Much of my inspiration for On The Fly was born of my own frustrations when shopping for myself. And don’t get me wrong, I loved the stores where I shopped. But there were always little things, nagging frustrations, pet peeves, that made me think: “if I ever have a store of my own, I’d do that differently.” I have now ? had the store, that is ? for over 7 years.
But the menswear retail landscape has changed since we started, and there are changes we need to make in order to keep up. Specifically, I want us to re-evaluate how well we’re living up to our tagline: “solutions for the modern gentleman.”
Here’s a simple example. Back in the day, when I was buying expensive Italian shoes from a local store, I’d make the (mostly) emotional decision to invest in a $500+ pair of shoes, and the sales associate would invariably ask: “do you need shoe trees for them?” Well, of course I do. I think the first time I answered, I mistakenly assumed they were giving them to me with the shoes since I “needed” them. Of course they weren’t; I think I paid $30 or $40 for trees.
It’s not a big deal, paying for shoe trees. It costs the store money to have them. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the vast majority of men don’t use shoe trees at all, so why throw in something that the customer may not even value?
But that’s exactly the point: the customer may not value them because he doesn’t understand why he needs them. They help prevent creases in the leather, absorb moisture from wear, and most importantly, maintain the shape of the shoe. If you’re investing in an expensive pair of shoes ? and good shoes should be viewed as an investment, since they will typically last much longer than a cheap pair ? the #1 thing you can do to care for them is to give them at least a day or two off after wear. The #2 thing you can do is provide them with shoe trees. (The #3 thing would be to shine them regularly.)
So as of today, On The Fly will ship a complimentary pair of shoe trees with every pair of full price shoes costing $250 or more.
We don’t have to do it, we want to do it. We’ll trust you value it.