Before we started Divadend, I spent many nights with achy bunions. Mornings would start with me surveying my shoe selection to decide which shoes I could bear to wear that day and then planning an outfit accordingly. In fact, that's how Caroline and I came up with the concept that Divadend would end the debate between the shoes we love and the shoes we wear. I certainly wasn't loving the shoes I was choosing to accommodate my foot ailments.
Around the time we started formulating the idea to start Divadend, I began seeing physical therapist Kathi Fairbend M.S. R.P.T. for posture-related issues. Since she is one of the most knowledgeable people about the human body that I'll ever meet, I shared the idea of starting Divadend. I expected her to question how I would be able to start a company with a full-time career, three young kids and no prior experience in the footwear industry. Instead, Kathi enthusiastically replied that she would be happy to advise us on anatomy, ergonomics and shoe construction because she felt like we would fill an important void in women's footwear options. Then she said, "You don't even know this about me but my father was a shoe manufacturer so I understand shoe construction, sizing and the importance of the footbed. Every day I see the repercussions in patients from poorly made and poorly fitting shoes. I want to help with this." It was an exhilarating moment when I felt like we were going to really make this happen.
Over the past several years, we have developed over 30 iterations of the Greenway pump to get the construction and fit just right. There were early versions when I would discouragingly admit that my feet killed after wearing shoes that were intended to be comfortable. Each time we couldn't figure out why a version of the shoe wasn't performing, Kathi would diagnose that the pitch was too steep or the toe box too low or any one of dozens of other shortcomings we corrected.
While standing in line at my local Peet's, a fit-looking woman in workout gear complimented my Divadend pumps and asked where I purchased them. As I enthusiastically replied that the shoes are my own brand and stepped out of a shoe to show it to her up close, she exclaimed "You have bunions!". She was delighted to discover that the shoes both fit and camouflage bunions - all while looking beautiful enough to covet.
Say hello to your go-to shoe,