WAXAHACHIE, Texas — Stocked inside the refrigerator of his Waxahachie home is 34-year-old Jose Vela’s obsession.
Topo Chico is his favorite drink. He’s constantly consuming it, has clothing to match, and even had a Topo Chico-themed birthday party.
But his love for the Mexican mineral water isn’t just on his heart, it’s on his feet.
Vela, an artist, painted Topo Chico-themed shoes a few years ago and then shared a picture of them online.
“Before I knew it, I had tons of emails and orders of people wanting Topo Chico shoes,” he said.
One email stood out.
Coca-Cola, which owns Topo Chico, caught wind of what he was doing.
“My first thought was, ‘I’m in trouble,’” Vela said. “If they want me to stop, I’ll stop. Not a problem.”
Rather than a cease and desist, the company sent a request for their own pair. Seventy-seven pairs, actually.
It was so many shoes, the Vans shoe store where Vela shopped barely had enough.
It took Vela a couple of months to finish painting. He delivered the shoes to Topo Chico about a month ago.
It was his biggest order to date and his biggest blessing.
About a week before Topo Chico reached out, Vela had quit his job to pursue art full-time. He wondered if he’d made a mistake until he got that email.
“That was just affirmation,” Vela said. “This is where I’m supposed to be at and this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”
He’ll definitely drink to that.
To check out more of his custom sneakers and other artwork, you can head to his website.