The insoles side of the industry is a bit of an unsung hero. Let’s face it—we often neglect our feet but with a brand like Remind Insoles on rise, catering to skaters and snowboarders, we can all breathe a sigh of relief knowing they got our feet covered. Not to mention they've got a stacked team backing the brand.
These guys have some exciting things on the horizon so we broke this interview down into a bit of a two-part series. The first with founder John Makens and second with Canadian sales rep Joey Norsworthy.
So put your feet up (see what I did there?), relax and check out what Remind is all about and what they got on the go in Canada.
When and where was the idea of Remind Insoles conceived? The idea was inspired from needing a solution for riding all day long and not feeling like you got thrown down a flight of stairs. I’ve been skating and snowboarding for almost 30 years now and about 10 years ago I noticed a large void in this area.
I’ve always been one to replace the stock 10 cent insole in my shoes or boots to save my back. I started playing around with many different concepts and products. I found something that worked better than the rest and gave the insoles out to all my shred buddies and the response was nothing but positive feedback... so things just kinda naturally escalated from there.
What inspired launching an insole company? Orthotics have been around for many years but I felt like we need something that catered to snowboarders and skateboarders. There wasn’t a company around that sold in the mom-and-pop skateshops anywhere. It all just came together and all the signs pointed to yes and that’s when the company was birthed.
What was the inspiration behind the name Remind Insoles? The name comes from the reason we started skateboarding or snowboarding in the first place. It’s fun and it makes us feel good. Remind is a symbol of holding true to just that.
How has the brand evolved over the years? The brand has evolved on its own, but with the inspiration from all our customers and their support. Listening to what is working and applying that to create better products. We formulate all our own proprietary materials in our factory, so that gives a huge advantage for fine tuning everything.
The insole side of the industry is a bit of a tricky one to understand, so please tell us, why insoles? Basically our feet are the foundation to our bodies and most everything we do. Unfortunately, most shoes and boots don’t have any support and are not produced with any consideration of natural foot mechanics or alignment. It’s an easy thing that many people overlook and don’t even really think about but something as simple as replacing a shitty insole with one that supports our foundation can change everything. Wearing paper thin skate shoes will take a heavy toll on our bodies in the end.
Why should shops consider bringing insoles onto their sales floor? Mainly so all the shop dudes can be comfortable on their feet all day but also their customers will enjoy them as well. I believe it’s a no brainer but some kids need to learn the hard way like I did.
Who is the ideal Remind consumer? Anyone who wants to feel good on their feet and boards for as long as possible.
The industry as a whole has faced its fair share of challenges in recent years, how have you positioned Remind to ride it out? It sure has… we have just continued doing what we are doing and focus what works for us. The insole market is not a very saturated one so we have our nice little corner with our support group and the people who get it. It’s not the first time skateboarding and snowboarding has seen challenges and being able to button down the hatches through the hard times is part of the game.
What’s your take on the state of the skate and snow industry right now? What do you think needs to happen in order for it to thrive again? I think everyone needs to get off social media go outside… Haha. I don’t really know. Things are always changing and I hope everything will sort itself out. It’s a wild uncontrollable beast.
You currently are shipping direct to Canada. Is this something that could possibly be changing in the future? We have a warehouse in Canada only for our Canadian retailers. We don’t ship direct to consumer within Canada. I’d rather have our Canadian customers go buy from the Canadian shops that are supporting REMIND.
What has been your experience with the Canadian market so far? What do you have planned for the Canadian market? It’s been great… I love Canada! In the current state of things, I just might move there. But in all seriousness, all the shops are super rad and it has been a pleasure to work with all of them. The plan is to keep a nice strong presence and support the Canadian scene with some great feeling feet.
Who have been some of your biggest supporters in Canada? The Source, Commit, Darkside, Evolution, Rude Boys, Royal, Freedom, Seven80, The Choice, Society, Two Zero Four… and many more. Mucho thanks to all of you!
What can we expect to see from Remind in the future? Just continuing to make a great product and do what we do best. We have some things in the works that will be rolling out in the near future.
Shout-outs? All the rad customers and shops that support us, our amazing team riders, reps and distributors… all the people that keep the engine greased.
How can people get in touch? remindinsoles.com
Part 2: Remind Insole / Baldface Collab
Recently Remind just launched a collab insole they did with Baldface and featuring the distinct artistic talents of shred legend Jamie Lynn. Canadian Remind Insole rep, Joey Norsworthy spearheaded this endeavour, so who better to chat about how this came to fruition than Joey himself.
Joey, can you tell us who you are and what you do for Remind? Hi, my name is Joey, been in sales since forever…. For Remind I’m the Rep for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba—and the self-appointed Canadian Sales Manager Haha.
So you just led a collab with Baldface and Jamie Lynn this past winter—epic. How did working with such a legendary locale and pro shred come to fruition? With insoles being such a new category in most shops, and within Canada especially, the goal was to collaborate with a Canadian industry icon. I sent an email to Kevin Sansalone (the only one I knew at Baldface Lodge) who introduced me to Shawn Colley. From there, Jeff Pensiero [owner of Baldface] got involved in the process and the one who started the convo Jamie Lynn
How long did the whole process take? (Designs, production etc.) The entire process took about four months from idea to production. The crew at Baldface was stoked to work with the brand, and on this collab piece. We came up with a launch date, which to a little surprise, since Jamie was in Hawaii, we were able to meet with ease.
How has the Baldface collab been received so far? It’s been a fantastic response. As it’s already hit some select stores, and is a part of the Winter ‘18 collection for full distribution in both Canada and the U.S. Also, the social media response has been all hype!
What other plans do you have for the Baldface collab? Will you possibly create another design in the future? For sure. The conversation can keep on going with Shawn, JP, and Jamie, and collaboration is something we can continue to grow.
Where can people get their hands on a set of the Baldface/ Remind collab insoles? Right now, there are a few retailers that have them. Rude Boys already has ’em and they are available online.
Anything you would like to mention that we might not have covered? Just want to say thanks to Baldface and the crew there. And thank you to The Board Press for the interview!