Grand Rapids native Kevin Walker and business partner Emmanuel Oliha develop customizable moccasin loafers for kids
A Grand Rapids entrepreneur recently teamed up with a Los Angeles-based designer to develop a new children’s apparel brand that launched late this summer.
EmaNeo offers high-quality, slip-on moccasin loafers with an easygoing, yet elegant style. Each pair of loafers come with the add-on accessory of an interchangeable bowtie.
The business was developed by Grand Rapids native Kevin Walker and Emmanuel Oliha. EmaNeo officially launched in August and the brand's products are available online exclusively at Amazon.com.
Walker said that the original concept of apparel that allows kids to interact with their clothing was developed by Oliha, along with his wife Nicole, and son Noble.
By offering interchangeable bows, children can pick out parts of their outfit each day and be more involved in decisions from a young age.
EmaNeo allows kids to have fun and embrace their own personal style.
“As parents, we usually are always dressing our kids. Everything they wear on a day-to-day basis, we put it on them,” Walker said. “This allows them to pick a little bit of their style each and every day and interact with what they are wearing.”
Their footwear is available for infants all the way up to children six-years old.
EmaNeo describes its black and tan loafers as easygoing, elegant, and versatile. Walker said the loafers are suitable for everyday casual wear as well as more formal occasions. They can be utilized as dress shoes for boys and girls.
Additionally, the soles are designed for maximum traction, to help keep a busy toddler on his or her feet. The faux suede upper material is tightly woven which enables the material to be more stain repellent, allowing for an easier clean.
Walker and Oliha met while attending St. Thomas University in St. Paul. In time, the two entrepreneurs plan to expand to other distribution channels.
As a Grand Rapids graduate, Walker said he has received overwhelming positive feedback, especially from his hometown and he is offering a coupon code available for use on EmaNeo’s Amazon page.
When ordering EmaNeo loafers on Amazon, enter the coupon code "GrandRapids". The code expires on Oct. 17 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.
“It’s been really exciting to have so much positive feedback from customers,” Walker said. “We are excited to continue to develop our brand and we plan to add product lines.”