Behind the Brand: Atoms | Neighborhood Goods

Behind the Brand: Atoms

Written By: Devin Williams-McCrary

Published on February 27, 2020

We’re pumped to introduce Atoms, innovative sneakers that actually fit your feet, as our newest Neighbors. These shoes are pioneering everyday customization with half sizes and shoelaces that stay tied, ensuring around-the-clock snugness. Atoms fit seamlessly into your daily routine; it’s nothing crazy, just a shoe you’ll never want to take off.

Ideas like this don’t happen on their own and we want to introduce you to the humans behind the innovative products changing the way we walk around in the world. Between their visits to the Met and strolling through Brooklyn parks in their Atoms, we caught the dynamic founders of this brand, Sidra Qasim and Waqas Ali, and asked if we could get to know them a little better- one could say we want to walk a mile in their shoes ;).

Let’s begin with some softball questions:

When did the idea for quarter sizes hit you?

“2017 when researching how shoes fit, because that was going to be a strong differentiator for Atoms.”

Why the name Atoms?

“We are willing to go to Atomic level to perfect the shoe.”

If a pair of Atoms sneakers were a person, what would they be like?

“A person with simple style who enjoys their life every day, they have various creative interests, and they’re focused on quality over quantity. Like Jonah Hill.”

No spoilers, but what’s on the horizon for Atoms?

“That’s a secret 🤫”

Who do you look to for design inspiration?

“We look across the landscape from craftsmen in Pakistan to designers at Apple. We look at design from an everyday perspective, rather than in a vacuum.”

Let’s dive a little deeper:

What aspects of Pakistan do you carry with you?

“Hospitality (everyone in PK is so welcoming), the food (we miss it!), the simplicity of life, and of course, the chai.”

What does collaboration look like when you’re married to your co-founder?

“People always think if you’re married and co-founders, you might always know what’s on the other’s mind, but that’s not necessarily true. There are always new challenges and we have to constantly communicate to make sure we are satisfied with the quality and approach.”

What are the best parts of your neighborhood?

“We love the diversity in Brooklyn, going for a walk in Fort Greene Park, and the aesthetic of the neighboring Brownstones. Also, our office is in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which we love… so many talented creatives.”

Give us a rundown of your ideal day in the city:

“Our ideal day is outside of the city! We love going upstate to neighboring towns along the Hudson, like Beacon. On days in the city, we like to go to museums (favorites being the Brooklyn Museum and the Met).”

Be sure to check out Atoms at Neighborhood Goods in Legacy West or browse here.

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