The United Kingdom has always been a champion of the entrepreneur - a nation proud to boast fervent discovery and growth. Giant corporations of the old and modern alike have emerged from its shores - conquering markets around the world with their innovative spirit.
Nevertheless, amongst the pantheon of the greatest are few that have shaped the contemporary world as much as Joe Foster's company; Reebok. Foster takes us through his journey from humble beginnings to a revolution in the way we look at and use shoes for daily life and athletic-pursuits alike.
DDW was honoured to interview the great entrepreneur and discuss the path to success and his recently released biography "Shoe Maker" on the birth of one of the world's greatest brands.
You are one of the most successful British entrepreneurs in contemporary history. Could you tell us how you got started and about your journey?
We need to start with my grandfather, also called Joe Foster back in 1895. He was a keen runner and a member of Bolton Primrose Harriers. Not a good runner from all accounts, but having learned cobbling skills from his grandfather Sam, he set about making himself a pair of ‘pumps’ with spikes in the bottom. An idea that was to transform his chosen sport of Athletics.