FARRELL, Pa. (WKBN) — Three men are hoping to put their Farrell company on the map by putting better-fitting shoes on your feet.
“Some of our retailers say as soon as a customer puts on a Lems that they are sold, so as soon as you get it on the foot, you are good to go,” said Brad Mansicolo, vice president of marketing for Lems Shoes.
“We will get calls from people and they assume we are in some big high-rise in a major city and we are like ‘yea, there are three of us here in the back of a steel plant right now,” said Steve Perna, vice president of sales for Lems Shoes.
The company was founded by Andrew Rademacher, a Hermitage native, who was a pole vaulter at Purdue University. While there, he could not find a pair of shoes that worked for him, so he took the matter into his own hands.
“He would buy shoes, take them apart to see how shoes were made. And he just continued to do research and figure out the best most beneficial way a shoe could help the foot,” Maniscolo said.
That way was with a wider toe, and no heel, which is the way all of Lems shoes are made. You can buy Lems online and in some local businesses like Reyers in Sharon, which is a local business selling shoes created by western Pennsylvania natives.
“Those people are trying to make it just as we are. We have to compete with some of the larger companies and we have to try and hold our own. It’s refreshing to help someone in a small business and at the same time supporting ourselves,” Perna said.
With more than 6,000 pairs sold last year alone, the local business is helping make Mercer County a name in the shoe industry.
“To have Farrell or Sharon on our logo and on our website is humbling to us because we are from here and it does, it makes us feel good,” Perna said.
Rademacher is currently in China showing new designs for the latest Lems line of shoes.