Catching Up With Osiris’ Rob Dotson

Osiris' Rob Dotson is rarely at a loss for words. TransWorld Business cornered him on the ASR show floor to see what's new with Osiris, and how the show's going. When Dotson speaks, he speaks at great length and with a certain dry wit that I'm really hoping comes across at certain points in this interview. Here are the highlights:

On Cost:
Price is a huge factor right now. We are focused on getting a variety of shoes in the $49 to $54 dollar range. Retailers need product that suits their needs, and right now that's price. Kids are going through shoes every three to four weeks.  There's a need for a 'Disposable Hero' right now—a shoe that, once you get it, you blow it out, and you buy it again. That threshold seems to be at the $50 mark. We have the Chino, the Decay, and a new shoe called the 45—named for its price, $45 dollars.

On Advertising:

With our new ad campaign, we are trying to mix it up. Each month there's a still photo, a sequence, and a portrait, all from the same spot. We are trying to show the rider, what he's going through to get his trick, wasting the photographers' film. Well, it's not really film, 'cause everything's digital, but I tell them [riders] 'hey man, you're still burnin' batteries. That shit costs money.'

On Shoes:
We're just trying out a bunch of new materials—faux croc, mesh, and we've got a new one that's like Kevlar. We're just trying to have a lot of fun with what we're doing.

On Going Green:
Now we have a new thing called Eco-Freaker. We're taking the environmentally friendly, the animal rights activists, and the sneaker freaker and slamming them all together. Normally when you think of environmentally friendly shoes, you think browns, tans, and black—earthy tones. We're doing all the recycled rubbers and everything, but in the reds and the blues. Adding some color. We're trying to meld the cultures together.

On ASR:

To be honest, I haven't seen much. People are dealing with the bad economy. There's slower foot traffic, but I'll tell you, the people here are here to do business. You know who's not here? The dude looking for the party. And you know what? There aren't really any parties for him, anyway.

On "Tough Economic Times":

It's scaled back to what it needs to be. This is survival mode right now. We just got a new trade show booth. We spent some money, but it's much simpler than our old one, and ten times easier to bring to ASR, to Surf Expo, etc. And when things start growing again, our booth will, too. That's what we're saying with these promo tee shirts. We just went full retard. And you just went full retard, too.