Today we’d like to introduce you to Paola Shah.
Paola, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It was a moment in my life of new beginnings. Among them, I was living in a new country and welcoming motherhood. I helped a friend of my husband do market research to open a Pilates studio. That was when I discovered gripper socks for working out. I have always liked colorful socks and I enjoy barefoot workouts. I found that many people were dissatisfied with the available socks options; toes came in different shapes, lengths and sizes, and not everyone was comfortable, or able to wear socks that encased each toe or covered toes completely. It was that aha moment that the idea for better open-toe socks struck me like a flash of light. I just knew I had to create a more comfortable and colorful grip sock with sustainable materials that was better for the environment and the community.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Entrepreneurship is not a smooth road. But, who doesn’t like a bit of up and downs and excitement? It’s the challenges that make us stronger. One of the biggest lessons I learned was about manufacturing, making sure a perfect sample can be reproduced the same way in hundreds of thousands of socks. Even if there are perfect machines, it’s all about the people that operate them and how we communicate with them. I managed to get close to the workers at the factory, including the managers, and I realized success in production comes from working from the bottom up. When the factory workers made the click and connect with my product and vision, production ran much more smoothly.
The other struggle is the unknown. As an entrepreneur, in the beginning, you “do it all” while you gather the right team. Even though it was hard to learn from scratch, I knew that everything had to be done; from designing collections to exporting the product. Through trial and error (some lessons more expensive than others) I have managed to grow the company steadily every year. Mentors are key. Sometimes, some of them are willing to help more than one can imagine. Lesson learned: just remember to ask for help. There are a lot of people willing to give you a hand.
Please tell us about your business.
Tucketts are open toe socks, where only the big toe is separated from the others for best comfort and fit. They help to keep the barefoot sensation and connection with the earth, keeping one grounded and secure, while allowing the toes to be part of the workout. The secure soles allow people to feel confident with the grippers, even when doing the most challenging moves. Tucketts are high-quality socks that inspire happiness, confidence, commitment, and, giving back through our charitable donations for each pair sold. We have five different styles and tons of assorted colors. www.tucketts.com.
Every collection Tucketts launches have a meaning as does every single design. For instance, the Himalaya Collection pays homage to the green mountains, rocky paths, glistening glaciers, and white peaks of the Himalayas. It tells the story of an adventure of crossing dozens of mountains, changing weathers and ecosystems, and ultimately fulfilling the life-long dream. Our “Nude For Everyone” collection was about bringing a range of nude shades that included the variety of skin colors of our clients. The upcoming fall collection “Fall into the Dunes”, launching soon, brings awareness of the role of the deserts in the balance of our planet. Our past collection “Toe-tally in Bloom” is all about bringing awareness about the importance of bees, and 10% of the proceeds of the sales of the first production of that collection are donated to https://thehoneybeeconservancy.org/.
When someone buys a pair of Tucketts, they are also buying a good manufacturing practice (made in Colombia,) a high-quality product and they are, also, “giving back” through their purchase via our Tucketts for Peace Initiative. We are also working with an organization in Colombia called Dunna https://www.dunna.org/home-eng/ that is dedicated to helping men and women victims of violence (all affected by the internal war in Colombia) using yoga, meditation and movement to reconcile communities. It’s a beautiful program and we are proud to be listed as one of their partners.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have asked all the questions I had in mind to the people I knew who could answer them. Sometimes my mind played little games of pride or fear, and I might have avoided some mistakes or time wasted. Mentors are key to starting a business. I would have reached to people that I didn’t even know to get some advice. It’s never too late, so I am still reaching out. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely path, so it’s good to reach out and surround yourself with other like-minded people to share ideas.
Another big lesson learned: nothing is obvious and common sense doesn’t exist, only individual sense. Be as clear and specific as possible and ask the questions that come to your mind. Make sure to take care of your soul, body and mind, it’s crucial for the continuous success in life.
- Allegro, Ballerina and Anklet: $16/pair
- Knee Highs: $22/pair
- Leg Warmers $20/pair
- Wholesale avaible
- Get 20% OFF using promo code VOYAGEGEMS at https://www.tucketts.com/
- Website: https://www.tucketts.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @lovetucketts