Peninsula entrepreneur's heart is in soles
Arwyn Rice/Peninsula Daily News
George Peterson stands with a display of his Proper Flops sandals at Family Shoe Store in Port Angeles.
By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
Print This | Email This
Today's PDN Page 1 . . . and read faster, absorb more -- 12/5/13 -07:50 PM
PENINSULA HOME FUND — Donors' generosity lifts couple toward a better life -- 12/3/13 -10:51 PM
SIMPLY THE BEST! Neah Bay wins 1B state championship by beating Touchet 36-18 [Gallery] -- 12/7/13 -07:20 AM
Appellate jurists uphold prison sentence of former sheriff’s evidence room employee -- 12/7/13 -09:47 AM
WEEKEND: Tree ceremony, Santa to ring in season in Port Townsend -- 12/5/13 -06:00 PM
Proper Flops, a company that designs and markets sandals with orthopedic footbeds, moved its order fulfillment department from Boise, Idaho, to Port Angeles three months ago, said owner George Peterson.
Peterson, 32, has hired two part-time workers to assist with distribution but plans on expanding operations in Port Angeles.
Currently, the shoes are made in Georgia, but as soon as funding is available, Peterson said he hopes to move the operation to Port Angeles.
In addition to online orders at www.properflops.com, the company sells shoes through stores, such as Family Shoe Store in Port Angeles.
Peterson has a diverse work background that includes retail sales and fishing in Alaska.
“I never thought I would be in the shoe business,” Peterson said.
The whole thing started with a bad decision in a foreign country, he said.
He said he hates wearing closed shoes, so when he took a backpacking trip to Southeast Asia, he was wearing his favorite flip-flops.
That decision resulted in injuries such as a painful case of plantar fasciitis, an inflamation of ligaments on the soles of his feet.
Peterson said that while he was flying home, with his feet swollen “like watermelons,” seeds of the idea for Proper Flops were germinated.
What if he could have shoes that offered the freedom of flip-flops but with engineering that would prevent foot injuries?
“I'm a little bit of a dreamer,” he said.
He worked up a set of personal requirements, such as having orthopedic footbeds — cushioned and contoured for support — and being manufactured in the U.S.
He began creating the company in 2009, and in 2012, the first Proper Flops flipped off the line at a plant in Georgia.
For a time the shoes were shipped to a distributor in Idaho, but Peterson decided to move the company to Clallam County.
Peterson graduated from Sequim High School in 2000 and has wanted to do whatever he can to help the area's struggling economy.
“I love it here, it's my home,” he said.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: September 15. 2013 6:04PM