Sick of feeling the pain of stilettos and carrying around bulky comfortable shoes, Sarah and Jenifer Caplan invented Footzyfolds, a rollable, foldable shoe that fits in a purse. Three years after starting their now multi-million dollar company, the sisters share important lessons they’ve learned along the way.
Looking back on your experiences over the last three years, what are the top two things you wish you had known?
Sarah: I wish I had known that it is NOT so easy to work with family members because there aren’t any boundaries. For example, my sister has no problem calling me at 3 a.m to tell me about a new shoe we need to create. I mean, that is not normal work etiquette because the rest of the world is sleeping at 3 a.m!
In all seriousness though, I wish I had known that you can’t just build a brand and a company overnight. It takes time and perseverance, and most importantly, you need to understand that nothing EVER goes as planned. You must be ready for mistakes and understand that how you solve the problems will determine your success. Also, you can’t be afraid to get out there and try things. The only person that is ever holding you back is yourself. If you believe in something…go For it!
Jenifer: I learned that everything can’t be perfect the first time you try. You will have multiple iterations of your idea/product and you will need to continue upgrading, updating and innovating. The work is NEVER actually done! There is always more to do and ways to make it better or even expand the product line. However, you can’t expand too fast or you will lose sight of the original roots of the company.
Second, you can’t always listen to everyone’s opinions. If you believe in yourself and have passion and motivation, then you can make anything happen just like we did. So many people were pessimistic because we didn’t have any background in this industry. If we had listened to all of the negativity, we would have never been where we are today.
Sarah: It’s interesting, but I feel like those people who didn’t believe in us just made us work harder.
Jenifer: Yes, that’s true. But what really made us work hard was our passion for our product. We believed we would change women’s lives forever and we DID!