Star Tracks: Monday, May 16, 2016 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- See Everything You're Going to Want from Target's Fall Catalog—Before it Comes Out
- Read the Cover Story: The Gosselins 10 Years Later: 'So Much Has Changed'
- The Final Five Share the Best Way to Deal With Social Media Haters: 'You Really Can't Focus on the Lies'
- Kelly Rowland Chops Her Long Locks, Vanessa Hudgens and Shanina Shaik Follow Suit
- The Final Five Are Single and Ready to Mingle: 'We Don't Need Tinder'
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- August 09, 1982
- Vol. 18
- No. 6
Shoe Goo Guru Lyman Van Vliet Cures Tattered Tennis Toes with Sheer Stick-to-Itiveness
The Van Vliets turned their home in ritzy Palos Verdes, Calif. into a goo factory—with Lyman as kitchen chemist, Sandy, 52, as sales manager, daughter Michelle as package designer and younger kids Melissa and Michael as packagers—until a neighbor got upset at the 55-gallon drums of flammable solvent sitting in the driveway. By that time, though, sales of Shoe Goo had grown from the first 22 orders in 1972 to the current gross of almost $2 million (a tube, which will re-tip five pairs of sneakers, sells for $3.25). In 1976 the Van Vliets transferred the operation to a San Pedro factory. Two months later Lyman, a Wayne State grad, quit his job as a physicist at Hughes Aircraft ("Goo luck!" his colleagues saluted him).
"We've been fortunate to ride the crest of two waves—tennis and jogging," Van Vliet says. The family company, Eclectic Products Inc., is expanding, repackaging its goo as Sportsman's Goop (for leaky tents and such) and Shoemaker in a Tube.
Today the Van Vliets each drive Cadillacs (hers with "SHOEGOO" license plates, his with "ECLECTC"). And now, with shoes that take a lot longer to wear out, they can play endless games of tennis on their backyard court, which they've dubbed "the Shoe Goo evaluation laboratory."
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!