The Blog

Walk A Mile in Her Shoes!

If you don’t have a business idea, where do you get one?

Start where you are. Look around your own life for what’s annoying or missing – then create a solution.

That’s what Canadian-in-Paris, Tanya Heath, did. At the time (the late 1990s), she was working in France. Like many North American women, she walked to work in flat shoes then changed at the office. However, the practice was not so common there at the time. So, yes, she gave in to the peer-pressure of her co-workers and spent more than a decade limping to the office in heels.

Oh, the things we do for vanity.

Did I mention she did it through three pregnancies?

And then one day, she walked in with a big idea. Still wearing the same shoes, mind you, but kicking around an idea.

What if shoes came with adjustable heels?

And, there you have it – the birth of an entrepreneur.

Well, not so fast, cowgirl.

Everyone she approached thought the idea was technically impossible. She spent at least $40,000 of her own money and more than one sleepless night trying to figure it out.

So, what if you have an idea, but you don’t know if it will work?

If you truly believe in it, don’t walk out on it. Innovate. Turn it up-side-down. Look to new sources for ideas and inspiration.

Especially if you’ve spent more than a decade – the same decade you’ve been walking to work in heels — also teaching innovation on a part-time basis at an engineering school.

So, she turned the problem over to the professors and students for a little innovation renovation.

It may have taken 14 engineers and designers, but they did it.

Heath was in shock.

And now her shoes are strutting the runways of London and her first shop will open later this year in Paris.

Watch a short news story here.

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