July 26, 2008

Fashion Millionaire By Chance - Jibbitz

Introducing Jibbitz

Mini Flowers, Disney Characters, American Flags... have you ever wonder how these little (usless-looking) knick knacks got their way onto your (fugly-looking) Crocs?

It was a fashion millionaire in the making - totally by chance - by merely accessorizing, which is a pure understatement of the word in every aspect in Sheri Schmelzer's case.

It all started one day when stay-home mum, Schmelzer, decided to "do something" to the "holes" she saw at her childrens' (what we truly think to-date as fugly,) Croc shoes. With clay and rhinestones, Schmelzer developed unique charms that fit perfectly into the holes of (fugly-looking) Crocs at the basement of her Boulder, Colorado home. A motherly stunt that was initially meant to be an amusement to her 3 kids, became an ingenious fashion business, Jibbitz, which her enterprising husband helped brought it to its success.


It wasn't before long, that the team from Crocs Inc found Schmelzer, and offer her USD$20 million for Jibbitz! The couple finally agreed to Crocs Inc. in December 2006 and Jibbitz now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Crocs Inc., and the Schmelzer founders have remained as President and Chief Design Officer. (At this point, we thought that Jibbitz is not all that "usless-looking" afterall.)

The Schmelzers

According to its website, Jibbitz “allows Crocs consumers to personalise their footwear to creatively express their individuality”, which is perhaps over-intellectualising it for a bit. For those still blissfully ignorant, they are pieces of coloured rubber-like buttons, selling for around $3 (£1.50) a pop, in 1,100 different patterns.

Jibbitz SD
Customise with your favourite Jibbitz

There are Harry Potter house crests and Disney characters. You can stick gingerbread houses or gemstones on your Crocs, national flags and animals (the UK’s bestsellers are the big flowers). There are Jibbitz for specific places – football ones for Europe, Hello Kitty for the Far East and American flags for, well, probably only Americans. They are sold in 86 countries (Japan is the biggest market) and Schmelzer has even been on Oprah, in an edition called Million Dollar Moms.

Direct Link

So, do you have any stroke of genius (albeit unknowingly) at home or work so far?