Custom shoes, high-profile clients propel DU student’s business

DENVER (KDVR) — Do you wear your heart on your sole?

That’s the question greeting customers at Zak Mbereko’s office at the University of Denver.

Mbereko, a senior studying business administration at the University of Denver, has always loved art and shoe culture. Through the university’s BASE Camp accelerator program, a boot camp for entrepreneurs, he was able to launch his own company, “This is Art.”

“I’ve had a fascination with footwear since a young age,” Mbereko said sitting by a basic white shoe on a work table. “Ever since I was a little kid I always thought if I put on Tony Hawk shoes or Lionel Messi’s cleats I would develop their power.”

This dream is now a reality as customers can customize their own shoes with Mbereko’s artistic talent. 

“I just see endless possibilities with different ideas,” he said.

“This is Art” has produced group orders for the DU gymnastics team and athletes on the Colorado College hockey team, as well as one-off specialty designs for clients including Grammy-nominated poet Sekou Andrews and Deion Sanders’ family.

And that’s the real payoff, seeing his artwork outside the lab.

“Being able to see people wear the shoes and that they’re enjoying every single second, and knowing this is another way for them to express themselves,” Mbereko said. “It’s a feeling that brings a smile to my face.”

See more of Mbereko’s work on his Instagram page, instagram.com/this.is.art.llc.


Source: Rocky Mountain News

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