Year of Birth: 1930 Grew up in Boston area with his family. His mother believed he should be working if he wasn’t going to be in school. Paul was forced to work at the shoe factory his mother worked at making shoes and sweeping the factory floor.
Paul realized he didn’t like school when he reached the 8 th grade. Never went back to receive his G.E.D. Never attended college. Even though Paul never had an education higher than the 8 th grade, this had no impact on his business.
Paul had always had a passion for horses. At the age of 14 he began to ride at the race track. Gained the name ‘Dutch the Clutch’. Aside from riding, he also worked at the same time.
First got his idea while working at the factory with his mom. Within 20 years Paul had worked his way up in the company and became the Executive Vice President of Randy’s, a Boston based shoe manufacturer. His dream was to have his own factory and his own retail stores. He was a great business person, his brother Jim was an amazing engineer and their friend Gordon was an excellent manufacturing man. They formed the Van Doren Rubber Company with Serge D’Elia, a Belgian friend Paul made in Japan, who had been supplying shoe uppers from Japan to the USA.
The company was formed with Paul and Serge owning 40% each and Jim and Gordon owning 10% each. It took a year to set up the factory at 704 East Broadway in Anaheim in 1966. Since 1900 there had only been 3 companies that had manufactured vulcanized footwear in the US, Randy’s, Keds, and Converse. And now there was Vans...
The company tried to keep up with Nike by making all kinds of athletic shoes. They wanted to be the “Next big thing” but ended up wasting money. Vans used the money gained from selling the checkerboard style to try and pay for the latest colors, styles, and materials needed for these new shoes. The Van Doren’s ended up going to court because they could not pay their note. The court saw that Paul’s brother was the one making the bad judgments and asked him to leave the company.
Paul had sold the company to McConval-Deluit for $75 million. The VF company now owns Vans. They bought the company for $400 million dollars. VF has improved sales from $40 million to $360 million.
At first Vans was considered a Partnership since it was owned by more than two people. Partnership : A business organization owned by two or more persons who agree on a specific division of responsibilities and profits. Once Paul Van Doren sold the company to VF it became a multinational corporation since Vans now has stores all over the world. Multinational corporation: Large corporation that produces and sells its goods and services throughout the world.
“ My Dad’s philosophy was we took whatever the public would give us, make whatever shoes you needed. If you were an 8 in one foot and a 9 in the other, in the old days we’d give you an 8 and a 9. We’d do things the other people weren’t going to do.” – Steve Van Doren
Paul decided to use his last name since it was always his dream to own and make his own shoes and retail stores.
Paul Van Doren’s idea has grown to more than just shoes. His name is known around the world for sponsoring some of the biggest skateboarding , surfing, wakeboarding, BMX events, and also Warped Tour.
"The History of Vans Interview with Steve Van Doren." Interview by Jason Le. Sneaker Freaker . 2007. Web. 5 Apr. 2010. Geoff Rowley . Photograph. Vans off the Wall. Google . Web. 5 Apr. 2010. <http://www.vans-boty.cz/wp-content/uploads/Geoff-Rowley-Vans-Wallpaper.jpg>. Anto Lille . Photograph. Vans off the Wall, Toulouse. Google . Web. 5 Apr. 2010. <http://bmx.transworld.net/files/2009/03/18/anto_wallpaper.jpg>. Opening Day 1966 . 1966. Photograph. Sneakr Freaker . Web. 5 Apr. 2010. <http://www.sneakerfreaker.com/feature/history-of-vans/3/>. Brittain, J. G. Steve Caballero . Photograph. Sneaker Freaker . Web. 5 Apr. 2010. <http://www.sneakerfreaker.com/feature/history-of-vans/8/>.