Toledo Blade:

So far, Stikii Shoes — the name refers to colorful patches and emblems that children can stick on the shoes — is in its infancy.

Mr. Chew leased a generic vending cart at Westfield Franklin Park during December to unveil his product and test its potential. But in an effort to prevent people from thinking Stikii was a gimmick or a cheap product, he is having a custom cart designed that will present the product in a more professional setting.

“We didn’t come across as a corporatelike image,” he said. “Right now, people look at the brand and say, ‘I never heard of these.’ They don’t want to be the first to try it, but even under those conditions, we still sold quite a number of pairs of shoes.

Mr. Chew has spent the last 2 1/2 years and a six-figure sum (he won’t say how much) developing Stikii Shoes from a raw idea to prototype to finished patented product with manufacturing operations in China. Lightweight and available in eight bright colors, the tennis-shoelike shoes are for children ages 3 to 9 and cost $30 a pair.

But the key to the shoes — Stikii’s slogan is “Why can’t shoes be fun? — are the 56 “Stik-em” patches that cost about $1 and are sold separately to allow children to accent the shoes any way they want. The patches and shoes use a Velcrolike loop-and-hook system.