Who said men are not as fashionable as women? Well, times are changing. Testosterone is putting a stamp on the fashion industry, feeling the gap between fashionable and comfortable. We get to go behind the scenes and see what it takes to make this brand.
Owner Background Summary:
Joseph Butrus started selling shoes in a shoe store in Philadelphia as a young man when his father pulled him out of a pool hall and made him get a real job. He was passionate about selling and always excelled. He worked for Edison Brothers in the Bakers and Chandlers divisions for almost 30 years and was promoted all the way to Vice President in charge of merchandise for Chandlers. At the end of the 1980’s, Chandlers was closed and he found himself looking for a job. Instead of moving from his St. Louis home to work for another company, he started his own business.
Joe still lives in the same house with his wife Diane. His 3 daughters, Diane, Suzanne, and Michelle are all involved in the company, each holding executive level positions and this close-knit family all live within 10-15 minutes of each other.
How did you start your company?
Joe Butrus started the company in 1989 in the basement of his house selling the Bronx brand, as the US distributor of Bronx shoes brand. The company experienced rapid growth thanks to Joe’s perseverance and the success of the Bronx brand at retail. The company expanded into Brazil launching the Diba Imports brand and opening an entirely new market of designs and innovation for the company. Diba is an acronym for Dutch, Italian, Brazilian, American representing the markets from which Joe took his design inspiration. Capitalizing on the success of the Bronx brand to date, the company opened its first stand-alone Bronx retail location on Melrose Ave. The company continued to recognize significant growth and has gone on to launch the extremely successful Luichiny brand, catering to bold, sexy and inspiring women as well as the Diba True brand, for women living in the moment, living the real life. This month the company launches Testosterone designed exclusively for men. Featuring trend setting, fashion forward designs Testosterone is not just another shoe brand but is a statement, one that is destined to be an enormous success.
What is your company about?
The inspiration for Testosterone, came from the word itself. It is a man’s word, it is in every man’s soul, it is a man’s DNA and it is exclusive to men. Men want a combination of fashion and function and Testosterone fits the bill. They want to look good and be noticed yet be comfortable. Testosterone makes the man. Testosterone shoes make the man better!!!
What are the best and worst things about being a business owner?
Best – Watching your idea become reality and knowing that your hard work and dedication allow your family and the families of your employees to live a great life and having the satisfaction of knowing you made a difference in a lot of people’s lives.
Worst – As the business owner you are on the clock all the time. Every facet of the business is connected to you and you need to be in a position to address any matter at any time. Additionally, knowing that your family and employees rely heavily on your leadership, guidance and counsel can be daunting and rewarding at the same time.
What are the things you like most about your career?
Showing our footwear samples to a boutique owner and having them get excited because they know their customers will buy them!
Walking down the street and seeing someone wearing our shoes and knowing that those shoes are our creation!
What are some of your top sources of inspiration?
Trends in clothing, belts, handbags, jewelry and accessories give us some of our ideas.
Materials and fabrication processes also play a large role
What is a typical day like?
Research and Development, customer focus groups and interaction, trend analysis, material and fabric sourcing and finally putting it all together in a shoe that people can’t wait to have on their foot
What are some of your greatest accomplishments?
Moving from selling shoes out of my basement to a 45,000 square foot building and shipping shoes to over 60 countries around the world.
What’s your philosophy of life?
Live every day as if your life depends on it!
Any additional info/comments:
We are so excited to launch the Testosterone brand in Las Vegas. Our designs, fabrics and colors are sure to be a hit and we are already looking at relevant line extensions. In fact, we are already looking for partners interested in maximizing the potential of the Testosterone brand in the marketplace through strategic licensing arrangements.