BucketFeet, the Chicago-based shoe brand that pairs artists with canvas shoes, is opening up a 1,800-square foot store at 1647 North Damen Avenue. The brand currently has stores on State Street and in New York City, as well as headquarters in the West Loop. In February, they raised $7.5 million in new funding for expansion and new products—such as socks.
“Chicago is a friendly city,” says Raaja Nemani, cofounder and CEO, about the decision to open BucketFeet’s third store in Chicago instead of New York or a brand-new city. “There’s lots of competition, but it’s healthy and people love helping one another. Bucktown is always innovating and we’d like to think BucketFeet is too.” The new, larger location will feature community- and art-focused events, such as artist showcases and guidance for local artists hoping to see their own work on a shoe.
BucketFeet has plans to open up one more U.S. location in 2015, but their focus is rapidly turning international. Already half of their sales are to foreign markets. “We’ve grown from one hand-decorated pair of shoes made by my cofounder, Aaron, to a brand that has collaborated with over 12,000 artists in more than 100 countries,” says Nemani. “We’re opening three [stores] in Asia this year. On top of that, we’re doing a summer pop-up in Taipei and potentially London and Amsterdam, and a year-long pop-up in Hong Kong.” But back at home, the brand is hoping to open their Bucktown location by June 1.