Never Take Your Children To A Shoe Store Again With Speedsmith

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By: Casha Doemland

Parents are keenly aware of the deep frustration that comes with buying children’s shoes. Not only does it require schlepping to the local mall or shoe boutique with a stroller and kids in tow, but it requires the hope that he or she does not throw a tantrum (they will) and lose patience before you do (you will).

And here’s the other thing! You’re going to have to do this a lot. Based on age and growth spurts, the time for new shoes can vary between 3 1/2 to 6 months, which directly translates to one too many trips.

Thanks to technology and the power of smartphones, shopping for shoes has become a whole lot easier with SpeedSmith, an app that genuinely makes purchasing kids' shoes a seamless experience.

Founded by husband and wife team Vivian Chiang and Joseph Hei, they’ve created yet another venture devoted to children. Prior to launching SpeedSmith, the company spearheaded Orbit Baby, a premium car seat and stroller brand that gained popularity among top-tier celebs like Queen Bey.

"After selling Orbit Baby, we knew we wanted to bring that same sense of dedication to design and innovation to the new venture," begins Hei. "We're also excited to share another family experience where our daughters are our product testers and design critics."

Since SpeedSmith focuses solely on kids' shoes and understands the need for speedy results, their app is designed to get the essential dimensions in the fastest way possible, unlike other foot measuring apps that require time and absolute stillness to complete the 3D mapping.

"We've worked long and hard on our foot measurement app, a design and journey that involved many false starts and big challenges," states Hei. "We approached the process by embracing a constant series of prototypes and testing, and in the end achieved a patent pending and unique approach that involves sophisticated edge detecting and other computer vision techniques."

The work wasn't done alone, Hei and Chiang hired a team of app developers at Roam & Wander and long-time friends and designers at Daylight Design to help get Speedsmith into fighting shape.

"We've known the partners at Daylight for a long time" adds Hei. "We had total trust that the Seoul office under brand director JuneHyeong Lee would give our brand an identity and a character that would best express the qualities we wanted."

By supplying the aesthetic of the app and packaging with the vibrant energy of youth and a unique color palette, Daniel Kim, partner at Daylight, believes their design breaks through the typical gender stereotypes commonly associated with children's products.  On top of that, "the minimalist logo expresses the brand’s modern, fresh and youthful vibe with the dynamic energy that nods to zigzagging footsteps," chimes in Kim.

Aside from developing a lifeline technology for frazzled parents across the globe, they’ve also partnered with Soles4Souls, a social enterprise and shoe non-profit.

"We knew from the start that we wanted to partner with a non-profit as a core part of SpeedSmith's identity and mission," says Hei. "In talking to parents, we discovered many are wracked with a sense of unease over their need to replace their kid's shoes so quickly – not just because of the money spent, but because sometimes, the shoes aren't even worn out."

To combat the wastefulness, with every purchase of SpeedSmiths comes a complimentary return label so the moment the kid needs a new pair, the old one can be sent to Soles4Soles and donated to a child in need.

It's a win-win for everyone.

So no more stressing about your kids' kicks, because SpeedSmith has done all of the hard work for you. All you have to do is download the app, click a button and bam, the Forge 1.0s are on their way to your door, free of shipping and directly from the manufacturer.  


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Casha Doemland

LA-based and Georgia-bred, Casha Doemland spends her days crafting poetry and freelance writing. Over the last two years, she’s been published in a variety of publications and zines around the world. When she’s not nerding out with words, you can catch her watching a classic film, trekking around the globe or hanging out with a four-pound Pomeranian.