By: Ryan Eldridge, BS’14
OUR STORY: Equality, family and you.
ESLO, a new shoe venture started by IUPUI alumni, wants to harnesses 50+ years of authentic shoe crafting experience to provide children with leather-made Chukkas, Oxfords, and Wingtips that support and nurture their growing feet while simultaneously being modern, sleek and stylish.
Meet the team, grown right here at IUPUI, who launched this e-commerce based shoe venture on Kickstarter on March 28th: Founder Eduardo Salcedo, who is currently a masters student in mechanical engineering at IUPUI, along with his co-founders Lorenc Qorlaze, a 2014 graduate from the IU Kelley School of Business on IUPUI’s campus and Ryan Eldridge, a 2014 honors graduate from IU Kelley School of Business on IUPUI’s campus.
In 1965, Eduardo’s grandfather started this journey in the small town of Jesus Maria, Mexico.
Back then, men migrated to find jobs, and women weren’t allowed to work. However, he advocated on their behalf and strove for workplace equality. Thanks to his perseverance, these women soon became the ones helping him build the foundation for the company you see today; one defined by equality, family and passion.
A new chapter in the family’s generational journey is now providing children with footwear backed by generations of experience — and now includes modern day e-commerce, digital marketing and social media practices.
Although our grand story starts in Jesus Maria, its newest chapter, ESLO, begins at Kelley on IUPUI’s campus.
Lorenc, a Kelley School of Business student, and Eduardo, an engineering student, met their freshman year at IUPUI. They became quick friends, and over the next four years, began constructing the ideation of ESLO.
Separately, I (Ryan) had my own dream of one day starting a custom shoe design venture. My personal Kelley moments occurred in classes like the entrepreneurship class, Kelley’s renowned ICore program, Professor Cox’s marketing classes and professor Wendeln’s J402 business simulation. All of the professors and classes I took at Kelley inspired me, and gave me the building blocks to one day make my dream a reality.
After college, with a Kelley education under my belt, I pursued a custom shoe venture named Albany Shoes.
I also worked part time at Sun King Brewing Company, a company with its own entrepreneurial success that has been an incredible inspiration to me.
After a year of effort, Albany Shoes hit too many road blocks and came to a standstill.
But during my hiatus from Albany, I was introduced to Eduardo through his Kelley peer Lorenc. Combining Lorenc’s supply chain and finance degree, my marketing degree and year of entrepreneurial experience and Eduardo’s lifelong knowledge of the shoe crafting world, the grand vision for ESLO began taking shape.
Our ESLO team utilized many local establishments – whether it was their services or encouragement – to get the venture to where it is today. From the Speakeasy co-working space in Indianapolis, to Thirsty Scholar, a local coffee shop (cause every venture team needs coffee and good Wi-Fi), to IUPUI, Sun King Brewing and even Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick, who aired a story on ESLO to showcase local entrepreneurial activity.
Thanks to Kelley and the help of many great people and establishments here in Indianapolis, after over a year and a half of hard work, learning curves and persistence, ESLO has finally gotten to this moment: the launch of its Kickstarter.
That’s why we need YOU!
To learn more about our journey, how Kelley prepared us and our Kickstarter, email Ryan Eldridge at firstname.lastname@example.org.