4dancers wanted to share this interview with Katelyn Lohr, well…because we like her product. And, because we think it’s pretty cool that she founded a business based on an idea she had.
Read more about her story in this interview…
What Inspired Freetoes?
When I was eight, I wanted to wear my flip flops outside when it was cold out. My mom said I had to wear socks and shoes. So, I came to her with scissors and socks. It was my way of following the rules but still getting what I wanted!
How can Freetoes be helpful to dancers?
Dancers have been pulling their leg warmers down around their heels forever. Freetoes are great with leg warmers because they keep the leg warmers from sliding too far down, and they offer a little extra support. I also think they would be great for costumes during performances.
Freetoes give dancers the slip they need to move freely across the floor, but, because the toes are free, they also have that grip that is so important. Freetoes keep feet warm, keep heels from drying out on the wood floors, and can help make tights last a little longer.
How can Freetoes be a fun part of your wardrobe in general?
Freetoes are so much fun! They come in so many funky colours and designs. They work with such a variety of footwear too. Everything from flip flops, riding boots, crocs, peekaboo toe boots, sandals, and Vibram barefoot sports shoes. They are fun and extremely practical.
How many different patterns/colors of Freetoes do you offer?
We currently have 12 different colours and patterns in stock…we call them flavors! Variety is the spice of Freetoes. Something we learned early on in developing this product was that people wanted to buy more than one pair because we had such a wide variety of colours and designs. We like to carry some staple colors like Solid Black and Pink, but we get wild with patterns like Electric Zebra and Teal Blue Leopard!
Do you have a favorite pattern/color?
It’s really hard to pick a fav because we are always getting new ones in. Right now, I would say Black and White Stripes, but I do wear the Solid Black and Pink ones most often.
What’s it like to participate in the business world at such a young age?
It’s an amazing experience, my favorite part is being at Trade Shows and selling Freetoes directly to customers. I really enjoy sharing my story and teaching people about my business and product.
What are the challenges?
I think one of the biggest challenges is the fact that I am only 13. Thinking about things like manufacturing, shipping deadlines, taxes, production planning, cash flow, and forecasts are not your typical teenage concerns. I think that lots people (not my family) who see the success that I have had, expect me to have my whole life figured out, they seem to forget that I am only 13.
What are the benefits?
I think the biggest benefit is learning about running a business firsthand. Not reading about it in a book, but actually doing it. Being able to think about something, learning about what it takes to make it happen, and then doing it. The opportunities that Freetoes continues to open up for me are more than some people experience in their whole life.
What are some of your personal and business goals for the future?
Personal goals are pretty typical, graduate from high school, get my driver’s license, and maintain healthy relationships with my parents and sisters.
Business goals include international product awareness, working more closely with my charity of choice Project Aftershock, and expanding our product line to include things like flip flops and knee high Freetoes.
Freetoes Toeless Socks can be purchased at : www.freetoes.com