In 2001, a young Tom Romeo was searching for a sign that would help him choose between his two passions. Like many people, Tom has a special spot that is his “happy place”, where he finds time to meditate and listen to nature. While sitting on the special rock located on the shores of Lake Tahoe, a massive bear suddenly paused a short ways away from him, stared directly at him for a moment, and decided to move along without any confrontation.
This magical experience had to be some sort of sign, and it inspired Tom to seek out the meaning of this encounter. Tom soon learned that a bear crossing is viewed by many as a sign of good luck and while symbolizing strength, the bear serves as a guide for many at an impasse. All doubt had gone away for Tom and he knew this was an opportunity to start his own shoe company founded on this great animal, with the name BEARPAW as an homage to his chance meeting with that bear in Tahoe