Prospect footwear company finds right fit for success

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's not every day you walk into a Kentuckiana workplace and see employees wearing slippers.
But when it's what brings in the cash, why not?
Prospect-based "Happy Feet" started as a kiosk in Mall St. Matthews and is now internationally known and locally respected for its different types of comfy footwear.

Company employee Tiffany Smith said, "It's definitely mind blowing the way that everything has progressed over the years."
There are pigs, ducks, Where's Waldo, and tennis shoe looking slippers that represent people's favorite teams.

The company's owner Pat Yates said, "I've met with a lot of people that are sort of like 'slippers, do you need me to pay your mortgage'?"

Yates is laughing all the way to the bank, because Happy Feet is a multi-million dollar company.
That's thanks in part to the slippers appearance on several high profile television shows, including "Shark Tank, The Late Show with David Letterman" and Jersey Shore."

The slippers' massive appeal has extended to the queen of the Jersey Shore. Yates said, "We picked up Snooki from the Jersey Shore. (She) made her own leopard and zebra designs and wild colors that she likes."

On lots of days, a new phone call comes in from another well-known company ready to make the next big offer.

Most recently it was DreamWorks.

Tiffany Smith, a company employee said, "It was kind of shocking actually because they reached out to us, we didn't reach out to them."

Now the characters of Shrek, Donkey and Kung Foo Panda are well represented too and others are in the works.

"We're talking to Minions, we're talking to Jurassic World," Yates said.

What's the secret here?

Yates said, "It's not like you wake up every day and you can re-invent the slipper. It's still going to go on somebody's foot, you just have to figure out how to have fun with it."

He has and it's giving Yates and his crew the kind comfort in life his slippers give feet.
"It's never been easy, but it's good," Yates said.

WDRB asked the folks at Happy Feet if they'd consider making a Snow Fox slipper.
They said they'd consider it.

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