Hitch’dtheshoe, founded by Marc Bakhos, was created with a vision to add the element of comfort and design in a formal shoe. Marc initially came up with the idea of Hitch’dtheshoe in order to provide class and comfort solutions for a wedding. However, with growing popularity, these premium sneakers have been worn by people on other occasions too.
This UAE based brand is creating quite a ripple in the domestic market. We recently Interviewed Marc Bakhos to understand the idea behind his brand. Among other things, we also discussed the impact of Coronavirus on Entrepreneurs.
Coming up with your own shoe brand is a risky affair given the intense competition in this segment. What inspired you to create Hitch’dtheshoe?
I was looking for a casual sneaker to get married in, but could not find a shiny sneaker that has the shine and the comfort that I was looking for to last for all the wedding festivities. So, I decided to create my own brand to cater to the gentlemen with the same struggle.
The name is derived from the word hitched, which means that you’re getting off the market. We started with Hitch’d gents, which caters to the gentlemen and the launch has been successful for two months now.
These shoes which are created to add modern and stylish charm to any outfit, are created with 100% Italian patent leather and 100% rubber sole.
You are a young entrepreneur and will have your own learning curve. However, the ongoing pandemic has taught everyone a lesson. What is the biggest lesson entrepreneurs can learn from the ongoing Pandemic?
That is true. This pandemic is a great learning curve for everyone. I would say that people should always look for opportunities that potentially arise from any uncertain event like the one we are facing today.
I believe that humanity plays a big role in these circumstances and the people who are able to help should help others in any possible way. I would say that the biggest lesson entrepreneurs can learn is that there is nothing above humanity. Moreover, nothing is permanent and you should serve your clients from that backdrop.
Considering the fact that there are several big players in the shoe segment in which you are offering products, how small businesses can compete with established brands. What should be their strategy?
That’s right. Competing with established brands is tough. One should, therefore, tread his or her path carefully. I would suggest that one should look for a problem that people are facing and try to find solutions. The solution should be niche preferably and using the right channels you’re good to go.
So, with the acceptance you are getting, are you planning to expand your operations?
We ship in the UAE at the moment. Our operations will open to the world soon. We are in the process of finalizing shipping processes and rates. This has obviously been hit due to the ongoing situation.
How has shoe industry transformed over the past few years? Do you believe that premium brands face challenge from cheap, look-alike products which swamp the shoe racks in several markets?
“I believe that any fashion product is easy to imitate, but it is hard to imitate the story.”
The shoe industry is always changing and adapting to customers’ wants and fashion trends. I believe that any fashion product is easy to imitate, but it is hard to imitate the story. In our case, there’s a story to tell. Also, people have a sense of appreciation for good products. On any given day, quality wins.
What has been your most satisfying experience as a business owner?
Being a business owner, it has been truly a blessing seeing the reaction of my clients after I show them my products.
It is like a need that they have been waiting for a while, and finally, it has been fulfilled. Being born and raised in Lebanon also makes me proud to have come this far, in creating something special for the world, as well as making my country proud at the same time.
In this Interview New York Based Fitness Coach Larry Greenfield talks about his Entrepreneurial Journey and how he is helping folks over 40 live a better life
Larry Greenfield is a certified fitness coach from New York, NY, who specializes in helping men and women over 40 get into the best shape of their life. Through years of experience, he’s discovered that personalizing his approach to fit each client’s needs and aiming for long-term results is the best path to improve his clients’ lifestyle. He uses a specific approach to help clients overcome all physical and psychological barriers. Empowerment through fitness and proper nutrition leaves his clients feeling confident in their own skin.
Being a Fitness Coach is a demanding job. There must be some good days and some bad days. Tell me about your best and worst days at work.
The best days at work are when I get to complete my morning routine, and everything goes to plan. The worst days are when, for some reason, my morning is hectic, and I have to change plans a lot. If I don’t have the best day, I try to take more breaks and meditate/workout to get my mind off things.
Who are the clients that you most enjoy working with?
I enjoy working with all of my clients, but I really love working with clients who have been with me for a long time. We know each other’s communication styles, and we are used to a routine. First-timers sometimes could be difficult since we are still building that trust and rapport.
There are moments in life which change you for good. What was your biggest ‘a-ha’ moment?
My biggest “a-ha” moment was when my kids were born. I realized that I had to provide for my family, not just spend time on anything I wanted. It took me some getting used to since I am a very independent individual, and I like my financial independence. But in the end, they’ve pushed me to strive for more. They still do.
Working with your first client is always memorable. How was your experience? What has been the most important part of your professional journey?
Working with my first client was indeed memorable. He was a referral from one of my close friends. Since I had recently graduated from a fitness certification program, I didn’t realize that what worked for me wouldn’t always work for other individuals. Understanding that I had to personalize workouts based on the age and the lifestyle of clients was a huge breakthrough. Those struggles early on in my career allowed me to be successful, now coaching 40+ year-olds and transforming lives.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has thrown challenges of biblical proportions. What would you do, if you are endowed with unlimited resources?
If you are talking monetarily, I would probably invest them in the economy. If I talk just about my City, the COVID-19 outbreak negatively impacted New-York’s economy, and unemployment is skyrocketing. Creating jobs and helping those in need would be how I would spend unlimited resources.
When was the last time you totally lost yourself in doing something?
I enjoy being in nature. I am a massive fan of outdoor activities and outdoor eating. Last time we were BBQing, I lost myself in it and ended up 7 pounds heavier than my healthy weight. It’s a dangerous activity to lose yourself in.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy traveling with my wife; sometimes, we bring our dog with us if we are on a road trip. I also go hiking, boating and kayaking a lot, when I can get out of town.
How do you feel you make a difference in the world?
By helping 40+ year-olds live healthier lives, I change the way they see themselves and improve their relationships with their families and loved ones, even their work-life. I think it’s a big enough difference.
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