MIA ROSA Spotlight On
Founder of Sole Serum
Tricia Andrews is the Founder of Sole Serum Foot Pain Reliever. Founded in April 2014, Sole Serum contains the pain-relieving power of Lidocaine along with natural oils (Lavender, Tea Tree and Peppermint Oil) to make sure the soothing pain relief can reach the aches and pains that need it most. Its proprietary blend is FDA Compliant. Sole Serum has been featured in such premiere publications as Glamour: Netherlands, Vogue Paris, Cosmopolitan, Health, Self, The Knot, Seventeen, Real Simple, Glamour, Fast Company, Harper’s Bazaar, Essence, Brides, US Weekly, Teen Vogue, LaurenConrad.com, OK Magazine and Star. FORBES named Sole Serum Foot Pain Reliever one of 2014’s most innovative health and beauty products. Sole Serum has appeared multiple times on QVC in the US and will be launching in the UK/Europe in 2016.
We caught up with Tricia, the proud, new mother of a baby girl. Her very busy life just got a whole lot busier.
What prompted you to create Sole Serum?
NECESSITY! Honestly, it was a product that I needed, but it didn’t exist in the market. My background is TV Ad Sales and I spent 12 years pounding the pavement. I was constantly on-the-go in heels and needed something to help as I stood in presentations, shifting from one foot to the other. I had tried other products, but nothing worked for me. So, one thing led to another and before I knew it, we were meeting with chemists to come up with the perfect formula. After nearly a year of formulation and the FDA compliancy process, we were able to launch Sole Serum.
How difficult (or painful) was it to get your business off the ground?
The most difficult (frustrating?) part about getting Sole Serum off the ground was trying to remain patient. Once we had a formula that we loved, Sole Serum went through the FDA compliancy process, which is out of your hands in terms of timing. We were all so excited to start screaming about Sole Serum from the rooftops, but our hands were tied as we waited for the official go-ahead.
It was also difficult for us because there isn’t a current category that Sole Serum falls into. Sure, there is “foot pain relief”, but no one was making a topical formula like ours. I didn’t anticipate having to educate the market as much as we have, as the idea of what Sole Serum does just makes so much sense to me. But hey, I’m a girl who’s said “I would pay anything just to make my feet stop hurting!”
What current projects have you the most excited?
We have a couple of really cool things that are in the works, and I’m super excited about them all. First, we are working with a team that is trying to bring us into Target (woohoo!). Hopefully, you will see us in a Shoe Department end-cap in 2016. We are also working on getting Sole Serum into Ulta (amazing!), so keep your eyes peeled for it to be in their Impulse Towers sometime this year. Lastly, we are in the process of getting our formula approved to sell on QVC in the EU/UK. We aired multiple times in the U.S., so I’m excited to see how it does overseas.
Was there anyone you looked up to as you were getting started in the business? A mentor or someone in the public eye who inspired you along the way?
I’ve had many mentors along the way, and the majority of them came from my time at Turner Broadcasting. My experience there was invaluable because of their extremely high standards and competitiveness. When I was starting out as a Sales Assistant, my Account Executive sat me down and laid out some fundamentals. Always be prepared! You should never walk into a client meeting without having read as much information as you can and formulating three questions. If you don’t have good points to address in the meeting, then you aren’t adding value to the meeting. He never treated me like an assistant in the sense that I should be there to simply take notes. He wanted me to learn and begin to cultivate my own relationships. Also, my SVP at the time had the motto of “just get it done”. He didn’t care if you couldn’t figure something out – you were never to come to him with a question that you didn’t at least have a partial answer for. I probably thought he was a jerk at the time, but it has never left me. There is always a way to figure something out. Please don’t tell me that you can’t, as that is not an option. So, it wasn’t a particular “mentor”, but more a great team that helped give me the tools I needed to venture off on my own.
- Are there one or two “aha” moments that stand out in your mind?
Well the biggest “aha” moment was when I realized there was a product that was missing in the market. It’s great that Sole Serum was born this way – it’s what drives me everyday. Having that at the core of the brand makes all of the hustle incredibly fun. It really is a unique product that everyone can use. In fact, when people discover it, they, too, go “ah-ha”!
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Surround yourself with good people! I truly believe that who you’re with is who you become. The fastest way to change yourself is to spend time with those who are already the way you want to be. And while you’re at it, build a great team. No one succeeds in business alone, and those who try will lose to a great team every time. Build your own awesome team to amplify your success. And as you build it, hire for character and values. You can always train someone with the appropriate skills, but you can’t make their values fit your company after the fact.
How do you like to relax when not working? (workout? travel? being around friends or family?).
Working out! My husband and I both love to wake up and sweat. We love so many things – training, cardio, MMA, surfing, Pilates, SoulCycle, etc. We both own companies, so it’s the only thing we are sure to make time for every morning. But, we did just have a baby girl last week, so our schedule has gone out the window. But, it’s worth it!