Shoe Startup Born in Indy Rides Far-Reaching Connections

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(Image courtesy of ESLO Shoes.) (Image courtesy of ESLO Shoes.)

Young entrepreneurs are tapping into connections in Indianapolis, Mexico and beyond in launching an international children's shoe brand. ESLO co-founders Ryan Eldridge and Eduardo Salcedo met at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business at IUPUI and launched the leather shoe business in late 2015. The company is one month into a Kickstarter campaign that is looking to raise $20,000.

The company is based in Indianapolis, but its production and distribution is spread out. Eldridge says manufacturing is done at facilities in Mexico that are owned by Salcedo's family and it uses logistics resources in California. In an interview last week on Inside INdiana Business Television, Eldridge said partnerships forged in Indianapolis have been invaluable.

"What we're looking to do is leverage third-generational experience. They've been doing this a long time. A lot of love, passion has gone into it. We want to be able to utilize now social media, digital marketing the local resources we have here in town," Eldridge, who handles marketing, said. "We've been working with some really awesome companies -- The Speak Easy (entrepreneurial space in Indianapolis) -- and have a lot of other encouragement from the local community to really build this idea."

Eldridge says he had wanted to start a shoe company from an early age when he customized pairs of his friends shoes as gifts. He met Salcedo, who the grandson of a shoe factory owner and son of shoe store entrepreneur and ESLO design lead Celina Lopez Orozco. While at IUPUI, the pair joined up with fellow co-founder Lorenc Qorlaze, who handles the logistics of the business.

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