Sandra Gault is a lover of high heels, but like many women, she didn’t love the pain that came with them.
So the former IBM and Kodak executive applied her expertise in the tech industry to footwear, creating the True Gault line of luxury customized heels. “We’re like a mathematical company disguised as a shoe brand,” said the founder and CEO, who spent two and a half years developing foot-scanning software that can help produce better-fitting shoes.
Her photo-based platform launched on the Apple App Store in December 2016 and has attracted nearly 1,000 customers. With the True Gault app, users photograph their feet from three angles to generate a 3-D image that is used as the model for their shoe. They then are invited to select from around 20 styles that can be customized with at least 40 different upper materials.
The shoes, which are priced from $250 to $350, are manufactured in Spain and made with soft leathers, memory foam padding and suede linings.
Gault said the turnaround time for products averages less than four weeks, with a low return rate. “Each shoe has a high probability of success,” she explained. “Part of the reason is that we make the shoes as separate products, not as pairs. No woman has two feet that are exactly the same, and we can address that.”
The brand is so confident of the fit, in fact, that it guarantees to replace all unsatisfactory products. And any items that are returned are not discarded but sold through flash sales.
After a rapid ramp-up, True Gault is now courting additional investment as part of a Series A fundraising round. It expects to garner $2.5 million by the end of the summer.
Gault said her goal is to use the funds to develop an Android-compatible app and invest in more marketing and branding to build awareness. So far, the company has relied on Google ads and word-of-mouth referrals.
The entrepreneur also aims to broaden the product assortment with additional silhouettes, such as flats, and hopes to partner with experienced shoe designers to advance the brand’s aesthetic.