By now we’re all aware that winter is MURDER on footwear. The salt, snow and slush will do a real number on even your best boots. But before you send them to an early grave, Tracey Sloga wants you to try her invention: BootRescue wipes. Tracey’s a fashion lover who’s always been crazy about boots, and has since developed a range of shoe and handbag wipes that are all-natural and get your boots back to beautiful.
SDTC: What did you do before founding BootRescue?
TS: Before founding BootRescue I worked in advertising agencies, both in Toronto and London, UK. I loved my career, but one day the idea for my first product, BootRescue, popped into my head and overnight it all changed.
Which pair of ruined boots finally sent you over the edge?
During a particularly brutal winter, I arrived at work and a colleague was complaining how salt stains had ruined her favourite boots. I turned to a colleague and said, “Why hasn’t anyone made a wipe to get salt stains off your boots?” And that was it. After that it was nothing but research, consultations with chemists and testing to find just the right formula. It had to really work while being 100% natural.
Within a year BootRescue, a wipe to get salt stains off your boots and save them permanent damage, hit the market. Since then I’ve been adding products: all-natural wipes for every type of footwear and now, handbags. I’m proud to say that they’re sold in fifty countries internationally.
What is the best advice you were given in relation to your career?
Don’t take things too seriously. Of course you need to work super hard and do your absolute best. But when things go wrong (and they will), try not to let it get to you. Just learn from it and move on.
Tips for other inventors starting out?
I honestly feel like I stumbled into entrepreneurship. An idea popped into my head that I really believed in, and I was compelled to act on it. So many people have great ideas for products every day, but for whatever reason, never do anything about it. So if you have one floating around your head, nagging away at you, just go for it or you may regret it.
There’s one thing that really gave me the confidence to go ahead with BootRescue that could help others; at the start, I did a little online research to make sure that it wasn’t only my family and best friends that would buy my product. A lot of the big research firms can do this for you, pretty reasonably. And once you’ve got the results to show that your product’s a winner, it’s hard work, passion and more hard work, that’ll make your product an international success.