CALDWELL, Idaho — It's easy to find flip-flops and slides at any shoe vendor or department store, but finding one that is made locally is easier than you think. NuuSol, based in Caldwell, went into business three years ago.
"We do our own manufacturing, our own distribution, sales fulfillment, we have four different styles of footwear currently," said NuuSol President and Owner Chance Stevenson.
They incorporate something that you'll rarely find being used here in the United States.
"We do EVA injection manufacturing for our products," said Stevenson.
It might be safe to say that most people have no clue what EVA is. Stevenson gives a visual example of what the plastic-like material can do.
"So what I'm holding are both women's size 6. This is the size of the mold cavity. If you don't add expansion material and foam to it, this is what it would be. Just a hard little rock like this," explained Stevenson.
The footwear company has become successful so quickly they've doubled their profits every year since inception, been able to hire more locals regularly and expanded their line of main products from one to four in just three years.
But the fact that Stevenson says he's most proud of is their location, being one of the only footwear companies to produce their products solely in the United States.
"There is so much footwear built overseas. Why not here? Why not in America? It can be done, and we're proving it. It's a challenge no doubt, but we're proving the model is successful," said Stevenson.
The decision to keep everything here in Idaho has made going through the pandemic just a little easier for them.
"It's been a challenge but we face a lot less challenge than many of our competitors do cause we're not dealing with trying to navigate this backed up supply chain coming from overseas or dealing with facilities being shut down," said Stevenson.
But no matter what state or country you buy them in, every customer gets a little piece of the Gem State.
"We name every one of our products after a city in Idaho, and we intend to keep that pattern up. We're very proud of our state and to bring a little recognition to these small towns is great," said Stevenson.
While other footwear companies may head overseas to save a buck, this proud Made in Idaho company isn't going anywhere.
"Idaho's our home. Multi-generational. We're rabid backcountry people and to be able to start a company and bring jobs to the Treasure Valley, it's very important to us," smiled Stevenson.
One more tidbit about NuuSol is their charitable aspect. They tell us that there are several different inspections that each pair of sandals and slides goes through before being distributed to look for anything wrong, including minor cosmetic blemishes.
Instead of tossing those ones in the trash, the footwear is donated to Soles4Souls, a non-profit that distributes footwear to those who need it in countries all around the world.