I’m sure we’re all familiar with the term beauty is pain. It stems from a French saying that translates to one must suffer to be beautiful. In the context of high heels, women make sacrifices to be fashionable, and if you're anything like Shantel Jackson, you’re probably willing to suffer the pain. It wasn’t until one day that an innovative spark struck Miss Jackson to change this narrative. It’s been Shantel’s mission for some time now, to diminish the idea of women sacrificing their health for heels. In doing so she created Shoe Gummi; the world’s first orthotic outer-sole pads for your heels that reduce pressure and add comfort to the balls of your feet and ankles. Like any hard-working entrepreneur, Shantel’s journey wasn’t any walk in the park. Sending her through rigorous development processes, lab testing, prototypes, and patent applications which you’ll read about below. Shoe Gummi is taking over one sole at a time and allowing Shantel to be a stand-out pioneer in the fashion world! Though many remember her on the tv screens alongside ex-boo Nelly, she’s a multifaceted business woman championing three businesses!
A great business always identifies a problem, Shoe Gummi did just that and stylishly provided a solution. Aside from Shoe Gummi , Shantel also owns Fanci Goods and Chic Beaute.Check out our interview with Shantel as she talks about entrepreneurship and how she grinds pretty!
From watching all of your interviews we have an idea of your answer, but we always like to ask. What is your WHY?
I am looking to disrupt the high heel comfort industry with Shoe Gummi. High heel pain is no joke and high heel wearers need a real solution for comfort… and I have it! In this male dominated industry, I aim to push the envelope and challenge stereotypes to show that you can have both beauty and brains - be fierce, sexy, smart, an inventor, entrepreneur, anything you want to be.
Though we are called Grind Pretty, entrepreneurship at many times is the exact opposite. What "not so pretty" obstacles have you faced while on your grind?
OMG! Where do I even begin?! I faced several obstacles while on the grind to turn my invention Shoe Gummi into a commercial product for high heel wearers in need of comfort worldwide. My journey before launching was definitely not a walk in the park and it started over 7 years ago. I went through years of trial and error before finally bringing it to market. This included researching and testing out various materials the Gummies had to be made out of and finding the right adhesive that would stick to a wide range of high heel bottoms.
I went through two intensive rounds of lab testing which provided visual data charts to show the science behind how Shoe Gummi actually works to relieve pressure off the balls of the feet. This is also when we tested the product out before going to market. To my disappointment, I failed my first round of testing because the original design did not pass the stability portion which would be a major liability for me. With that news, I had to redesign the original prototype to make it stable. Although going back to the drawing board was something that I dreaded, it was necessary and it made the product better than the first design. This allowed me to eventually pass my second round of testing and bring the product to life for high heel wearers worldwide.
Want to read the full story? Grab your copy of the Fall 2022 issue of Grind Pretty magazine. Click here.
Oftentimes on our entrepreneurial journey, we get discouraged because we’re not exactly where we desire to be, but insight is what allows one to see the bigger picture, and what’s to come if we simply persevere. At 13, Dr. Mya Smith-Edmonds began working at her father’s McDonald’s where she developed her strong work ethic, accountability, discipline and focus. Today she is the proud owner of nine McDonald’s restaurants.