Today we’d like to introduce you to Leontyne Ashmore.
Leontyne, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Lisbeth Joe was inspired by the need to solve a problem. My need to have healthy, functional shoes, minimalist shoes. And the desire for those shoes to be edgy, glamorous, fun! The kind of shoe that makes you feel fabulous because they look fabulous.
After having two children, I developed Diastasis Recti (DR), separation of the abs. As part of my healing journey, I went barefoot, wearing minimalist shoes to help my body get stronger and recover. At first, this was easy, several sport-focused brands offered causal designs.
But then I went back to work! Before DR my shoe wardrobe was brimming with fun, uniqueness and intrigue. Now I had to compromise to get the health benefits I needed. I was wearing running shoes to work. I noticed a lot of women looking for minimalist shoes they could were to work on some of the DR Facebook groups I was on. So I decided to leave my job and make my shoes.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, it hasn’t been smooth. I had several challenges associated with entering a business where I had no prior experience. This started with figuring out shoe design, then shoe manufacturer sourcing, then overseeing the manufacturing process, sourcing materials, building websites, social media, SEO, networking and generally learning how to build the business that would get noticed in a crowded marketplace. We are so lucky in Denver to have incredibly supportive organizations like The Commons on Champa who helped me navigate the complex and diverse entrepreneurship landscape and introduced me to so many mentors.
Within sourcing, there was also the challenge of overcoming the preconceptions of the footwear industry. Finding a manufacturer who understood in the industry that minimalist shoes are different from regular shoes and that we cannot compromise on form and function in priority of looks almost crushed me.
Please tell us about your business.
Lisbeth Joe is the most fashionable barefoot-inspired shoe for sophisticated women juggling life and career. Empowering women to put their best foot forward without compromising style for comfort.
Here are the main features of Lisbeth Joe minimalist shoes:
1. A thin, flexible sole that allows the feet to feel the ground, move naturally and frees the 200,000 nerves in the foot to connect the earth and the brain.
2. A ‘zero-drop’ sole, one without a heel lift, allows the feet to distribute weight naturally, not forcing unnatural alignment throughout the rest of the body, especially the pelvis and lower back.
3. A wide toe box that allows the feet to spread naturally freeing the 33 joints making it comfortable to wear all day.
What sets Lisbeth Joe apart from other, The barefoot market is awash with sports shoes and fashionable shoes awkwardly adapted from sports shoes. Lisbeth Joe’s shoes are designed with compromise. Offering the best of both worlds. Fashionable and functional.
What I am most proud of is being able to build a model within the business to help more women than those who wear our shoes, investing in women owned businesses in developing countries, through KIVA.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have started establishing myself in the social media space much earlier than I did. Social media has been such a game changer, allowing entrepreneurs to spread the word without the huge advertising cost barrier. There is a strategy to it, its best to start as soon as possible so you start building relationships with your potential customers early on.
- Pre-order on Indiegogo $100
- Retail Price $120
- Website: https://lisbethjoe.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lisbeth.joe/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LisbethJoe1/
- Other: https://igg.me/at/lisbethjoe-fashionable-barefootshoe/