The youngest of three girls, I was born and raised in Bremerton WA. While nice enough, I decided early on that the blue collar navy town on the Puget Sound was not a long term option for me. After working my way through college and graduating from Washington State University, I moved to Seattle to begin my television "career" as an intern in the offices of KCPQ-TV/Fox. My first office was a converted closet that smelled of cleaning supplies. Hugo the absent minded janitor soon became my closest confidante.
Five years later and with the title of Program Manager now on my resume, I made the big leap across country to New York City where I immediately contracted the chicken pox and two creepy roommates. The chicken pox being the easiest to get rid of. Forced to miss all my job interviews, I eventually regrouped and landed a job in sales for the East Coast division of Universal. A few years later Warner Brothers offered me a job in TV syndication and relocated me to what would become my adopted home town of Chicago. I fell in love with Chicago instantly and happily embraced everything it has to offer.
Within a few years I moved across Michigan Avenue for the greener pastures of ABC/Disney to again sell syndicated TV shows to various markets across the US. By this time I was a seasoned road warrior who could pack, clean, coif and catch a cab to the airport in under twenty minutes. Four years of wonderful Chicago life later, Disney rewarded me with the title of Vice President of Domestic Television Sales...West Coast Division. Leaving much of my heart in Chicago, I followed my career to Los Angeles and planted my palm tree in Redondo Beach. It could be worse. And would be, if not for the part of Chicago I did bring with me to Southern California, my boyfriend Jerry. Whose love, devotion and knowledge of fine wines, has kept me as sane as possible during this crazy ride that became Bootights.
Like most women, I tend to sacrifice comfort for style. That's just the way we're built. "As long as it looks good, I'll make it work." While I've always loved wearing tights with my boots, I've hated the many problems that came along with it. The cold slipping feet that often resulted in blisters and snags was a constant frustration. My "make it work" solution of layering socks over my tights was far from perfect and usually led to even more problems. The most glaring being, what socks to use and where to get them? I'm a girl and I run in ankle socks. Who buys tube socks? Snatching the socks of whatever boyfriend I had at the time or pilfering from my dear old dad when I came home to visit became my modus operandi. Often with disastrous results. Trust me, word of getting caught going through your father's underwear drawer will liven up any family gathering once the booze starts to kick in.
While occasional family ridicule is to be expected, public indignation is not. Happily the latter came as a blessing in disguise when an incident at Chicago's O'Hare Airport turned an "Oh no" moment into an "Ah-ha" one. Still based in Chicago and flying to Fargo, ND for business, (not recommended for vacations) I made my way through a long security line in the company of a very engaging and very handsome man. Rockin' my short dress, tights and boots and feeling like I had some "game" I expected to continue our banter on the other side of TSA. Unfortunately, the look on the gentlemen's face when I slipped off my boots to expose my ugly pair of white "man socks", put an end to that idea. He was gone in a flash and I was left there feeling embarrassed and not quite as cool as I though I was a few minutes earlier. During the flight I wondered “why a gal can’t have a stylish, quality tight combined with the comfort of a sock, all in one”. By the time the plane landed, the idea for Bootights was taking off.
My promotion and move to L.A took the idea of tights with a sock attached off of my immediate "to do" list. However, it was here where fate would eventually step in once again. Having previously lived and worked in both New York and Chicago I hadn't owned a car in over eight years. Now in Los Angeles, I was forced to drive. Even with my constant travel, at least once or twice a week I still had an hour and a half commute to and from my office in Burbank. To avoid as much of rush hour as possible, I began either coming in really early or staying later. It was during this bonus time in my office that I once again began to think about the possibilities of tights with attached socks.
I reached out to various hosiery mills with little to show for it. Not speaking the lingo meant that I wasn't being taken seriously. With some help from Google, I finally reached out to the Manufacturing Solutions Center in Hickory, NC and shared my idea with the Director and Hosiery Guru, Dan St. Louis. When Dan told me that this was the best idea he’d heard in years, I knew I was on to something. Within weeks, Dan, his team and I developed a prototype and Bootights were born…and my life would never be the same.
Much like the beginning of my professional life, I again took a giant leap... a leap of faith. I left my comfortable career and paycheck at Disney for the on the job training of entrepreneurship in an industry I knew little about. While almost as frustrating as the chicken pox, the process continues to be much more rewarding than I ever expected. The guidance I've received and friendships I've made along the way continue to strengthen and inspire me. That being said, my greatest encouragement comes from my customer. I promise to earn your trust in each and every product we create. And if we fail, feel free to call me on it...literally. Here's my cell, 312-282-2725