Terral Fox first visited the Southern Utah University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in May of 2011. He had recently started an online business making and selling custom-made minimal shoes. The custom-made shoes allow a barefoot feeling while still protecting the feet. Minimal footwear users pro-mote its advantages as assisting with a more natural gait which can increase foot strength, balance and decrease injury. Terral says that he never intended to sell sandals; he was just looking for his own perfect pair of minimal shoes and found a solution that would work for many other people as well. A graphic de-signer by trade, Terral began drawing sketches of sandal designs and ordering different materials to experiment with. With some encouragement from his wife, Terral took his minimal shoes online and his business was born.
Since his initial visit to see Craig Isom and Joni Ander-son of the SUU Small Business Development Center, Terral has had an ongoing counseling relationship with the SBDC and has participated in many small business training events sponsored by the SBDC. He also entered the SUU SBDC’s Annual Best Business Idea Competition and tied for second place. The re-sulting prize money enabled him to move his business out of his home and into a bigger production facility. Craig Isom, Director of the SUU Small Business Development Center said, “It is very rewarding to see the response to the Best Business Idea Competition. There’s lots of talent in our community and many un-tapped ideas and opportunities. We’re happy to see so many great ideas and to have the level of interest we have in this kind of event.”
Terral is currently working on expanding his product line and will continue to utilize the resources available from the SUU Small Business Development Center as his business grows. UNSHOES MINIMAL FOOTWEARTerral is a member of Tech Up Southern Utah (TUSU), formerly SUTC, sponsored by the SUU SBDC, which brings Southern Utah high tech businesses together for education purposes as well as assistance in developing resources and networking. The found-er of TUSU, Brent Drew, is a technology counselor for the SUU Small Business Development Center and Terral meets with him regularly. Brent said “Sometimes the best thing we can do is present a variety of ideas, as we do in Tech Up, and let the small business owner pick or adapt those that really work for them. The Unshoe is a success because Terral was able to take a variety of ideas and adapt them to fit his needs.”