Many people leave their shoes outside and wear slippers when entering a home. Entrepreneurs Ryan Cruz, Kevin Zamora, and Eric Cruz got tired of this, so they invented Muvez, shoes that can be turned into slippers. After getting a deal on Shark Tank, Muvez is worth $3 million in 2024.
Ryan and Eric Cruz are brothers from New York City. Ryan studied industrial and product design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, while Eric got a master’s degree in Business and Sports Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Kevin Zamora is from Carlstadt, New Jersey and has two associate degrees, one from Miami Dade College and one from Bergen Community College. He has also interned for The Walt Disney Company.
The co-founders initially had different career paths but were brought together when Ryan was given a college assignment to reinvent a common consumer item.
The Inspiration Behind Muvez
Eric decided to help with his brother’s assignment. When the two noticed the wear and tear of their mechanic father’s slippers, they came up with the idea of creating footwear with removable soles, which allows it to transform from a shoe to a slipper.
The Cruz boys purchased materials from their neighborhood craft store and started molding the initial iteration of their product. Ryan’s professor didn’t like the idea, but they did not give up on it.
They started working with Kevin, who had already helped launch several startups by this point. The three of them co-founded Muvez in 2017. They made a Kickstarter campaign and raised $33,873. After a year, they did $70,000 in sales.
Closing a Deal with Daymond John
In 2020, the aspiring business trio’s request to pitch their product on Shark Tank was accepted. They entered the tank, offering Sharks 15% equity in Muvez for $200,000, valuing the company at over $1.3 million.
The show’s cast admired their specialized footwear as well as how well the trio grew the business in the early stages. However, most of them concluded that the shoe industry is too competitive.
Lori Greiner saw its potential but was a bit hesitant. She proposed doing a deal with Daymond John, but Daymond wanted to go solo with an offer of $200,000 for 33%. The founders of Muvez countered with $200,000 for 25%, and Daymond accepted. The guys were thrilled as it was clear they wanted Daymond on board before the pitch.
Success After Shark Tank
It is reported that Muvez quadrupled its 2019 revenue of $100,000 just three months after its Shark Tank episode aired. The massive sales boost happened when many non-essential businesses were forced to close because of the pandemic.
This led to Eric, Ryan, and Kevin packing the orders themselves but it still worked out well in the end for them. In 2020, the company launched a product line for women. In 2022, Muvez’s ‘New Traveler’ show is available for pre-order. To help support customers, the company allows customers to pay in installments through Shop Pay.
They have started partnering with several athletes in the NBA, including Langston Galloway and the Detroit Pistons. Currently, the shoes are for sale on their website and on Amazon. With a current value of $3 million, the company is heading in the right direction. Muvez wasn’t able to get a patent on heel security technology. As a result, they couldn’t pursue licensing deals with larger shoe brands.