Lucus Houle: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur

Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Toronto-based footwear designer Lucus Houle, whose company creates unique, exclusive sneakers for those who seek shoes to call their own. We caught up with him to find out how we dove into his career after getting a degree in Animation and what advice he would share with other young professionals...



Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I’m the founder of Circle Footwear, a company that caters to individuals who want unique, exclusive sneakers.

What was the inspiration for your career route?
It’s a long stretch from my Animation degree to starting up a footwear company. I just kind of fell into the footwear industry, to be honest. I still remember the first shoe I designed and held in my hand. That was seven years ago. To me there’s nothing better than dreaming something up and seeing it become a reality. That was my inspiration then and it still is to this day.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
It’s the reception we’ve gotten to our inaugural capsule collection. It all started with an idea and a dream. Getting real validation from the Kickstarter community that this is a viable, in-demand product has completely humbled me.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
To be honest, we’re just a few days from wrapping up our first Kickstarter campaign, so planning 20 years down the road is challenging. I’m just trying to get everything in order so we can ship out the pairs for October/November and have a follow-up collection ready to launch at the same time. 

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
You’ll always have people give you reasons not to do things. Don’t listen to them and move forward with your dreams no matter the challenges.

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Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
Things have been moving so fast with Circle Footwear that I haven’t even had a chance to structure company culture.  It’s in everyone’s best interest when companies support charities and the community. Over the next few months I’ll be looking into design and/or young entrepreneur charities that we can dedicate a portion of our earnings to.

What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Prior to working in the footwear industry I had no qualms about taking a couple days to answer an email. Since then I’ve realized how important it is to act fast and not let things slide. Procrastinating on one email can cost you a sale or even delay production time.

What does the word notable mean to you?
Have you ever had a conversation with someone and, even as you’re walking away, you find yourself still smiling? To me, that’s notable.


Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
I’ve got to go with Insomnia at Bloor & Bathurst in Toronto. The staff are friendly, the drinks are on point, and you absolutely can’t beat their brunch.

What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
I spend way too much time on Reddit. It only really becomes an addiction once you subscribe to a collection of niche subreddits that cater to your inner geek. As for music, I’ve been listening to Macklemore’s This Unruly Mess I’ve Made on repeat.

Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
Dwayne Johnson. He’s one of the most compassionate, considerate, amazing celebrities in existence.

What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
I just came back from Paris, France. Being French-Canadian, it’s where my roots are and it actually feels like home when I go. I’ve booked a trip to Scotland with my Mom this summer that I’m really excited for.

Luc Houle

What gives you the greatest FOMO?
I’ve always been a yes-man in that sense. I don’t think I’ve ever skipped an event unless I absolutely couldn’t make it. You only have one life – might as well make the most of it.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Pizza, but it’s OK because it’s been categorized as a vegetable. That means it’s healthy now, right?

What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
I spend way too much money on coffee. I could easily brew my own at home but it’s just not the same experience. As for spending more money, I wish I had spent more on a full couch. My first apartment was tiny so I bought a nice leather loveseat. Now, if I fall asleep watching Netflix I wake up with a neck cramp every time.

8. And finally , what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Success is the freedom to choose your own path. If you can wake up every morning and be excited about the journey ahead of you, that’s success.