Meet the Green Beret/Sneakerhead & CEO of Woobies Shoes

Eye on Veterans
January 04, 2019 - 12:26 pm

Photos courtesy Anthony Aguiniga

The mission of the Green Beret, if you boil it down to the most simplistic level, is to act as a force multiplier. So it might seem odd for someone who served with the 7th Special Forces Group and other units in the SpecOps community to have difficulty transitioning out of the military. Yet that's exactly what happened to Anthony Aguiniga when he took off his uniform and headed to his adopted home state of Texas. 

"The biggest obstacle that I had was finding my purpose," Aguiniga recalls of that time in his life. "What was I gonna do to fulfill my intrinsic motivational needs, my happiness and also my output to the community around me." 

Photo courtesy Anthony Aguiniga

It was an obstacle he'd eventually find a way around,  made all the more difficult by the bottle. He found work as a Firefighter, policeman, and EMT at various times yet his credit score plummeted, his family fell apart and he was left with nothing but his DD-214 and an acoustic guitar. His body was deteriorating along with his personal life then a moment turned his life around. 

"My daughter one day came out, 12 years old, teary-eyed," Aguiniga says. "She said 'dad, I know you're drinking and I don't like it.'" 

That was the last time he touched alcohol. Since then, he's entered an Executive MBA program at Southern Methodist University while putting full effort into the company he started in 2015, Woobies Shoes. It's a business he says fits a niche that no one else does in the veteran entrepreneur community. While a few vet-owned clothing companies offered footwear, he saw the chance to go deep into the world of shoes. 

Photo courtesy Anthony Aguiniga

"There were a couple little things here and there but not a real designer, not a real manufacturer who really was into the shoe game itself,"  Aguiniga says. "That's what I decided to do, just take the plunge." 

Leading the design team Aguiniga says Woobies has developed 5 unique styles of shoe. Drawing on his military experience he is trying to find something that works for the largest possible customer base and doesn't go overboard with too many bells and whistles.

"A style that everybody hopefully likes," Aguiniga says when asked to explain his design approach. "Nothing too big, just plain colors and attention to detail."

So far, that simple, crisp method has led to what Aguiniga calls "humble but rapid growth" and he believes it will continue to lead to good things in the days ahead.

You can hear the full interview with Anthony Aguiniga below. 

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