Before he was spending nights in the lab mixing and perfecting our plant-based formula, Amir was spending his nights mixing music on DJ decks around Toronto. His passion for art, music and, of course, sneaker culture, was kick-started while touring across North America, DJing in cities across the continent.
Often he would seek out the best sneaker shops while visiting a new place, discovering their unique vibe, vision and contribution to their city’s cultural impact. This routine would give Amir an insight —
By immersing himself into these communities and meeting the people behind the impact, he discovered how they all connected to push global trends.
By 25, Amir would shift gears back to his studies. But after contributing to multiple publications in brain tumour research at the University of Toronto, his passion for culture and art remained as strong as ever.
Then came Shoe Laundry.
At first, the initial vision was a retail presence, sitting at the intersection of footwear, music, and collecting. But Amir’s background in research, as well as his passion for knowledge pushed the vision further, eventually to an environmentally-friendly offering, with community and sustainability as key pillars.
Now, several adventures and iterations later, Shoe Laundry is the by-product of his past experiences, which also carries a clear vision of a future that works better for its customers and community, while being better for the planet.
How did you get into DJing?
When I was 18, my sister took me to a lounge and the first thing I noticed was the DJ spinning. The blending, the selection, creating the vibe, it all just immediately captured my attention. Then, after visiting and meeting the team numerous times, I got a job at Play De Record, which connected me with the best DJs in and visiting Toronto, and provided a true masterclass in music.
So you quit to go back to school?
Yeah. After DJing on weekends for five years, I was burning candles on both ends. I wanted to be able to rely on something outside of DJing. Plus, I’m just a curious person by nature. I’ve always loved learning
Hang on. You went from DJing, to research in neuro-oncology? Now shoe care? Um...
[laughs] I'm a creative person by nature. The creativity from the lab part was great, the research was great. But, think about Entropy, the order of thermodynamics [Editor’s note: google it]. I want to be selective about where I play. For a long time, I thought about that. From there, I realized that I wanna establish something that's mine within the city and is a piece of this community.
So what’s the Big Vision™ for Shoe Laundry?
Making sure Shoe Laundry meets our promise is the top priority. We want to prove that its effectiveness as a plant-based shoe cleaning formula beats out other products, while offering and encouraging sustainable, environmentally-friendly business practices, that is all proudly made in Canada. From there, I want to open up a retail experience for the community.
I guess it all connects.
Everything in life funnels down to your lightbulb moment. If you can have a better understanding of every space you work in, it will give you a better understanding of life. It’s all connected, an extension of each other.