Read my feet. A new fad is about to sweep the country.
Grafeeties, labeled as a new teenage pop craze, put the snicker in sneakers. In fact, they are bumper stickers for shoes - neon foam stickers with different messages for the heels of shoes.They are shoe accessories, fashion statements - they're what's happening.
They say Outta' My Way, Chill Out, Get A Life, Most Excellent,
Left/Right, Get Busy, Back Off, Cowa Bunga, Get Real, Just Did It, Can't Touch/This, Awe/Some, Shred Dude - or a long one - If you can read this get your face off the floor.
These are hot heel sayings that you can read while someone leaves you in the dust. The grafeeties motto is "watch what's ahead and leave your message behind."
Or you can mix them and say Get A Cowa, Just Bunga, or Get Excellent.
If you want to, you can wear them on skates, snowboards and ski boots instead.
They are 3 inches by 1 1/2 inches, go on smoothly and peel off easily. The adhesive is removable and the colors are water resistant.
Kids can collect them, change, mix them up to create their own messages. Even adults might be interested in trying them out, especially at aerobics class.
So say the creators, Joyce Cranston, Margerie Goldman and David Warren of EYE-D Unlimited in Denver. They are excited to see something start in the Rocky Mountains for a change. The idea came from sitting around the dining room table trying to come up with the next "pet rock" so they could retire.
All had worked in their own firms previously, doing design, consulting and marketing work, but they wanted to start their own company. They call it a "woman-owned company," because two of the three equal partners are women.
Warren had read in either Time or Newsweek about the phenomenal number of athletic shoes that were being sold to kids - 388 million pairs in the United States last year. Ninety-two million pairs were sold to kids between the ages of 6 and 14.
It was claimed that this age group actually buys or influences the purchase of $60 billion worth of goods a year. So Warren said, "How about making bumper stickers for shoes?"
Cranston says that her own junior-high age daughter wrote on her shoes.
So she began talking to her and her friends about what kinds of sayings she would wear on her shoes. Then they started focus groups in Santa Fe, Denver and Boston and found that younger kids - those between 6 and 14 were the biggest market.
"The younger kids liked all the sayings and were willing to wear them all," says Cranston.
"So we developed sayings and they gave their ideas. We had kids wear the sayings around the area. We even tried them on ski boots to see if they would stay, and they work very well on ski boots. So some of the sayings are ski-related, like Shred/-Dude and Team/Xtreme.
"It's very much a media product - you have to educate people as to what they really are, but they are doing very well in Minneapolis and Denver."
The Denver and Salt Lake market will now see lots of them through "Toys R Us" which just began marketing them. Cranston says she and her partners plan on developing new sayings about every three or four months to try to keep up with changing styles.
There is a secondary target market too - older kids, runners, walkers, cyclists, basketball players, aerobics enthusiasts - anyone who wears athletic shoes.
Cranston says that there is a brand new saying geared to sports fans - See you kick butt. She realizes that this enterprise is risky. It will either be big or it will be nothing.
I polled my own kids on the chances that shoe bumper stickers will make it big. They were skeptical and said that they didn't know anyone who would willingly desecrate the brand name of their shoes in favor of a silly saying.
You be/the judge