About Us

Welcome to the Jan Ernst Matzeliger STU/DEO, the first Black-owned athletic footwear factory in the US.

At JEMS we offer new opportunity for talented designers and more options for the industry as a whole, including retailers, footwear brands, and brand partners. With leadership from seasoned industry innovators and access to top suppliers and partners, we strive to be the premier footwear factory in the United States. Not only do we welcome entrepreneurs ready to manufacture their own designs, but we set them up for success with education through a Pensole Lewis College curriculum. We are makers who celebrate the ideas of other creatives, and we seek to bring cutting-edge footwear manufacturing back to the US.

“We want to create an entrepreneurial journey, teaching the next generation not only how to make shoes, but to have a sustainable business as well…and to be serious contributors to the footwear industry.”
– Dr. D’Wayne Edwards

Mission

Inspired by its namesake, the inventor Jan Ernst Matzeliger JEMS exists to innovate the footwear industry with a world-class factory that handcrafts our own brand of footwear in the US. We cultivate the next generation of talent through education and professional development. We seek to bring more diversity to the industry: of backgrounds, perspectives, talent, and skill. JEMS is a factory for the people.

Vision

We envision a factory that broadens the scope of opportunity for the footwear industry by manufacturing in the US, with makers who are continually learning. JEMS strives to empower the next generation of creatives by offering greater accessibility to manufacture their brand, leaving the industry a better place than when we entered.

MEET THE TEAM

Dr. D’Wayne Edwards

Founder

Carren Morris

President

Scot Hull

Director of Manufacturing

Kyle Plummer

Senior Development Manager

Dr. D’Wayne Edwards

Founder

Dr. D’Wayne Edwards is the most prominent Black designer in the footwear industry. With a 32+ year career, including over three decades from L.A. Gear, Nike and Jordan, Dr. Edwards is credited with paving the way for young Black design talent to have a career in the sneaker industry.

In 2010, Edwards founded PENSOLE (now Pensole Lewis College), the first academy in the U.S. dedicated to footwear design, to provide talented young design students, regardless of socioeconomic background, an opportunity to learn from the industry’s best. Dr. Edwards founded PENSOLE in part because of how difficult it was for him to come through the industry and get started. 

PENSOLE quickly became the preeminent footwear design school in the world specializing in footwear, functional apparel and accessories, color & materials, prototyping, and concept making. It operated as a popular feeder school for some of the industry’s top footwear brands and retailers and has placed more than 500+ former PENSOLE alums in positions working professionally for some of today’s top brands: Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, New Balance, Brooks, Vans, Puma, Timberland, JORDAN, and others globally.

As an educator, Dr. Edwards has taught and lectured at some of the premier schools in the world, including ArtCenter, Parsons, MIT, and Harvard, and has spoken at the Clinton Global Conference.

Carren Morris

President

Carren Morris is a connector, whose passion is helping visionaries attain their brand dreams. 

Her 20+ years of experience in the industry include sales, brand marketing, e-commerce, and business development for some of the largest footwear brands globally, including Nike, Converse, and Puma.  As the youngest sales rep at Nike, Carren identified and created new business opportunities in the untapped market of luxury resorts, spas, and gyms.  She collaborated with the Converse design team to create SMU programs, including a global launch that sold out in one day.  Following that, Carren created a new position for herself, running Converse’s wholesale.com business.  At Puma, she was the director of E-Commerce, a $30 million business at the time.  In each role, Carren consistently delivered annual net revenue growth.

Her business and brand expertise extend deep into a company’s vision, from the boardroom to the retail floor.  Carren’s vigor in managing business development and planning go-to-market strategies is matched by emotional intelligence and communication skills, from nurturing client relationships to interpreting consumer trends. 

Tapping into her passion and expertise for the industry, Carren serves on several boards and finds great fulfillment in helping students enhance their business acumen.

Scot Hull

Director of Manufacturing

Norman Scot Hull, Director of Manufacturing for JEMS has spent thirty years in the footwear industry designing for iconic brands such as Nike, adidas, and New Balance.  Scot’s passion for great design and innovation in domestic manufacturing led him most recently to New Balance as the head of Domestic Design. Along with leading a team of engineers, he invented and helped build the Factory Of The Future.   As a footwear designer he was also responsible for designing their flagship 990 models.  Prior to New Balance, Scot earned numerous patents for innovative design and manufacturing technologies at Nike, including the electrochromic color change technology for synthetic leathers. 

Scot’s insatiable curiosity for “how it’s made” has led to a career of true innovation in product design and process.  He is passionate about bringing high-quality manufacturing jobs back to the US alongside technological advances, not in lieu of them.

Kyle Plummer

Senior Development Manager

Kyle Plummer is a seasoned product developer with twenty-four years of experience in the athletic footwear industry.  With a proven track record of managing complex projects and leading cross-functional teams, Kyle has excelled in roles such as Senior Manager of Development Footwear at Reebok and Project Development Lead for Domestic Manufacturing Innovation at New Balance Athletic Shoe Company.  With his technical expertise, passion for pushing boundaries, optimization of product development by streamlining operations, and skill for cultivating a collaborative work environment, Kyle brings exceptional leadership skills to the JEMS team.

Sign Up For Our Mailing List

Sign Up For Our Mailing List