INDEPENDENT RETAILER magazine is now the official news outlet for Wholesale Central visitors.
Each monthly issue is packed with new product ideas, supplier profiles, retailing news, and
business strategies to help you succeed.
See new articles daily online at IndependentRetailer.com.
The 13th century Persian poet, Rumi, wrote, "Let what you love be what you do," and Cindy Schultz, owner of www.MyCoolFeet.net is a perfect example of that. In 2004, she and her husband were in Quartz Site, AZ, walking around an RV show when she saw a sign that said, "Go topless, go bare!" and decided to investigate.
The booth carried topless sandals. She bought a pair, received continuous compliments, and loved them so much, she bought a hundred to sell, then another hundred, then another hundred, and before she knew it, she was invited by the company to become a distributor.
Cool Feet are a unique sandal with no apparent means of staying on your foot. Essentially, you are walking around on just a sole. What makes them work is the built-in adhesive which causes them to stick, but when you take them off, there's no sticky residue left behind. They are easily cleaned with a bit of mild detergent and a brush, and then left to air dry. "We have had people come up to us two or three years later, and they are still wearing the same pair," Schultz said.
As you might guess, since Schultz first saw the product at an RV show, she and her husband travel around the U.S. "From November to April we are in Florida. I do different functions: flea markets, craft shows, and then we go back to Iowa where we live, and I do basically the same thing; craft shows and fairs and flea markets."
She went online with the sandals in June 2006 to reach parts of the country that she was not able to travel through. Said Schultz, "It is convenient. Online, people give me their orders, and I can process them, and get them out right away. Customers like that they can sit home and order, and know the order will be on its way by the next day."
The website, which is both retail and wholesale, shows a representation of the designs. "The designs are constantly changing," said Schultz. "But they are all tropical prints. There are probably thirty or more different designs and colors." The site also carries stretchy, foot jewelry, beaded elastics that go around your ankle and over your toe, adding to the look of the sandal.
It is a simple, clean, two page website with the sandal description and its non-residue, sticky secret at the top of the first page. Following that is a list of useful and convenient places they can be worn, such as airport security checks. At the bottom of the page is the catalog, which you reach by clicking on the picture of a group of Cool Feet sandals.
The second page, the catalog, has instructions for ordering, pictures of sandal designs, and drop down menus for color and size, with the quantity pricing chart below that. Foot jewelry pictures and order options follow. Orders are processed through a shopping cart. Purchases of greater than fifty pairs brings an email inquiring about future wholesale purchasing and requesting a tax ID number.
Schultz sells to both wholesalers and retailers, and her customers are more than just beachfront stores serving tourists. She also sells to resorts, hotels, and flea market and craft show vendors. Of course, new customers receive guidance. "I help them with which patterns and sizes sell best, though I cannot guarantee they will get a particular pattern or color, because the patterns are constantly changing. I will offer advice when they order 100 pairs, and tell them that 40 percent of their business will be women's medium." A customer can order specific sizes and prints, or ask Schultz to fill the order based on her knowledge of what sells best where.
Schultz said, "You need more than one pattern. You need a variety, because everyone likes something different. One person might like pink. Another person might like blue or orange, or small flowers or big flowers."
She also sells display racks set up especially to fit the sandals, although the racks are not on the website yet. Also not yet on the website are disposable sandals, specially designed for use in pedicure and tanning salons or saunas.
The disposables feature a deep tread on the bottom to protect from falls or walking on slippery surfaces. "They are inexpensive, sanitary, and safe," said Schultz. "They come in one size, but you can tear them at the perforation to fit your foot." They are available in black, white, blue, purple, pink, and green.
The big news, is that the Cool Feet company will be coming out this summer with a sandal that has arch support. They function the same as the original, and are taken care of in the same way, but the sole is a little thicker and there's an arch for those whose feet need the extra support.
Because she travels and sells in so many venues, not every new customer finds Schultz's product through her website. "I have a lot of customers that will phone me, because when I am doing the shows here in Florida, I will pass my card out. The card has the phone number and website, and I carry my phone with me all the time."
Schultz wants her customers to know that she's there for them whenever they need her. "I want them to know they are buying an excellent product, and if they have any questions about their purchase even six months later, I am here to help them."
Minimum wholesale order for the topless, cool feet sandals is fifty pairs. Minimum order for foot jewelry is one 12 pack. Display racks are 39.95 each. Disposable sandals are $1.50 each with no minimum. Shipping for large orders is UPS ground, for smaller orders can by done by U.S.P.S. Schultz accepts C.O.D. orders and credit cards.
For more information:
Cindy Schultz, Owner
My Cool Feet
2531 550th Avenue
Sabula, IA 52070
Entire contents ©2022, Sumner Communications, Inc. (203) 748-2050. All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Sumner Communications, Inc. except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via e-mail to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.