When marketing veteran Tracey Sloga got tired of hearing her female co-workers complain about the effect of winter’s salt and stains on their footwear, she decided to do something about it. So in 2011, she quit her job and self-financed the launch of BootRescue, a shoe-care business based in Toronto.
After a successful online debut at Bootrescue.ca., as well as through a wide range of retailers in Canada, Sloga decided to introduce sister product ShoeRescue to U.S. retailers this spring, launching in Iowa-based Von Maur.
The all-natural BootRescue wipes safely clean damaging salt stains and grime from footwear made of leather, rubber and fabric, while sister product ShoeRescue is designed to whisk away stains such as dirt, mud and grass from shoes. Each retails for $6.99 for a pack of 15.
“There’s tons of potential for [the products],” said Sloga, who has received an order from The Paper Store, a gifts and gift-wrap chain. “We can sell them at so many places.”
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According to Sloga, the wipes have turned out to be great as gifts as well as an impulse purchase. “Women buy $300-to-$400 boots,” she said, about protecting their investment. And, she noted, the products can be used on accessories such as handbags and outerwear.
Now, Sloga is working on complementary product for sandals, set to debut in spring ’16, as well as distribution in Europe.