footwear industry. The sight of this stunning installation was a culmination of everything Melissa had sought in a brand. Upon putting on the OTZ-1 low in sand, she had an epiphany. She knew that OeTZI3300 would be a brand that would revolutionize the industry, and Melissa knew that she had to be apart of Oetzi3300's growth and journey. Adrian explained the origin of the company's name to Melissa's disbelief. The historic explanation drove her determination even further to become a part of this unique product. Following this experience, Melissa swiftly reached out to Oetzi3300 with an e-mail to express her deep instantaneous passion for the craft of the product and how she could become involved.
Melissa's determination translated easily to John and Ludo who hired her on the spot the next day. The age-old cliché of a first impression being crucial is proven with Melissa's experience. Her loyalty and confidence in the brand from its beginning has brought her to the position of National Sales Manager today. She has stood by Oetzi to ensure that consumers around the world can share the experience she had when first putting on the OTZ-1 low.
In such a short amount of time, and a slight shift in name from OeTZI3300 to OTZShoes, our brand has become recognized worldwide and gaining incredible momentum daily. We are a happy family of workers who share the same passion and intensity for this brand, and the footwear we create which utilizes our CORK footbed technology that is made to make you feet smile – true barefoot comfort.
Welcome to OTZSHOES, inspired from the past and crafted with today in mind.