During the week, Andrea Brooks is a Plano-based Realtor for Keller Williams. Over the past decade she’s built a successful business, one that she says is “busy and fulfilling.” However, on weekends she can often be found traveling around the country promoting her invention called Footsie Soft.
“I think most people have thought of something and said, ‘That would be so cool if I could get my invention out there,’” Brooks said. “I thought why not just give it a try so that’s what I did.”
Footsie Soft is a foot callous remover designed to yield a more comfortable and effective experience. Brooks had struggled to combat fool callouses for years. She tried various salon pedicures to no avail. Eventually she stopped after contracting a foot infection.
“About 15 years ago I started tinkering around in my garage a bit and came up with my own concept that worked better than anything I’d ever tried,” she said. “It took several renditions and a number of years before I decided to patent it in 2014.”
Most callous-removing products are made with metal. Footsie Soft is fashioned together with mesh embedded with crystals. The mesh it attached to the bottom with a hook and loop similar to Velcro. The entire device is about the size of a bar of soap.
Coming up with the idea turned out to be the easy part. She next had to research manufacturing design and figure out how to get the product produced.
“I started the process rather naively as I’ve found a lot of other people in my position do,” Brooks said. “I didn’t understand a lot of the costs or the development process.”
After researching design and production options she found a company to help develop the tooling used to produce Footsie Soft. Brooks soon found herself learning a lot about manufacturing processes and stressing over details like how to get small rubber grips molded.
“We just sort of fumbled our way through it and got it in hand,” she said.
When she finally had the product ready, her next challenge was getting it in front of customers. Brooks contacted numerous health and beauty brands, but their representatives were not keen on getting into licensing and production. She also auditioned for representatives from television’s “Shark Tank,” but they seemed more intent on finding over-the-top personalities.
Her efforts have been much more successful at beauty and trade shows, where sales have been strong and feedback overwhelming positive. Brooks typically travels with a bucket full of competing products so that potential customers can compare. One thing that sets Footsie Soft apart is that you don’t have to soak your feet before using it. She also says that it does less damage to the skin than other products.
Footsie Soft is currently available online as well as various beauty shows. Eventually Brooks hopes to find the right opportunity to get it into retail stores.
“The good thing is that we continue to get very favorable feedback from our customers,” Brooks said. “This is something that I am just so passionate and committed to. I really want it to take off.”
Considering how much shoe leather Realtors burn up while showing houses, she definitely has a built-in market for Footsie Soft.