Chris Pavlica and Kevin Consolo are problem solvers.
The two former college roommates are the founders of SneakErasers — an all-in-one instant sneaker cleaner that they are scheduled to pitch this Friday on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” Ahead of their appearance, FN caught up with the duo, who revealed how the creation came to life.
Pavlica tells FN that he and Consolo always wanted to “come up with a million dollar idea.” The long-time friends, who attended Ohio University, both had an entrepreneurial spirit and shared a love of shoes. However, it wasn’t until way after college that SneakerErasers was born.
In 2015, Pavlica — a film director — was preparing to pitch a project to Coca-Cola in Atlanta when he noticed his sneakers were dirty, and he only had 20 minutes before the meeting.
“I googled ‘how to clean my soles,’ and all I was finding was home remedies like a scrubbing bubbles and a toothbrush or hand sanitizer and a paper towel. I had sanitizer with me and used all of the Kleenex in my hotel room,” Pavlica said, adding that he was able to get his shoes in a decent condition, but that’s when the light bulb went off.
“I dialed Kevin, and I said ‘Man, if we can solve this problem this might be the idea we’ve been looking for,” Pavlica continued. From there, Pavlica and Consolo joined forces, researching cleansing products and formulas.
They quickly realized that most of the products on the market were useful, but didn’t get out scuff marks. They also noticed that most shoe cleaners came in kits that were equipped with a brush and spray, which isn’t exactly practical for those on-the-go moments.
“So, for the next year and a half we were experimenting and then we got to a point where we felt we finally had something,” Pavlica continued.
Keeping convenience in mind, Pavlica explained that he and Consolo came up with a one-stop-shop product. SneakerErasers consists of a sponge and shammy and is created with a secret, all-natural cleaning formula. The product allows you to easily remove tough stains from sneakers, running shoes, cleats and even children’s shoes by just adding water. For traveling purposes, Pavlica and Consolo also developed a pre-moistened SneakerErasers that allows you to tackle dirt with one easy step.
Pavlica and Consolo first envisioned the product for sneakerheads, but soon realized SneakerErasers is a must-have product for parents, athletes, teachers and more.
Since their launch, SneakerErasers has been placed on retail shelves in over 35,000 retail locations in the U.S., and they aren’t stopping there. The duo also launched GolfErasers and AutoErasers for golfing and auto accessories and gear.
After finding success, Pavlica and Consolo decided it was time to take things to the next level, and they applied to present their invention on “Shark Tank.”
“There was a white space in the market,” Consolo tells FN of how they intrigued the show’s Sharks. “There are products that aren’t great on scuff marks, and we created that best-of-both-worlds [solution], and we continue to innovate. We’ve built something convenient and effective, and we’re going to continue to push the envelope.”
“By the time we shot the show, we were in a ton of retail spaces, and we wanted to entice them by saying, ‘Look at how much traction we’re getting.’ However, at the same time, we needed to prove we still needed help… and I think we did just that,” Pavlica chimed in.
“No one else is doing what we’re doing,” Pavlica added.