CORAL GABLES, Fla. - A University of Miami student is putting business school lessons to a real world test after starting his own boat shoe business that caters to the college crowd.
Jason Shuman, a senior at UM, thought he could tap into a popular market on campus -- boat shoes. He even started testing prototypes on his own feet.
"People came up to me and were asking me where I got them, where they could buy them, and being an entrepreneurship major and a marketing major as well, I started to think to myself, 'Well, maybe we have something here," said Shuman. "It's taken off from there."
With the help of his brother and three friends, Shuman launched Category 5 Boat Shoes.
The company's core values are customization, quality, and affordability. Cat 5 will emboss fraternity letters on both shoes.
"You get to represent who you are and the organizations you're a part of while you do it," said Josh Goodman.
The shoes are also water resistant and priced less than Sperry's, students say.
"A new pair of Sperry's -- lowest $70, highest $80 or $90," said Tyler Mattis.
At $60 a pair, Category 5s are a hit.
"When I put these on, they were comfortable immediately," said Goodman.
"Definitely very comfortable," said Nick Oberzut.
"They just fit a lot more comfortable, right out of the box," said Joe Picozzi.
Shuman said he has learned a valuable lesson while directing Category 5.
"You can't be afraid of failure. You just need to go out there, you need to have a passion for something and you need to go for it," said Shuman.
Right now, Category 5 has sale representatives on 30 college campuses and plans to expand to more than 200 when they introduce women's sizes near year. Shuman will be full-time then because he plans to graduate in the spring.
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