When Catherine Nottage along with Co-founder Denise Anderman were driving to the mountains with their tween-aged kids, a boy and a girl, for a joint family vacation.
After just a few miles the car fell victim to an unholy stench. The culprit? Their kids’ shoes, forcing them to drive four hours with the windows wide open. These kids—one an athlete who competes in intense sports, the other a concert-going fashion diva who loves to go sockless—shared one thing: typical teenage hormonal change and the stinky feet that goes with it.
Inspired by the double dose of want-to chop-your-nose-off-grade funk, the two moms talked about how they might avoid having their cars and homes turned into olfactory torture chambers every time their kids took off their shoes.
Unhappy with the current products available, they looked into creating their own solution. They concluded that the best way to prevent odor (and protect shoes from the bacteria that caused it) would be an advanced, full-featured shoe insole.
Painfully familiar with the problem, they knew what attributes the ideal solution should have: best-in-class odor-preventing functionality, moisture wicking, cushioning, and they would definitely have to be machine washable/dry-able. The insoles should also be durable, re-useable, and eco-friendly.
Another crucial consideration was the “cool factor”. Because if the kids (not to mention athletes, husbands and not-so-fresh-footed friends of all ages) didn’t want to put them in their shoes, the stink would win.
Doing anything well is not easy. It took 3 years of R&D to nail the engineering and manufacturing. And they partnered with award winning branding experts, designers and artists to make the insoles just as fun as they were functional. The result is a product line of 24 cool/pretty/whacky designs, to ensure that there’s something for everyone.
Today, Inkblaat is headquartered in Mill Valley, CA, at the foothills of Mount Tamalpais in a reclaimed, pre-fab structure ironically nestled in a fragrant redwood grove.
Catherine & Denise love to hear from their customers, so feel free to reach out to them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, questions, suggestions. Or just to say hi!