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[READ] This Entrepreneur Travelled from Minnesota to Pitch her Product

They say building your own business is all about taking the first step – even if you don’t know where you’ll end up. Fortunately for us, Abby Walker’s journey lead her to Pitch Night, where this Minnesota-based entrepreneur shared the story behind Vivian Lou, a line of innovative insoles. Created for shoe girls by a shoe girl and a podiatrist, the weight shifting insoles adjust the position of the foot in high heels, making even the highest of heels less of a pain. Read on for how Abby founder her way to #PitchNight…

How did you find out about Pitch Night?
In August, my brother-in-law told me about STORY after seeing Rachel speak at an event in NYC. I fell in love with the concept of the store and signed up to receive your emails. In early September, I randomly checked your site and learned about Pitch Night. And I applied. I was accepted on a Thursday, and immediately booked my flight (from Minneapolis) to NYC.

What was it like to pitch your product to the panel? 
In a word: UNBELIEVABLE. I was so nervous heading into my pitch, but the fellow entrepreneurs at Pitch Night were so encouraging and supportive. We were all rooting for each other. When it was my turn to pitch, my nerves quickly turned into excitement. Not only was I presenting my product to three iconic women, but Rachel, Mindy and Tory could not have been any more kind, engaging and truly interested. Thirty seconds into my 3 minute pitch, Rachel said “I’m sold.” and both Mindy and Tory took off their Louboutins and asked me to put Vivian Lou Insolia insoles in their heels. It was the fastest and most exhilarating 3 minutes of my life.
What’s the story behind Vivian Lou- how did you get started on your small business journey? 
I started my journey blogging about shoes. One of my posts featured products that alleviated foot pain but most of the ingredients were things that I wouldn’t want to put on my body. So I hired a clinical herbalist and a naturopathic doctor to formulate a more powerful, all natural spray that alleviated pain and reduced inflammation. That’s when I set out to create a company to reduce foot pain for the woman who wear heels so she can focus more on her dreams and less on her feet. While doing market research, I stumbled across a product called Insolia insoles and I called up the CEO to ask why I had never heard of the product. “We’re a bunch of males trying to market a product to women,” he said. Shortly thereafter, I took over Insolia’s direct-to-consumer business. I am still working on bringing the foot spray to market, along with other complimentary products, but for now, my main focus is Insolia insoles – because they are AMAZING!
If you could share one piece of advice with small business owners what would it be? 
Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. It’s been said before, but it is so true. It’s hard not to compare these days with social media and more, but as Theodore Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy.”

What’s one thing that the internet doesn’t know about your business? 
I run this operation from my basement.