VIBAe. A global company of friends and family with good vibes!
VIBAe is a “big small” startup company. Our mission and values are big, but our management team is a tight-knit group of five friends. The VIBAe team consists of Tammy and Ludo from Malibu, Minna, Kalle, and Hannu from Finland.
Yes, I know what you are thinking… hot and cold? They must complement each other. Well, we do! VIBAe means vibe in the Finnish language; we are all about the good vibes! Tammy and Ludo have been in the footwear industry since 1997. Kalle and Minna are serial entrepreneurs, and Hannu has a long international career in international business.
The idea of VIBAe was born in a camper van trip across Finland. We hiked the tallest mountain, Saana, amidst a snow blizzard; we mountaineered glaciers bordering Norway, rowed boats into Sweden, and discovered the many rural riverside saunas along the way. The sauna was always followed by an icy cold plunge into the river. Hot and cold, remember?
Ludo is an industrial designer with tons of experience. He is known as the “shoe dog” meaning the shoes he wears on his feet are his way of connecting with humanity. As the first sketches of VIBAe were drawn, we knew he was onto something. Our friends shared this belief. They were willing to invest their money in us, so we had to give it a go!
A start-up would mean a lot of work, but what could go wrong when working with friends and good vibes? We all shared the same values and dreams and were eager to create a new standard of ecological, ergonomic, and comfortable footwear, ethically made by artisans. VIBAe means vibe in the Finnish language, and the running joke is that the little e in VIBAe stands for “FCKN” everything that starts with an e! Check out the writing on our t-shirts and other apparel if you dare :)
We then headed to Portugal - a country renowned internationally in footwear manufacturing. We were inspired by the stunning quality and unique designs we saw there! So, with this hot passion and the occasional cold plunges all startup entrepreneurs are familiar with (sometimes things do go wrong after all, being the humans that we are), we set to develop the shoes that would blow your socks off!
The VIBAe shoes would be manufactured in Portugal by a third-generation, family-run factory, and the first pairs were sold in the summer of 2020. Fast forward a couple of years and we’re proud to say that we’ve sold VIBAe to over 50 000 people through our stores and online.
We can hardly believe our shoes are walking the earth in over 140 hot and cold countries!
Minna & Kalle
We have a store in Helsinki, where you’ll meet either Kalle or Minna, and if you are lucky, their two Pomeranians, Kaja and Mini. Kalle is a chatty charmer, but he will have a moment of silence after he helps a customer put on a pair of VIBAe. The customer's deep sigh of contentment and the realization that the shoes get even more comfortable with use is why he keeps coming to work smiling.
Minna is a creative mastermind whose keen eye for style and beauty can be witnessed on our Instagram page @VIBAeofficial. Minna and Kalle live and breathe VIBAe but enjoy nature and their stunning house in Uusikaupunki on weekends. This is why, on Saturdays, you will meet Kalle's mother at the Helsinki store.
Ludo & Tammy
Tammy and Ludo run the store in Malibu. The store represents their love of arts and design. The outdoorsy couple enjoys Zuma beach right next to their house. They hike, cycle, and make the most of every day with their hot-tempered Frenchie Lola.
Tammy and Ludo are living proof of our mission statement: "Our mission at VIBAe is to take care of your everyday well-being, and it all starts with your feet. Your feet are the natural foundation of your body; when they feel good, the rest feels good too."
Hannu wears multiple hats at VIBAe - planning and developing new stuff, growing the online business together with our partners, taking care of anything related to computing or putting out fires that need extra attention. He has gained mileage and expertise by working in several international companies; jack of all trades is his middle name.
Music and basketball, especially playing them, are his ambitions as well as tweaking his home automation setup or getting excited about ChatGPT in the evenings. Alma, soon 12-years old miniature schnauzer with a huge character, is his personal trainer.
The Cabin by Lake Päijänne is where to be with the family on weekends. It is a place to relax and enjoy the never-ending joy of renovation.
We also have smaller stores, one in Barcelona and the other in Tokyo. Since we're all about friends and family, the Barcelona store is run by Kalle's sister Anna and dynamic brother-in-law, Agustin. The Tokyo store is run by Ludo's long-time friend Dallas, who won't consider wearing anything but VIBAe.
We also have the cutest, quaintest pop-up store in Hanko, Finland during summer. New customers sometimes joke that we must have paid some people to come and compliment our shoes, as we often have someone in VIBAe shoes pass by and shout out how great our shoes are. We’re so grateful to our loyal VIBAe tribe for sharing our mission. Besides commenting to random strangers, they also sing our praises to all their friends and family and basically do half our marketing for us!
We are a happy, easy-going bunch, but we are deadly serious about our product and the service we provide. We are constantly taking more cold plunges as entrepreneurs. New models are being developed as we speak, and we are perfecting the design for our soles in collaboration with the famous Aalto University here in Finland. We'll never give up on pushing ourselves to perfect those new standards we set out to create.
We'd love to welcome you to be a part of our VIBAe tribe. Connect with us on social media or come say hi and try out your favorite VIBAe shoes. If you order online, we will send your shoes from Finland, and Kalle will do his best to help you with any concerns you might have.