Recently, I had the privilege of talking with Josh Stiles, founder of Shamma Sandals. I was inspired by the interview and wanted to share the heart of Shamma with all of you.
Shamma is based out of Santa Cruz, California and desires to "provide the best fit and performance available for the most natural feel. We don’t make flip-flops. We make sandals. Our goal is to make the best minimalist sandals available, to give you an unparalleled experience in your moments of adventure and leisure."
When were you first introduced to minimalist shoes?
I was playing softball rec league, and I saw someone in central field wearing what looked like surfing booties. He was actually wearing Five Fingers. I starting looking into minimalist shoes, and I fell in love with a better way to move.
Tell me about the beginnings of Shamma.
I started running in Five Fingers but realized I could only run in them for a little while before they started to smell bad. I started looking at running in sandals. I purchased a pair of Luna Sandals in 2010 and ran in those for about a year. After that, my father-in-law made me some simple sandals, and I ran in those until 2013.I was inspired to start making my own sandals. I began making sandals for family and friends. The business started small, and has grown from there. We are now in our 4th year and improving our sandal design each year. We are family run business and operate out of my home. I am a fan of the sandal industry; it is fun to be creating something I am so interested in!
What were you doing before Shamma?
I worked in construction. I now work at Shamma part time and part time as a pastor.
What is the meaning behind the name Shamma Sandals?
It is my middle name. It comes from the Old Testament: Deuteronomy 6:2. In Hebrew it means "to hear."
What is the philosophy behind Shamma?
I want a product that is timeless. If our product is good, our customers will like it and keep coming back. We innovate all the time, but I also believe in slow growth. I don't want to grow too fast because I don't want to sacrifice quality for growth.
What is the primary use of your sandals?
Well, first it is a minimalist brand with the primary goal being able to run in the sandals. Second, we work really hard to make a sandal that is comfortable, not just while running, but while hiking and during everyday wear. We work diligently to improve our sandals each year in order to offer our customers the best.
Is there a chance that you will offer a children's line in the future?
I would love to, but we do not at this time. Some of the smaller sizes may fit some older children.
What is your favorite Shamma sandal?
Well, my new favorite is kind of a secret menu item. They are the All Browns with a new lacing system with leather instead of webbing. I also like the classic Jerusalem Cruisers with Ultra-Suede footbed.
Tell me about your worry free guarantee.
We have never denied a return. Customers can be confident in what they are purchasing because they know we will take care of them. We are always trying to improve so that we can offer the best experience possible for each customer. People want to be treated well, and they want to have a product that is reliable.
For more information, check out https://shammasandals.com