My original background was in both the footwear industry and Japanese culture. From 2006-2014, I had my own sneaker company, Onmyodo Footwear. All designs were based on Japanese design elements, both traditional and pop-culture. The sneakers were all designed with comfort in mind and had specially designed cork inserts that conformed to the foot (no break in required). Rather than traditional shoe boxes, every pair came in a reusable, zippered bag.
While we managed to survive the economic crash, the resulting exorbitant cost increase in advertising, production and materials (not to mention that the factory we produced at went under), eventually put us out of business.