AUSTIN, Texas — Kyle Berner, a free-spirit entrepreneur who founded Feelgoodz, a New Orleans company that produces and markets flip-flops made in Thailand, began a three-week demo tour yesterday of 14 Whole Foods stores in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas.
Describing himself as “not a closed–toe shoe kind of guy,” Berner, who spent a year in Thailand teaching English, said he was inspired by the quality and comfort of the all natural rubber flip-flops and decided to launch his company last year to market the footwear in the U.S.
Whole Foods, based here, will test market the flip-flops, which come in 16 styles with a retail price of $19.99, in special displays adjacent to its Whole Body section. Plans are to roll the product out to other stores in the South and Southern Pacific regions, said Berner. Whole Foods liked Feelgoodz for its quality and eco-friendly material consisting of biodegradable natural rubber, hemp, bamboo and recycled paper and flop hangers.
Feelgoodz socially conscious motto of “feelin’ good plus givin’ back” fits with Whole Foods’ values of caring for communities and the environment. Berner said 3% of his company’s revenues goes to supporting a sustainable planet by creating a fair trade natural rubber program in Thailand and creating and sustaining healthy economies in Southeast Asia.
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