Today we’d like to introduce you to Laina Gossman.
Laina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve worked for over 14 years in orthotic design, studied kinesiolgy & biomechanics. I got my start in a small comfort shoe store in Carmel Valley, apprenticing in orthotic design under a brilliant biomechanist named Michael Kendall. Through my time there and after, people always came to me with their serious foot ailments, oftentimes after exhausting every other resource including doctors, $500 custom orthotics and surgeries. My designs really worked to get people back on their feet without pain.
I wanted to help more people than I could by individually hand-carving. After getting a few designs patented, Soul Insole was born. We successfully launched on Kickstarter and Soul Insole now sells tens of thousands of shoe inserts each year. They are available in local Shoe Stores and doctors’ offices as well as amazon and shipped worldwide on our website.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There have definitely been bumps along the road and it has been a great learning experience. I like to consider my entrepreneurial journey to be my hands-on master’s degree. One of the biggest challenges for me personally has been that it can be emotionally difficult to let people go. I pride myself in loyalty and once I’ve invested so much into someone, when they are letting their work slide well beyond what should be acceptable, sometimes I’ve still hung onto them. I have had to learn the hard way that timeliness, efficiency and good communication are key to completing big tasks and everyone I work with needs to be on the same page.
I initially began the manufacturing process with a man who was described as the best mechanical and chemical engineer in the footwear world. Unfortunately, my small project did not rank high on his to-do list and he would take weeks and months to respond to simple emails and design improvements. Finally, I decided to stop working with this manufacturer. I searched across the world, I made a list of over 60 manufacturers and narrowed it down to the one I have chosen to work with since my launch. They have impeccable quality standards, they were willing to take the time to develop my product materials to perfection and I have happily built a very good relationship with them over the years.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Soul Insole – what should we know?
Soul Insole specializes in foot rehabilitation devices to help improve people’s foot health and quality of life. We are proud to be a company that is conscious and environmentally friendly, using recycled materials for packaging and displays to create minimal waste. Other brands of orthotics may range from $300-$500 dollars while their size is too thick, causing the wearer to need to buy larger shoes to accommodate the orthotic. Our orthotics designs are small, thin and very supportive, but uniquely shaped to work inside a wide variety of shoe styles without crowding the limited space.
They even have a washable adhesive so that they can be used within sandals and moved from shoe to shoe! With a small price tag between $13.99-29.99, we offer very affordable solutions for foot health. I am most proud of the hundreds of testimonials and reviews that our customers have sent to us and posted to share their positive experiences. It warms my heart and keeps me motivated each time I read about a customer who’s pain has stopped thanks to my designs.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I believe that persistence is the key to success. As an entrepreneur, there are always hurdles to jump over and walls to climb, but when things get tough, it’s important to just keep taking steps forward. Little by little, as time goes by, I can look back and see that I’ve gone pretty far.
- Soul Insole Products Range In Price From $13.99-29.99
- SD Voyager Readers Can Have $5 OFF their first purchase with promocode: Welcome5
- 10% OFF YOUR ENTIRE ORDER with the purchase of 3+ items. use promocode: B310
- Website: http://www.soulinsole.com
- Phone: 619-746-7256
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/soulinsole
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/soulinsole
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/soulinsole
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/soul-insole-san-diego-3
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r14hGOiFyC0&t=17s
Ashley Graham, Adam Barber, Kevin Meyer