Laura Sticky Heelz

Foot care firm breaks into USA

Having won over Boots and Superdrug, the founder of Sticky Heelz set her sights on breaking into the American market.

About the business

“Securing listings with Boots and Superdrug were two of my main aims when I first started; the third was to break into America,” says Sticky Heelz founder Laura Birrell. “To be able to say I’ve achieved those goals in three years feels surreal.”

Laura launched Sticky Heelz in 2015. Today, her heel pads and teardrop arch pads for shoes are listed on the Boots UK and Ireland e-commerce websites. Nearly 500 Superdrug stores carry her products. And she has a distribution deal with a New York sales agent. Laura has shipped 20,000 units – and counting – across the Atlantic.

Now my adviser is connecting me with Scottish Enterprise for innovation support and Scottish Development International for exporting advice.

How Business Gateway has helped

Business Gateway has given Laura support from the start and she’s now benefiting from our links to Scotland’s wider network of business support.

“When I initially came up with the idea for my heel pad, I went to Business Gateway Lanarkshire,” says Laura. “With their help, I received financial readiness support to secure my initial investment deal, and an intellectual property audit, ensuring I was able to safeguard my brand and product designs. They also provided advice on search engine optimisation, branding and marketing.

“Now my adviser is connecting me with Scottish Enterprise for innovation support and Scottish Development International for exporting advice.”

Business Gateway support

Financial readiness support

Intellectual property audit

Links to other support

What’s next?

Since launching her original product, Laura has gone on to develop others with the help of podiatrist Dr Vicki Cameron.

“Working with Vicki opened my eyes and highlighted an opportunity to bring more innovative products to market,” says Laura. “The next addition to the Sticky Heelz range has been developed to reduce heel pain and toe pain.”

A major Canadian retailer has expressed interest in Sticky Heelz and Laura is planning a big push in the USA and Baltic region in 2019.

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