Vessi, which bills itself as the world's first waterproof knit shoe, is having trouble keeping up with demand, so it's taking a novel approach to catch up: stop selling it (for now). The company plans to use the down time to scale up production.
"This brief halt in [sales] is because we really, really want to prioritize our customers. That always comes first," Andy Wang, co-founder of Vessi, told Cheddar Monday. "When we first started Vessi, we never anticipated this type of demand and support, which we are super grateful for."
Wang says the speed at which items sell out leaves the company incapable of keeping a large, diverse inventory.
"At this stage, every time we launch something, it would sell out within hours," Wang said. "We want to give them a very streamlined process, so we're taking this time to really dial in our production, and when we come back, we can have a lot of different inventory and a lot of different styles."
A self-proclaimed sneakerhead, Wang says Vessi's patented Flash Knit technology can withstand someone standing in a puddle for hours. Wang said testing the hydrophobic material went beyond the lab setting.
"We would have buckets underneath our seats at the office, and we would just have our feet in there," Wang said.
Partnering with a manufacturer in Taiwan for all of the shoes' production has allowed Vessi to avoid falling victim to the U.S.-China trade war. Once Vessi proves it can keep up with demand, Wang wants his company to go after the everyday market with all sorts of styles.
"We will cover you rain or shine, in snow and slush, Wang said. "You don't ever have to worry about which shoes to pick out when you walk out the door."