Frustrated by orthotics that fit poorly into fashion shoes and sports boots, podiatrist Rachael Ferguson (pictured) and Marie Ishak-Lewis tackled the problem with a solution and the result was Synxsole.
Ferguson says the insoles available before she co-founded the business in 2012 often weren't therapeutic, so when patients visited her clinic their purchases would be destined for the bin rather than shoes.
"I started Synxsole out of a need to fit a slim-fitting sole inside a shoe and also give something that's going to help fix their problems while preventing issues as well," she says.
The entrepreneurs then went on Shark Tank and garnered backing from Andrew Banks.
"He's still with my company now. After that we started selling that product into stores," she says.
"What I've figured out over the last 18 months is we launched with a few limitations and that was with the packaging. The packaging was dark, it was cardboard and you couldn't see the product. We were kind of lost against our biggest competitor which is Scholl.
"After looking through everything I rebranded. It's now glossy, clear and modern."
Ishak-Lewis has taken a step back from the business but still retains a small shareholding.
What was a portfolio of two products has grown to 14, catering to most foot problems imaginable as the only insole endorsed by the Australian Podiatry Association.
Synxsole got a big break this year when Chemist Warehouse decided to stock two of its products, leading to 100 per cent year-on-year sales growth since June. That has been in parallel with a TV ad campaign on Channel Ten and more recently on the Your Money channel.
"That was massive, and then together with Chemist Warehouse, Amazon sales are going crazy in the US," she adds.
"We've actually been on Amazon for a while but it's really taken off, probably in the last few months. Instead of just having one product, we've brought all our products over.
"Obviously next year we'll probably look towards more the retail side in the US, but that hasn't stopped us doing the Amazon side and that will continue to grow.
Ferguson expects to be launching more products with a national retailer in 2019 and forecasts 300 per cent sales growth next financial year.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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