Spotlight on Student Entrepreneurs: DHHS’s Kiran Pathy

For your average 15-year-old student, adjusting to high school is a full time job, but not for DHHS freshman Kiran Pathy. He started at Hand this year and started his own business.  

Kiran founded Klean Kicks, a shoe company that allows for customization of the shoes through the art of hydro dipping – a method for applying print designs to three-dimensional products -, with his cousin. Kiran said he has always tried to customize his clothing and wanted to find a way into the business himself.

“Over the summer I was watching a video of a guy customizing shoes and it inspired me to do something like what he was doing and put my own spin on it so I created this, the hydro dipping company,” he said.  

He started out just making shoes for himself, but quickly realized other people were interested in the product too. 

“It started when I went to a sleepaway camp in Washington D.C. and I was wearing the shoes,” he said.  “One of the roommates I was with said he really liked them and wanted to buy them and that is when I thought oh I can scale this and turn it into something bigger.”  

Setting up the business had its challenges according to Kiran who said all of the paperwork was a bit daunting. Once the business was formed, Kiran and his cousin pitched their product to numerous professional athletes and received positive responses from two basketball players and one football player.

“We got a few responses from some professional athletes and we have made the shoes and we are planning to send them out as soon as possible,” he said. “We are trying to expand the business by making shoes for professional athletes and influencers. That can be our tool to market it, get it to well-known names so that their fans can see this.” 

Kiran said there have been some ups and downs with the businesses but he is glad he pursued this. He said if students have an idea, they should take a chance and try and turn that idea into a reality.   

“Even if you are worried about starting – even if it isn’t a business and it is just an activity or something – just do it, no matter what because you never know if you will succeed or fail,” he said. “I know along the way I have learned so much that is not necessarily related to the shoes like how to persevere through challenges that I have faced. I think it is important to try new things, even if you are not sure about it – just adventure.”    

Visit the Klean Kicks webpage to learn more

Madison values the opportunities for students to explore and grow some of the attributes discussed in Kiran Pathy’s story through capacities that are embedded in every curricular unit that is developed.   If a student is interested in pursuit of developing an idea- Daniel Hand High School also offers a course in Entrepreneurship in the CTE offerings in the Business Management Pathway.