Sandra Gault, Founder of True Gault, decided that the women’s shoe industry could use an upgrade. Using 3D imaging technology, True Gault ditches traditional sizing to produce shoes that are custom tailored to your feet. Determined to produce comfortable and fashionable shoes, Sandra personally tests out each model. To date, Sandra’s walked over 5,626,290 steps (1,674 miles) in her True Gault heels!
What is your business, and what problem you are solving?
True Gault uses 3D imaging technology via its iPhone app to make beautiful shoes that actually fit. Women can buy shoes in store or online, but size doesn’t necessarily guarantee fit and comfort. True Gault’s 3D-imaging technology remedies the hassle and (often physical) pain to custom create shoes.
By applying our fit formula to each foot’s biomechanics, shoe size becomes irrelevant as each pair is as unique as the woman who wears it. With True Gault’s innovative technology and mobile app, our goal is to turn the footwear industry upside down and assure women they can buy affordable affordable shoes online with total confidence in fit and comfort!
What inspired you to start your company?
Fashion should fit you; not the other way around! Standing in painful designer heels at a party, I realized that no amount of compliments could make me feel at ease. It was then I vowed that every woman deserves a beautiful pair of heels that she could comfortably wear all day long. I channeled my three passions – fashion, business, and technology (honed from years spent with Kodak and IBM) – to build True Gault.
Who is in your core team? How did your team come together?
We are a woman-led startup based in the heart of New York City. Through our factory in Alicante, Spain, we work with the leading shoe artisans in the world. The True Gault team is comprised of experts spanning the realms of design, business, and technology.
Please explain your edge over your competition?
There is no one else in the footwear industry doing what we are doing. Customization is available, but no one is focusing on fit like we are. You can buy shoes and change the color, but you can’t change your size.
We are also the only company offering a way for shoppers to finally feel 100% confident when shopping for shoes online. We do not currently have any direct competitors, however we like to think that we are an amalgamation of four key cornerstones of the footwear industry: luxury, comfort, customization and e-commerce.
Advice you would give yourself from 10 years ago?
There is always going to be an endless to-do list. You must set limits and be satisfied by your day-to-day accomplishments. As a startup founder, you will inevitably experience super highs and crazy lows. You need to learn how to handle that emotional rollercoaster. I’ve learned that it all starts with being able to just “breathe” through it all.
Who was an early inspiration for you?
I really admire Sara Blakely, the Founder &; CEO of Spanx. She’s a powerful woman who has made a tremendous impact on how women dress today. It is inspiring how she refused to accept the status quo and instead broke the mold to change an industry.
If you were an investor, how would you look at your “company” as an opportunity?
Our technology is proven – we’ve already sold thousands of shoes to satisfied women.
Also, the excitement is contagious! True Gault has already gained considerable attention from the press with features by CNBC, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fashion Week Daily, Business Insider, Life & Style, and countless more. Our shoes have been worn by supermodel, Niki Taylor.
We are also fortunate to be advised by industry experts. Our advisory board includes Nina Garcia, ELLE Magazine’s newly appointed Editor in Chief and Project Runway judge.
If you had $1M to invest, where would you put it (you can’t invest in your own company).*
I would invest in women-led startups. Women have an objectively harder time raising capital in the startup world. We face more obstacles when bringing our startups to market. That sexism is frustrating. At True Gault, we want to support and empower women in every way, especially in their entrepreneurial endeavors.
Do you follow any unusual routines, including any that you share with your team?
As Founder & CEO, it’s my passion to champion our shoes. I never set foot anywhere without my True Gault shoes. To date I have taken over 5,626,290 steps, or walked 1,674 miles in my True Gault heels!
What are your interests and passions outside of your company?
I love to paint. It helps me relax. I’m also an avid skier, which gives me the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while also having the thrill of speed.
What’s something you wish you knew more about?
As a “geek in heels,” I would say Quantum Physics...and I’d throw in being able to speak a few other languages.
Why equity crowdfunding?
Our business is centered on replacing traditional industry norms with innovation. We applied this same mentality to fundraising. Simply put, women-led startups typically have a much harder time raising capital through traditional venture capital rounds.
As a fresh approach to fundraising, equity crowdfunding empowers True Gault supporters to become stakeholders in the company. We want to give everyone the chance to join the revolution and be a part of the future of footwear. For that reason, we are thrilled for the opportunity to drive interest and investment through Republic!
To learn more about what Sandra is building, see True Gault's campaign here.
* The view is the personal opinion of the interviewee and should not be construed as investment advice from either the interviewee nor Republic.