FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2022
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Governor Whitmer announces that sustainable footwear manufacturer HOLO Footwear is opening its Grand Rapids headquartersCreation of 61 high-wage jobs
LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to announce that HOLO Footwear, a manufacturer of sustainable outdoor footwear, has moved its headquarters from Portland, Oregon to downtown with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund Grand Rapids relocated.
“Today’s investment by HOLO Footwear will create 61 high-paying jobs in West Michigan and help our state’s economy keep one foot in front of the other,” he said Governor Gretchen Whitmeright “My administration has focused on growing our economy, creating jobs and investing in every region of Michigan. HOLO Footwear’s investment in Michigan is possible because of economic development funding approved by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation or MEDC. Over the past year in Michigan, we’ve worked across the aisle to enable MEDC to compete for every project and every job, including a $7 billion investment by GM to create 4,000 jobs and an investment of $2 billion from Ford to create 3,200 jobs. We will continue to work bipartisanly to ensure Michigan’s innovative businesses and hard-working people can thrive.”
HOLO plans to settle into a move-in ready facility in Grand Rapids where it will add machinery and equipment and begin opening e-commerce stores in the region. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $1.5 million and create 61 high-paying jobs, supported by a $250,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Business Development Program. HOLO chose Michigan for its headquarters over competing locations in North Carolina and Oregon. West Michigan was selected for the project because of its robust outdoor recreation opportunities, strong talent pool and attractive business environment.
HOLO shoes, a minority-owned company founded in 2020 in Portland, Oregon, creates sustainable outdoor footwear that is accessible to a diverse range of consumers. The company uses recycled material in every shoe with the aim of ensuring that its products remain affordable for the average consumer. The company currently sells through retail partners including REI, Nordstrom and Dick’s Sporting Goods and plans to launch its own e-commerce operation at its Michigan facility.
“Congratulations to the entire HOLO team on your continued growth and success. We are pleased to welcome you to Michigan and appreciate your vote of confidence in our state and in our workforce,” he said Quentin Messer Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chairman of the Michigan Strategic Fund. “This project is a win for West Michigan and the entire state. We are grateful to the Governor and Legislatures for their continued support of the Michigan Business Development Program. We’re proud to celebrate HOLO’s new headquarters with our partners at The Right Place and the City of Grand Rapids. We look forward to working together to create jobs and offer more opportunities to our friends and neighbors.”
The project will immediately bring high-paying, modern manufacturing jobs to West Michigan. HOLO plans to provide a home for design students to start and grow their careers and then retain that talent in the state. The project will also help West Michigan expand its apparel design base and will solidify the company’s presence and future growth in the state. In addition, HOLO plans to partner with outdoor recreation companies to take advantage of Michigan’s abundant hiking trails, lakes and outdoor recreation potential.
“As HOLO continues to expand, we have found West Michigan to be an excellent location for our growth,” he said Rommel Vega, Founder and President of HOLO Footwear. “It’s a fantastic environment for our business, with access to talented designers and people from the footwear industry. We look forward to getting to work to create stylish, responsible and functional outdoor footwear. We are grateful to the team at The Right Place and the MEDC for their partnership and collaboration in supporting the investment in our new headquarters and e-commerce facilities.”
“Michigan is pleased to welcome HOLO and looks forward to a successful future partnership,” he said Brad Garmon, director of Michigan’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. “Not only is the outdoor recreation industry a fundamental part of Michigan’s lifestyle, it is also a large part of our current and future economy – it represents nearly $10 billion in value-added GDP each year, including nearly $1.2 billion Dollars straight from manufacturing specialty outdoor recreation items. With our large pool of talented designers and the state’s commitment to advanced manufacturing, sustainable materials and innovation in apparel and footwear, HOLO will be in good company in West Michigan.”
The Right Place worked closely with MEDC to persuade HOLO to establish its operations in the Greater Grand Rapids area rather than other out-of-state locations and plans to assist the company in recruiting candidates for the newly created positions.
“Since its launch in 2020, HOLO Footwear has continued to grow rapidly,” she said The Right Place Vice President of Business Attraction and Project Manager Brent Case. “With the strong talent pool and resilient economic environment, not to mention the amazing outdoor recreational playground that West Michigan has to offer, we believe HOLO Footwear will thrive here in the region.”
“HOLO Footwear’s headquarters is a great addition to the city of Grand Rapids. We appreciate HOLO’s commitment to making outdoor gear accessible to everyone and using recycled and renewable materials in its manufacturing processes,” he said Grand Rapids Director of Economic Development Jeremiah Garcia. “His ownership and environmental sustainability practices are exactly the types of businesses we want to attract to Grand Rapids and the region.”