HOLO Footwear booking it to Grand Rapids

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HOLO Footwear uses recycled material to build each shoe, ensuring its product remains affordable for the average consumer. Courtesy The Right Place

A sustainable outdoor footwear maker is moving its headquarters from Portland, Oregon, to downtown Grand Rapids.

HOLO Footwear said Monday, June 27, in partnership with The Right Place and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) it is spending $1.6 million to move its headquarters from Portland, Oregon, to 50 Louis St. NW in downtown Grand Rapids and opening e-commerce operations in the region, creating 61 new jobs.

HOLO Footwear is a Latinx-owned, sustainable outdoor footwear company that launched in 2020. Its goal is to create sustainable and attainable footwear for everyone, using recycled material to build each shoe and ensuring its product remains affordable for the average consumer. It started selling products in late 2021 in stores such as Nordstrom, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Backcountry, Macy’s, Public Lands and REI.

The company has signed a lease and has begun hiring for its e-commerce operations.

“As HOLO continues to expand, we found that West Michigan is an excellent location for our growth,” said Rommel Vega, founder and president of HOLO Footwear. “It’s a fantastic environment for our business, with access to talented designers and people from the footwear industry. We’re excited to get to work to create stylish, responsible and functional outdoor footwear. We’re thankful to the team at The Right Place and the MEDC for their partnership and collaborative support as we invest in our new headquarters and e-commerce facilities.”

The Right Place worked with the MEDC to attract the company to greater Grand Rapids rather than competing out-of-state locations, including Oregon and North Carolina. The MEDC is supporting the expansion through a $250,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund.

“Since their launch in 2020, HOLO Footwear is continuing to grow at a rapid rate,” said Brent Case, vice president of business attraction for The Right Place and project lead. “With the strong talent pool and robust economic environment, not to mention the amazing outdoor recreational playground that West Michigan has to offer, we think HOLO Footwear will thrive here in the region.”

Jeremiah Gracia, director of economic development for the city of Grand Rapids, said HOLO makes a “great addition” to the city.

“We appreciate HOLO’s commitment to making outdoor gear accessible for everyone and using recycled and renewable materials in its manufacturing processes,” he said. “Its ownership and environmental sustainability practices are precisely the types of companies we are looking to attract to Grand Rapids and the region.”

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