By Ali Lucia

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Brothers Matt and James McManus founded Bokos Sandals about four years ago.

During college, at the University of Wisconsin, the duo ran a T-shirt business. While their T-shirt sales are a thing of the past, together they are hoping that sandals will be their future.

Open up the McManus family two-stall garage in Plymouth and you won’t see any cars. Instead, hundreds of boxes filled with their newest business venture – Bokos.

“Bokos is made up name,” Matt McManus said. “We liked the symmetry of the word itself, almost like Google.”

Matt now splits his time working between Uptown and his mother’s home.

The business, which stems from brotherly love, sells one product – rubber made shoes.

The idea was inspired after a co-founder James, the older of the two brothers’, trip to Beijing. A pair of shoes he brought back gained traction amongst his friends.

“He moved back to China, and he’s fluent in Chinese,” Matt said.

Matt now handles the business development for Bokos.

“Anytime a retail order comes in, or an order from a customer through our website, we are in [his mother’s spare bedroom] packaging them up. So, a fair amount of time can be spent in the fulfillment room,” Matt said.

Matt is the company’s first full time employee as of January 2015. He keeps all the inventory in his mother’s home.

“Easy to clean, anti-odor, nice quality product and we sell them for under $20 bucks. Actually $18 to be exact,” Matt said.

While the slip on shoe isn’t designed for Minnesota winters, the sandals, which are made from a single piece of rubber, are designed for your everyday activity.

“People wear them in their garden, before and after yoga, runners will wear them, cyclers,” Matt said. “Starting Bokos and making Bokos is a full time gig and was definitely the dream.”

So far the Bokos brand can be found at Penn Cycle, Dunham Sports and hospital gift shops, but the majority of their sales come from their online retail store.

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