We first met the guys at Zuriick when they sent a couple spicy models to my house for a photo shoot last summer; two swimsuit-clad, curly-whipped treats posed at my poolside as Zuriick ad-bait and eye candy for our COLLECTIVE peepers. As with any good campaign, the sexy images led us to the sexy footwear these guys are churning daily. Zuriick is a local joint that's gone international, and we'll shake a fist at anyone who claims Salt Lake isn't ripe with stellar creatives, including Mike McCaleb and Chad Tovey [brand founders], Drew Taylor, and Jesse Snyder. We took a tour of their first [and only] dedicated, Zuriick retail location, which confirmed my suspicions that a product can only be as solid as the space in which it was born. This creative factory is smoking. The unassuming, metal door in an alley off of State Street leads to a minimal, but really well-designed showcase for a line of unique shoes, some stripey socks and a few witty tees. We beam with pride when some of our city's own turn out such unadulterated good. We'll let Mike speak on the space, the people, and the signature purple sole...
Who or what inspires your company? Minimalism is probably the biggest inspiration. I like things to be simple, clean and convenient.
Who is your style icon? My grandfather Albert Nakashima. He was half Japanese, half Hispanic, 50's-greaser type; a hard worker and a badass WWII vet. He has also been a large inspiration in my life.
Talk about creative energy. Where do you get yours? Typically, it comes from music I listen to and photos from trips I've taken with Jesse.
What's been the favorite shoe design thus far? My personal favorite is one of the most recent to join the family, the Matthew. It's meant to be a hybrid sneaker/work boot that was inspired by its namesake, my brother. So, it also holds sentimental value.
Will Zuriick shoes always have a purple sole? If it has a rubber sole, yes, it will always be purple. We've recently teamed up with Vibram® to begin using their outsoles for our boots.
Whose idea was it to put gummy bears inside your shoes? Chad is credited for the gummy bear idea. It seems to be more exciting than getting a new pair of shoes to most of our customers.
What catches your eye on the street? Hot babes in denim shorts and old buildings. I've used a lot of colors I've seen around town for shoe colorways, such as the Ake Cement, which was taken from the median in front of our first office on 7th East.
What's the favorable snack? The peanut-butter-filled pretzels have been getting a lot of attention lately.
Who has the most tattoos in the company? It's a toss up between Jesse and me, but in an arm wrestle, he'd probably win.
What's the favorable drink around the office? We all seem to have different preferences when it comes to drinks, but in general we like beer.
Do you guys follow any blogs? Tell us your 3 favorite: My daily interwebbing consists of: Le Container, Viktor Vauthier and Ville Noir
What dreams do you have for your company? I don't have dreams for the company beyond what we've already accomplished. The dream was to build a company that made a quality product that was affordable and unique, as well as offer the best customer service possible. We feel we've done this, and we work every day to back it up.
Your space is amazing. Tell us what you love about it: It is, indeed, pretty amazing. I love the openness of the space and the exposed beams. There is a lot of raw character to the building, which has inspired most of the store fixtures we've built.
Many of us have chosen Salt Lake as the base for our creative explorations. Tell us why it works for you: I feel like Salt Lake City is the perfect place for creativity. If we were in L.A. or NYC, I feel like it'd be too easy to be influenced by the industry. Salt Lake gives me the solitude I feel is necessary to do what I do. The ability to drive 30 minutes in either direction and reach the desert or the mountains is an advantage, in my opinion. Zuriick wouldn't be the same if we weren't here.
Zuriick Shoes | 630 S Stringfellow Court - Suite B | 801.400.2557