As a founder, your most valuable asset is your time—and there is probably no group of founders who are more efficient about getting the most out of their time than moms. Moms also have a unique and personal insight into what’s important to other moms when they buy things for their kids. They’re looking for products that save time, provide good value, are good for their kids and have values they believe in.
Fatma Collins and Julie Rogers, former Jet.com colleagues and both new moms, have just announced the launch of Ten Little—a children’s shoe company focused on fit and healthy foot development, as well as convenience. A child’s foot isn’t the same shape as adult feet—they’re a bit boxier—so their shoes need to be shaped differently, not just sized down versions of what their parents are wearing. They also need flexibility, to allow for kids to build balance and dexterity in their feet.
Parents can find their child’s size easily using Ten Little’s free Fit Finder by having their child stand on the insole prints or take a simple quiz on the site which prompts parents to share their child’s foot length or their current shoe brand and size. They also have a predictive data platform that tracks your child’s growth and sends you a reminder when it is time to size up.
In other words, no more dragging kids to a shoe store to find a fit.
This is also a brand that parents can feel good about associating with. Ten Little has partnered with Soles4Souls to put your child’s gently-worn shoes to good use. When you size up with Ten Little, they will automatically include a prepaid shipping label in your reorder so you can donate your child’s outgrown shoes for free.
What struck me most about Fatma during her pitch, which was made possible by an introduction from Anchor founder Michael Mignano, was her confidence in what she was doing. It wasn’t the confidence of a natural-born personality trait—it was the confidence that came from not only her experience as a potential customer, but a career in the e-commerce space.
Founders can be divided into three groups. First, there are smart, capable people—obviously, those are the ones you want to back over everyone you can’t fit into that group.
Within that, however, you can divide all the smart people into those that have done their homework and those who haven’t—and the right homework is where years of personal and professional experience has led to this very idea. The best founders aren’t months in the making—their company’s launch is the end of a years-long journey and the beginning of another. Everything they’ve been doing preps them in a unique way for what they’re about to do.
When they pitch, they’re not asking you whether you think something is a good idea—they’re there to tell you what they’re going to do. That’s what Fatma did. Her pitch mostly involved me listening and not a lot of debate on anything she said—because she knows her stuff.
I’m excited to have backed Fatma and Julie through Brooklyn Bridge Ventures—one of many pre-launch companies I’ve written a check for. They’re the 8th company I’ve backed that is founded by moms, and the 28th company I’ve backed with a female founder.