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Winter's coming, but Bandals footwear has a new product to boot

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Bandals is becoming more of a year-round enterprise these days, especially with the introduction of Boot Hugs.

The Rochester-based maker of adjustable thong-style sandals,
which were featured on The Today Show last July, traditionally had heavy sales in warm weather months and lulls the rest of the year. Boot Hugs, akin to a charm bracelet for boots, has helped increase sales year-round.

"We're expecting to go from double-digit growth this year to triple-digit growth in 2011," says Tom Sesti, president of Bandals.

The 3-year-old firm has also been experimenting with a home-distribution channel (think home sales) this year. It expects to roll out a bigger version of that next year. It's also looking to further spread into international markets, especially those in Europe and Asia.

Bandals now employs seven plus a couple of summer interns. The firm hired two people earlier this year and expects to do the same in 2011.

Source: Tom Sesti, president of Bandals
Writer: Jon Zemke
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