Tate Chalk enjoys taking risks, even if it means doing drastic things. For example, in 1999, he sold a million-dollar business to move to Los Angeles and try his hand at acting. While out there, he learned that nothing challenges perseverance like show business does, and he could rely only on his own ability and resourcefulness to be successful. After two roles in feature films and a number of independent films, Chalk decided instead to pursue his dream of building something special in the footwear industry, and in the fall of 2003, Nfinity Products & Services Inc. was founded.
Chalk’s inspiration to start the company was the recognition that footwear was not meeting the needs of the female athlete. Nfinity revolutionized cheerleading footwear by developing the world’s first spring-floor cheerleading shoe, but doing this wasn’t without its challenges. The company’s first orders were sold using one sample pair of shoes and 150 promotional T-shirts. Almost 30 percent of the initial production was returned. The largest cheerleading retailer declined to offer Nfinity shoes for the first season and a half, and the shoe was the most expensive in the category. All of these factors combined to make survival all but impossible, but despite that, Chalk led the company to not just survive but also thrive.
In just five years, the Nfinity brand has become the No. 1 shoe in the competitive cheerleading market even beating out giants like Nike, Adidas and Reebok. At the most recent IASF World Cheerleading Competition, about 75 percent of all athletes and 90 percent of the winners sported Nfinity shoes. While his dedication is evident, he also challenges his team to devote the same amount of time and energy into engineering women’s performance shoes that protect and empower female athletes.
How to reach: Nfinity Products & Services Inc., www.nfinity.com