Ask the Expert: Grace O'Neill on Using Jak Snow Magic Spray


Ask the Expert: Grace O'Neill on Using Jak Snow Magic Spray

As advocates for sustainable design, it's important to us at Coclico to educate our customers about ways to care for their shoes so that they last for seasons to come. We've done so by expanding the Significant Others section on our website (and in-store) to include ancillary products like Tangent GC polishes, and most recently, Jak Snow Magic Spray. The name truly speaks for itself as this revolutionary spray takes shoe maintenance one step further with its eco-friendly formula - making the cleaning process both safe and effective.

Health for both customers and the environment was a driving inspiration for Jak Snow founder Grace O'Neill. She spoke more about the development of Magic Spray and how to get the most out of this product.


Like Magic

Hi, my name is Grace! Before my husband and I launched Magic Spray a year and a half ago, I was working in client relations in the IT industry in Bangkok where we currently live with our two children. Not exactly the background you’d expect, but my husband and I always wanted to have our own business, and the idea for Magic Spray came to us when I was pregnant with our second child. He was spraying his suede sneakers in our apartment. Needless to say, I asked him to go outside because the fumes weren’t so pleasant. It was at this moment that started our search for a product we could use to keep our shoes looking new, and that wouldn’t be harmful to our health. When we didn’t find what we were looking for we decided we would try to create the product ourselves.


Using Magic Spray

Magic Spray’s formula is based on nanotechnology so the beads of spray come together to form a new surface on top of your shoe that deflects waters, oils, dust, and UV light.
- The first step is to make sure your shoes are dusted off (especially if they aren’t new) so that the surface area is clean. If they are well worn we suggest using a suede wash to thoroughly clean the shoes first.
- To apply Magic Spray you hold the bottle 4 to 6 inches away from the shoe and spray until the surface area of the shoe is fully wet. There should be absolutely no dry spots. Think of it like painting and making sure the color is all over the ‘canvas’ with no spots of canvas visible anymore. Then rub the spray in with a cloth or soft toothbrush (preferably one that isn’t used). Leave your shoes to dry for 15 minutes and then repeat the spraying process as described above. Finally, leave your shoes to air dry for 24 hours as it takes that long for the protective barrier to form.


Preventive Care

- The first method I’d suggest is spraying your shoes as soon as you buy them and then mark your calendar for when they need to be re-sprayed in six months. This means your shoes won’t even hit the ground before they are protected from the elements.

- The second tip would be to change up the shoes you wear daily. For example, maybe have a rotation of two or three go-to pairs of shoes for your average day. The reason being that your feet sweat, and it can warp the leather if you don’t let the shoe dry out. At the end of a day, you can put tissue paper or a shoehorn in your shoes while you store them so that they keep their shape. This, by the way, is the perfect excuse to have a solid selection of everyday shoes you love and rotate.

- Another great tip is to clean, spray, and store your shoes at the end of the season when temperatures are changing, and some shoes won’t be worn for months. When you put them away you should try to put them in a dark, cool (non-humid) spot. You can put them in a shoe bag, their original shoebox or even use a cotton pillowcase to keep them dust free. You don’t want to seal suede or nubuck shoes in plastic containers, as they need some airflow to retain their texture and shape. Doing these things will help ensure you’ll be wearing your shoes for years.


Using Magic Spray for Cork and Wood Materials

Magic Spray will actually work on almost any textile, including cork wedges. While we created it with suede and nubuck in mind, as these are usually the hardest shoes to care for, it will also protect your cork shoes or even your sneakers. However, it's important to note that cork is very porous, so the amount of spray needed to protect it would be much more than say how much you would use with suede.


Keep in Mind

- Magic Spray can actually be used on a variety of textiles beyond suede and nubuck including canvas, satin, and nylon. However, some fabrics, like canvas, need A LOT more spray to get the same protective effect, as the fabric is naturally more porous.

- Magic Spray protects against all liquids, UV color fading, and light dust, however, if you are walking through a muddy field where there’s more than just liquid dirt (think dry mud) then your shoes will get a bit dirty! Hopefully, you won’t be wearing your Coclico shoes on those kinds of days.


Caring for Your Shoes During Summer

The winter elements are of course much harsher, but there are still many opportunities for rain showers or spills that can damage your suede and nubuck shoes in the summer months too. Also, most of us wouldn’t think about how the sun affects your shoes, but UV rays slowly cause color fading. This would be more pronounced in darker shades of suede and nubuck, so it’s important to spray those shoes so that they retain their original hue.

Lastly, people tend to be out and about more during the summer and so they wear their shoes for longer periods of time including walking much longer distances. So, it’s just as important during the summer months to not wear the same shoes every day, or you will wear them out quite quickly due to the heat from your feet and normal wear-and-tear from lots of walking. I know when I lived in NYC I spent many summer days walking from one end of the city to the other in sandals, so I learned this lesson the hard way.


Forever Item

I think the Coclico woman is discerning in her fashion choices and is socially and environmentally aware at the same time. Magic Spray could serve as a "must have" product in her shoe care repertoire so that she can keep her shoes in a rotation for many seasons to come.

I would also suggest having a good storage spot (it doesn’t need to be big), or somewhere your shoes can be put away so that they aren’t getting dusty even when you aren’t wearing them. I actually have a shoe storage closet with doors and then open shelves on top so sometimes they can be on display.

Photos by Phoebe Cheong for Coclico