KTUU TV Appearance
ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Getting a business idea off the ground and turning it into a successful product is no easy task, but one Alaskan company, Pandere Shoes, was able to do just that.
They started by identifying a problem.
“I've had difficulty finding shoes to fit my feet for the last 40 years, because I have a medical condition called lymphedema, so one foot is chronically swollen," said Pandere CEO Laura Oden.
That problem led to ideas. After meeting other like-minded individuals, Oden, teamed up with Ayla Rogers, and Celia Crosset to find a solution.
“We just clicked as a team,” Rogers said. “She really demonstrated that there was a big need, and we were able to combine our skill sets in marketing and finance to build a company."
Now, that company is bigger than ever, with an international presence.
“It is a full-blown footwear company, we are an online direct-to-consumer business," Rogers said.
As well as a physical one in Anchorage.
“Pandere shoes started because we all met at startup weekend," Oden said.
Startup Weekend is a place where entrepreneurs and businesses come together for three days of brainstorming, planning, and ultimately pitching business ideas.
“It's about empowering people to create the future that they want, or in this case, build the Alaska that we want,” said Startup Weekend co-organizer Ky Holland.
Alaska's 2019 startup weekend wrapped up Sunday night, with Pandere's founders returning to help.
“Pandere Shoes is an excellent example of entrepreneurs who both, you know, gave first, even before they had gotten started, were already the ecosystem, and now that they're beginning to become successful, they're also giving back," Holland said.
Now, they’re keeping people moving forward using their shoes and their expertise.
Copyright 2019 KTUU. All rights reserved.
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Like many others living with lower limb lymphedema, I struggle when it comes to footwear. Most of my swelling is in my right foot and ankle, so finding a shoe that comfortably fits is a challenge. And finding a shoe that’s stylish, too? Forget it.
I’m always on the lookout for lymphie-friendly footwear, so when my friends at Pandere reached out to me asking if I’d be interested in trying their latest style on for size, I was ecstatic.
The Foot Freedom Almanac’s Guide to Buying Shoes for Wide Feet
As much as 72 percent of people don’t wear shoes that are wide enough or long enough for their feet. The same 2018 study, published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, found substantial evidence demonstrating that ill-fitting shoes are associated with foot pain and a number of foot disorders. Do you have wide feet?
I’m not sure if Jonathan and I just have really big feet or we just keep moving to countries where people have tiny feet. Whatever the reason, buying shoes is always a nightmare.
When our new friends from Pandere Shoes contacted us and said, ‘Hey, we have a new range of shoes perfect for travelling. Want to try them?’
We didn’t need to be asked twice. Um, but we did wonder if they cater for size enormous feet.