By Dave Gallagher
Louie Gong recently launched a website for Mockups, which resemble white Vans-style shoes that customers use to paint intricate designs.
The product is a do-it-yourself piece that isn't meant to be worn but can be used to create artwork as well as something to practice designs on before trying it out on actual Vans shoes.
In the do-it-yourself art toy business, Gong believes this product hits a sweet spot because of the importance of shoes in society. It also has educational value, making it a potentially popular product for school projects.
"Shoes are the perfect platform for talking about a wide range of topics in a way that can really engage with kids," Gong said. If one thinks about the role shoes have played in our culture, he said, such as Dorothy's shoes in "The Wizard of Oz" or Air Jordans, art on shoes can have broad appeal and become iconic cross-cultural symbols.