Luxury brand designer Kenneth Cole was an enthusiastic 28 years old in 1982. After being fascinated with the design process at his father’s shoe factory, he opted for crafting shoes over law school. Cole’s eureka moment came while trying to solve the problem of acquiring customers in New York. Those days the only way of addressing customers for designer shoes was to have a boutique around a big hotel like the Hilton or have a shop in the hotel itself. Given his budget, both options were not viable.
Kenneth Cole thought of using a trailer as a make-shift boutique. He called the Mayor to check about the parking permission. He was nearly laughed off. The Mayor told him that such permission was possible only in two conditions; for a utility company servicing the city or a movie production company for film shooting.
Not one to be dissuaded, the next day Cole changed the name of his company to Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. and applied for a permit to shoot a movie. The film was called The Birth of a Shoe Company. He hired a 40-foot trailer with the equipment, director and models for the shoot.
Over the next two and a half days he sold over 40,000 pairs of shoes!
To this day his company continues to be called Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc.
Lesson – When you hit a wall, think differently. Be a problem solver.