Glen Hinshaw learned two things as a professional bicyclist: the importance of feet and how to go fast. Both are integral to his Prescott-based business, RESA.
The company is disrupting the orthopedic insole market by bringing manufacturing directly to the customer.
Using pop-up centers in major retailers, RESA measures a customer’s foot digitally. Proprietary artificial-intelligence software takes the data and produces a three-dimensional image of the customers’ foot and insole that goes directly to their email. If the customer decides to buy, a 3-D RESA printer produces a pair in about an hour.
That’s much faster than a traditional orthopedic lab, which usually takes two to three weeks to produce a pair of insoles. And the medical-grade product fits in ways mass-produced products can never touch.
“No one is customizing in front of the customer, letting them customize their fit and then printing in front of the customer,” Hinshaw said. “We don’t just customize to the shape of the foot. We also customize for the interior of their specific shoe.”
While 3-D printing has become common, it hasn’t yet found a good business-to-consumer model, Hinshaw says. “We thought this would be a great outcome if we could improve on the products made with milling and injection molding.” The company developed materials, machines and processes, patenting its discoveries.
Why Prescott, Arizona? Call it the return of the prodigal son.
Hinshaw graduated from Prescott High School in 1981 and left to build a career in engineering and professional bicycle racing. As part of the 2008 Olympic program, he learned how insoles affect performance, dispersing energy through feet and footwear. He applied that knowledge in various roles with Nike, Adidas and other shoe companies in a career that had him moving around the world, most recently living in Singapore.
A few years ago, his retired-firefighter father started pressing him to come home. He compromised, opening a software shop in Tempe as he began testing the 3-D printing concept. As the idea showed promised, he decided to take the manufacturing – all of which is done in house – to Prescott.
“The Arizona market is the most logical place for us to do this,” Hinshaw says, noting his hometown’s natural beauty and outdoor recreation options as lure for creative employees. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is interested in putting more jobs in the market. And Yavapai Community College is supportive in training more workers, Hinshaw said.
Hinshaw is thinking big.
He sees a worldwide market, all those feet needing better support and a more customer-oriented way of providing it. Pilot projects started in select Costco stories in September. Wal-Mart will begin hosting the pop-up booths in January. Macy’s will introduce them in New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Seattle beginning in February.
The footprint, so to speak, gets bigger from there.
He’s working with a partner in China to bring RESA to the Asian market, and his son is working on possibilities in the Middle East. And while RESA is expanding globally, they are hiring locally. They currently have 20 employees in Prescott, but Hinshaw expects to hire another 100 people here for tech and manufacturing jobs by the end of 2018.
The browser-based model introduces new ways of selling and delivering goods. “You could get your foot scanned in the Phoenix airport, land in Atlanta and pick up your insoles there,” Hinshaw says.
The entrepreneur combines his vision with urgency. He expects revenue to reach $25 million, from the current $1 million, in one year. Which explains why Hinshaw named the company RESA, a Swedish word he translates as “rise” or “journey.”