I’d really like to thank Anthony Graffeo, the CEO and Founder of Flip Rocks – Extreme Flip Flops for taking some time out to answer some interview questions. He also sent me a pair of these cool flip flops to review, so watch for a review in the coming weeks! ~DesertRat
1. FlipFlops – how in the world did you get into that business?
I am an Avid fisherman and also an entrepreneur. I saw a need based on my own experiences outdoors. The “light bulb moment” happened when I was fishing on the salmon river in August with my son. We were wet wading it a fast moving river wearing regular FlipFlops slipping all over when I thought “why don’t they make a cleated FlipFlop?” The rest is history.
2. Talk a little about your background
I am a problem solver, house flipper, landlord, tech salesman, publisher, husband with 4 kids. Own multiple businesses, and I love the outdoors.
3. How many people work at your company?
Currently there are three of us and we are global with distribution is Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Macau.
4. How long have you been in business?
Four years but selling for only two
5. What was the most surprising thing you encountered, developing your products and getting them to market?
We never expected so many challenges from China stealing our logo and registering it there to tariffs and red tape. I thought it would be much easier. It has been the hardest thing I ever did, launching this company.
6. Talk a little about diversification – do you focus on improving or changing existing products or is it better to consider whole new product lines?
We truly have the only footwear in the world that is able to be transformed in so many ways. Nothing on the market even comes close. Our GripToeNite gripping pads can also be swapped out amongst all of our products so the same pads will fit the boot or the sandal or the FlipFlops. They are also customizable in many ways and super comfortable.
7. I see you’re a fisherman – what’s your favorite thing to fish? What’s still on your bucket list?
Favorite fish hands down is salmon, or trout in a river on a fly rod. On the bucket list is fly fishing for tarpon
8. For my readers – what would you like them to know about your products and company?
We are a family company and we stand behind our product- we originally invented them for ourselves due to a need. I personally talk to our customers when they call and give them extras all the time, free. We are not a corporate company but are super-personal.
I’d really like to thank Anthony for the product samples, and the interview. I can’t wait to get these shoes out into the water!
From their website:
FlipRocks flip flops have been created with a unique patented gripping system to traverse a number of different applications. Each GripToeNite gripping pad can be attached to the FlipRocks flip flop creating different extreme traction applications. With the purchase of your FlipRocks flip flops, you can collect all three GripToeNite grips specifically designed for fishing, hiking and kayaking. Coupled with a molded toe guard and our unique four wheel drive strap system you’re ready to hit the trails or the water with confidence.
GripToeNite Gripping System: specially formulated Injection-molded removable grips that are designed specifically for each respective application to maximize traction, stability and comfort.