URBNC3: Founding Story - Paving the way for minimalist, modern footwear



20 May, 2023
Written by Banu Gulecyuz

When Linda visited the doctor regarding her foot pain that occurs while walking, she did not expect to be met with a subtle “come back when the pain worsens.” For Linda, this moment was a defining one for the creation of URBNC3: why should she wait for her health to deteriorate for a solution to come? At the same time, her boyfriend Philipp struggled to find fitting shoes for his orthopedic inlays. He especially noticed that during the summer, when inlays could not be inserted into open shoes such as through sandals and flip flops, how difficult it was to find comfortable footwear. Matching an exact-fit shoe to the foot of a consumer using modern technology and completely sustainable materials, URBNC3, based out of Zurich, Switzerland, is changing the way we view footwear today. In addition, the gender-neutral design is meant to welcome a community of different people, ethnicities, gender, and backgrounds all through comfort-driven, futuristic footwear.


For those unfamiliar with Zurich, Zurich is the urban center of Switzerland, where residents enjoy walking, biking, and hiking and where nature and city are closeby to each other. As the smallest metropole in the world, Zurich is known for its cleanliness, greenery, and minimalist culture. For Zurich’s residents, leaving behind unnecessary items and investing in long-term, usable items is a way of life. For URBNC3 Co-Founders Linda Wang and Roman Wyss, Zurich is their home—the birthplace of sandals that are minimalistic, chic, high-quality and of global influence, such as Zurich. Linda and Roman, though having attended St. Gallen University together and as former colleagues at work, had no idea they would soon be collaborating on their dream together. However, their journey to this moment has not come without its challenges. 

When Linda and Roman quit their jobs to pursue their start-up dream, they arrived home to surprised friends and family members. While gap years to travel were common in Switzerland, quitting your job to pursue entrepreneurship is rather rare in the quite risk-averse Swiss culture, due to stable and good job opportunities. However, what keeps Linda and Roman going is the positive, encouraging feedback they do receive from individuals and potential customers, including friends who first did not believe in their idea but later understood the value that URBNC3 could deliver to the community. Their advice to those in a similar position, debating to pursue entrepreneurship, is to not overthink and just do it—understand what drives your passion and not be afraid to go for it.


And this is exactly what Roman did when he heard Linda’s idea—a moment to bring a long-term passion of his to life. As a former coordinator of Un-Dress, one of the largest sustainable fashion shows in Switzerland with over 500+ attendees and an extreme lover of design, Roman knew that if he did not take this opportunity to pursue his dream, he would regret it for the rest of his life. Roman noticed himself working over 12+ hours a day in his previous jobs within finance yet felt a piece of himself constantly missing. Acting entrepreneurially through URBNC3 has been the outlet of creativity that was long buried in both his and Linda’s hearts. Both have found themselves significantly happier since leaving their 9-5 jobs and focusing full-time on their dream with URBNC3.

Currently, Linda and Roman are focused on building their community and increasing their brand awareness through multiple channels globally. For example, they will soon be presenting at Gwand, one of the biggest, well-known sustainable fashion festivals in Switzerland. Additionally, Linda and Roman’s current team of four, including their fashion designer Kristyna and data analyst Philipp, is slowly expanding with team members based out of both the EU and the United States. 
Lastly, the team is currently working on an exclusive collaboration with charitable workshops, employing people with special needs to source and produce their shoes. URBNC3 is looking to deliver its first products through these endowments and is committed to delivering quality, sustainable products to customers while working with special-needs individuals in the Swiss community. 

URBNC3, for EU residents, has opened purchases for initial beta-test customer orders for sandals made in Switzerland. Interested customers will be receiving their first personalized sandals this summer and we look forward to gaging feedback from our initial community. To purchase your first order from URBNC3’s beta launch, please visit, www.urbnc3.com. For global customers, the startup will launch a Kickstarter campaign in July, for which you can already sign up on www.get.urbnc3.com.

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