From pork chops to flip flops –
a unique success story.
Using an old dilapidated dairy barn on our family land in Marietta, South Carolina, a friend and I decided to start a BBQ operation. Raising hogs in a pen, slaughtering them, cooking them, then selling the finished product to folks in the larger, neighboring town of Travelers Rest.
My friend and I didn't really know what we were doing, trying to open up a makeshift BBQ joint, but we had pretty good success with the locals for about six months. I enjoyed what we were doing, but I was skeptical of its growth potential.
During those days I was very down on myself, coming out of a severe life-threatening incident, and depression was really taking its toll on me. It was then that I picked up sewing as a way to re-purpose the large amount of plastic hog feed bags I was throwing out. Better yet, sewing became an outlet for me, restructuring my coordination and rebuilding my confidence. I fell in love with sewing, and I believe it probably saved my life.
I kept sewing, and improving, and imagining what I could make. Next thing I knew I was making flip flops. The first flips were rough specimens - hand cut from rubber sheets and cork mats, with adhesive oozing from all corners. Using old dog food bags for straps and tires for a footbed, the flips were brutally tested by the rigors of farm life. That included a trip to a mud pit, where I tested the strength of the straps. I just waded into the muck, and tried to destroy the flips. But they held up. The flips won.
After further work on the footbed to achieve proper arch and heel support, we started taking the product to the farmers market. Custom fitting each flip flop to customers' feet allowed us to develop a very unique and calculated foot bed with ergonomic strapping.
Being able to see all those feet (as weird as it was) really got us tuned into sizing. Our flip, with the lengthened toe thong and natural rocker, will provide just about anybody with the best fit they’ve ever had. By lengthening the toe thong, you are able to decrease the strain on your large and pointer toe. This in turn allows the muscles surrounding the arch of your foot to relax. This really makes for happy feet.”
We know it’s best to make a product as sturdy as possible, rather than making a cheap product that only lasts a little while. That’s our philosophy. That’s why we use the best materials we can get. And it shows.
Cooking and making flip flops are very similar… if you buy cheap ingredients you're going to have a bad sandwich. We set out to use the best materials available to ensure the shoe is as durable and comfortable as possible.
Thus, the name, Cooks.
It just fits.