We had the good fortune of connecting with Haik Zadoyan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Haik, how does your business help the community or world?
My last two businesses were in the healthcare and hospitality sectors. Before my restaurant Kaffe Rouge, I operated a large medical spa company in Los Angeles. Naturally in these two industries, I was surrounded by nurses, PAs, chefs, bartenders and servers. I co-founded Snibbs footwear to solve a problem that was evident in these industries – the shoes my employees wore were either not meant specifically for their job, or they simply lacked function or aesthetic. Snibbs are waterproof, certified slip-resistant and orthopedic designed shoes that are meant for anyone who is on their feet all day. Wearing them allows workers to remain comfortable, safe and confident so that they can focus on what they do best: helping people everyday. Now, people don’t have to decide between shoes that look good or shoes that are functional – Snibbs are the one stop solution!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
While I still own and operate my restaurant Kaffe Rouge, my most recent project is a footwear company called Snibbs. Work shoes are dime a dozen, but they’re often ugly or lack in quality and function. Snibbs were created to solve both of those problems. Aside from looking cool, they are waterproof, slip-resistant and designed in partnership with an orthopedic surgeon which is what really sets us apart. Snibbs are meant to be good for you, so standing on your feet for 12 hours is no longer something you dread on a daily basis. Starting Snibbs was certainly not easy. I had no previous experience in footwear development or design. I always loved sneakers, but creating and manufacturing shoes is a totally different beast than being a sneakerhead. Luckily, I had some great partners with me on the journey. It took 5 years to really perfect the shoe, and there were a ton of revisions and testing along the way. We wanted to create the perfect work shoe – not just another one. Along the way, I’ve learned that it’s important to never rush things and to trust in the process. It’s important to not have a know-it-all attitude, because there is so much to learn everyday. No matter how much I learn, I always consider myself a student because you can never fully stop mastering your craft.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would want to give someone visiting LA for the first time a taste of all the different areas in the city because they all have so much to offer. Being a lover of food and beverage, it goes without saying that a lot of visits would be LA’s amazing restaurants and bars. There are infinite options that are all great, and there’s not many ways you can go wrong with our dining scene. A few of my favorite restaurants include Night + Market Song, Republique, Osteria Mozza, Bestia, Sushi Yuzu, Bill’s Burgers, Dave’s Hot Chicken (and of course a stop at In-N-Out). For bars: Bar Stella, Tiki-Ti, The Varnish, Augustine, Tonga Hut, Jones, The Green Room and Alchemy to name a few. Besides that, of course a visit (or two) to the beach, along with a day trip out of the city to Disneyland or wine tasting in Santa Ynez. For a first timer, it would also be important to show them the more “touristy” spots like the Santa Monica Pier, Getty Center, Griffith Observatory, etc.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There have been many amazing people who have inspired me and helped me along the way. However, I think it’s only fair to especially credit my parents and friends. They were the ones who really pushed me to do what I love doing, and gave me much needed confidence during times of hardship and struggle. In those moments of uncertainty, they were always there to remind me to never doubt myself.
Website: www.snibbs.co and www.kafferouge.com