Heeling Art

The first step toward getting his life back to where he wanted it was getting his shoe business off on the right foot.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the May 2002 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine. Subscribe »

Vital Stats: Roger Adams, 47, inventor and president of Heeling Sports Ltd.

Company: Athletic footwear company founded in 1998 that features Heelys, a shoe with a removable wheel in the heel.

2001 Sales: more than $25 million

Roller Boy: "I grew up in a roller rink. My claim to fame was being [in the Guinness Book of World Records] as the youngest baby to roller skate. My mom and dad had skating rinks, my sister had a huge skate distributorship, and my nephew manufactured skates. I was the only one who did the unthinkable and [broke from tradition]. But I'm back!"


"There's a magic in believing in your product, and, when that comes, the rest falls into place."

Wheels Start Turning: "It was a crazy time in my life; I had gone through a divorce and hated my job. I saw these kids on inline skates, skateboards and bicycles and flashed back to a time when I was happier. I thought, 'There's got to be something new out there.' I started tinkering in my garage, got the neighborhood kids involved, and, after a few days, I thought I really I had something."

The Ball Got Rolling: "I started talking to big shoe companies and some other folks. But a call from a VC presented a deal I couldn't refuse, which was to keep the majority of the company, name, management and do it myself."

Wheel Bliss: "This has been a blessing for me. There's something about being willing to say 'I've had it; I'm going to do something I want to do.' That, coupled with finding something I believe in, is what made Heelys work."

Contact Source

More from Entrepreneur

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

Whether you are launching or growing a business, we have all the business tools you need to take your business to the next level, in one place.
Enroll Now

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.