After about 75 years in business DeWitt Plastics in Auburn is branching out and selling its core product directly to consumers everywhere.
The company has produced millions of the simple but effective devices for department and shoe stores all over the U.S. to use in their displays of boots.
“The Shaper Store” CEO Phil Hess tells NewsChannel 9, “We said ‘you know what, why don’t we just sell them to people and go direct to consumer’ and it’s a nice clean, simple website they can choose from and order as many as they want.”
The website shows off a more colorful take on this company staple.
Phil Hess describes the ease of putting their boot forms in, “What you do is just get your boot, put one side down in first, slide it down, push the other one down, it pressurizes the boot. It’s kind of one size fits all.”
Now in his third generation with Dewitt Plastics, Phil Hess has convinced his father to bring “The Shaper Store” into the company’s fold.
Dewitt Plastics has a long and rich history of offering a diverse product line built around finding the best way for it’s customers to display shoes and boots.
“The same displays you’re using one season are not the same for the next, from one year to the next it’ll be a change so in maintaining those relationships establishing our viability as a supporter to that market it gives us an opportunity to be in on the next round of need.” Says Dewitt Plastics President David Hess.
While the work of heating and pushing plastic into forms at high pressure has been the same for years Hess says changes in shoe technology, style and preference forces Dewitt Plastics to be responsive to customer demand.
He says, “One of the things we’ve done with Clark’s for instance, they’ve got a design where there’s actually perforations in the sole of the shoe so you can get air circulating through the shoe. People want to see those details and it’s a hands-on situation so putting something inside that shoe to present it isn’t necessary any longer.”
Phil Hess said, “Over the years I walk into stores with people and start looking at what’s in the shoe and they say what are you looking at and I’m like we make these, here’s our logo.”
“Phil’s point in terms of you realize this is going into the third-generation was a bit of an eye opener and you sit back and say you know what there’s all the more reason to keep this going.” David Hess tells NewsChannel 9.