Source: Press Release Service – Auckland
Silky, cozy and great looking – three perfect ways to describe the feeling of slipping on a pair of boots from Kiwi start-up, Keuzi. The basis for this hand-crafted leather product is a light, natural, fibre that outperforms merino wool in every way. From idea to product over several months, founder and CEO, Neil Taylor, has engaged world class kiwi design and footwear talent, and partnered with co-founder Nicholas Couch to create the Keuzi boots and launch a whole new footwear experience to the world.
The boots have been specifically designed to utilize the unique properties of this innovative fibre – which regulates temperature, wicks away moisture, and reduces odor – to create a footwear experience so comfortable they’ll be the first thing you put on in the morning, and the last thing you take off at night! To make the most of this, sock less wear is recommended.
With the COVID-19 pandemic presenting obstacles for following a more traditional route of developing the product offshore, the Keuzi team have completed the first design and development at home in New Zealand. The project has utilized the creative talents of some of New Zealand’s leading footwear designers and technicians to create a high quality, beautiful, comfortable boot that sits at the intersection of fashion and utility.
As for the challenge of launching in the downturn of a global pandemic, the signs are all there that high quality, well designed products remain in demand. “This has been a steep learning curve, but we’re up for the challenge” says entrepreneur Neil Taylor. No stranger to the challenge of building a new business, Neil cut his teeth in the peak of the late 90’s dot-com boom, launching one of New Zealand’s first business-to-consumer e-commerce websites. Neil continues, “having spent 25 years in the IT industry, footwear making is outside of my comfort zone, so finding the right people has been very important”. Along with some of New Zealand’s most experienced footwear designers and technicians, Industrial Designer Nick Couch has joined which has been a big help in making this idea a reality. Nick brings experience leading the design and delivery of best in class innovation projects internationally, and a background in footwear design has provided guidance for the project’s foundations.
It has been Neil and Nick’s passion for the outdoors and New Zealand’s world-renowned natural ecosystems that have been the catalyst for Keuzi and our conservation focus. Despite conservation efforts in New Zealand, introduced pests are wreaking havoc on New Zealand’s native flora, birds and fauna where they cause devastating damage to broadleaved trees, notably rata, and destroy the eggs of native birds.
With a conservation focus, Keuzi is joining arms with one of New Zealand’s largest conservation organisations – to be announced soon – where a percentage of proceeds from product sales will be donated to help regenerate New Zealand’s native species by humanely reducing the rampant pest population, and boosting regional employment opportunities.
Now, after months of hard work creating boots that are as suitable an addition to a fashionable outfit, as they are with a bed robe; boots with the comfort of your favorite pair of sneakers, and the softness of a pillow, it’s time to take Keuzi’s boots to the world!
Media Release on 25 June 2020
Neil Taylor, Keuzi