Kenny Johnson started his light shoe business three years ago, little did he know shoes would bring light, in a different way.
“I wanted to create bright shoes with college teams and logos on them,” said Johnson, owner of the Lumn8 brand.
Johnson grew up playing basketball in Bartlesville and spent time on the court for Kansas and Oklahoma State.
He began the work to figure out how to light the shoes and obtain the appropriate patents and licenses.
“The big companies out there, the Nikes, the Adidas, the Under Armour, already have varsity deals for the field, whatever they’re wearing, they don’t like having a lot of competition,” Johnson said.
He was able to get a license with most college, NBA, NFL and MLB teams, but he wanted to do something for his mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was in eighth grade.
“She never gave up, and that still teaches me everyday to never give up,” Johnson said.
He reached out to the Susan G Komen Foundation to create a pink light up shoe for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“So now I have the Susan G Komen Enlightening Shoe that generates revenue. Every sale I make, 75% of the sales go to the Susan G Komen Foundation,” Johnson said.
He surprised his mother, a 38-year-old breast cancer survivor, with the shoes she inspired.
“You can put the name of the person you’re walking for, it’s my mom’s name, Marianne Johnson, and I have the logos, and she’s a survivor, so they can personalize it,” Johnson said. .
As with all of his shoes, they are charged via USB, with 7 different colors and four different flashing patterns.
“When you light up the shoe and walk outside and if they’re in heaven, they can see you there and say you can see me here because I have light up shoes,” Johnson said.
For Johnson, the purpose of shoes is a bit more personal.
“If I can do something that could allow another eighth grader to spend the rest of their life with their mom and get support and love, that means the world to me,” Johnson said.
For more information on lumn8 or to order shoes, visit their website.