Well, you’ve gone and done it now! You’ve injured your foot. Yeah, it hurts. But it’s not nearly as annoying as having everyone in the world stop you on the street and ask you what do you did to get hurt. And how does everyone know you’re hurt? That ugly walking boot on your leg! It’s like walking around with a sign that says, “Ask me how I hurt yourself.” Wouldn’t it be great to just cover it up?
We’ve been talking with Dana & Dawn from Flaunt Boots & Accessories in Portland. They’ve created the solution!
How did you get started in your business?
We ask you, what do the Oscars and Super Bowl have in common? Dana. Dana Hennelly is the founder of Flaunt Boots. She has a bit of reputation around her community of friends as being someone who is a creative thinker and can make things happen. When a friend of hers was put into a medical boot just days before a planned trip to attend the Oscars in Los Angeles, she called Dana for help on Superbowl Sunday. Her friend wanted to hide her ugly medical boot when she was wearing a beautiful evening dress with a slit that would show the unattractive boot in all its glory. Dana sewed her friend a couple of options to cover the boot with accessories she could change out depending upon the outfit being worn. Over the ten weeks she was in a boot, her friend got so many compliments on the cover, Dana decided to research the idea further. She soon realized there was a need for stylish options for people to wear while recovering. She asked her sister Dawn to help in the venture, and Flaunt Boots & Accessories was born.
What’s something about you or your business that not everyone knows?
Most people just suffer through their recovery period, not even realizing there are options available to them. Getting the word out that attractive covers are available is our biggest hurdle to overcome.
When you have a day off, what Pacific Northwest experiences do you like to go and enjoy?
Dawn loves to take her kids on exploration days where they pick a town they’ve never been to before (no matter how small) and go explore. They’ll have photography contests while there to see who can come up with the coolest photos. It’s a way to travel, try some new restaurants, and see things they might normally just pass by in the car on the way to some other destination.
Dana loves to be out on the lake, playing tennis, and cooking up dishes after visiting a local farmers market.
If you had to describe what you love about the Pacific Northwest in 3 words, what would you choose?
Variety, Casual, Gorgeous
What is unique about your product?
Well, most everything. The only other option out there right now is a pull on sock-like product. We’ve stepped it up to a much higher level of fashionable looks. Our covers are easy/on off and go over your medical boot so you never have to take the boot off. They close with either by zipper, button, or velcro, depending upon the style. The bottom remains open, so your gait will not change as you heal, and the tread of your boot is not covered. Especially unique is the ability to accessorize your boot if desired with add-on cuffs, belts, bands, and dangles.
Are your products made in the USA?
Absolutely. Not only made in the USA, but here in the PNW. We felt very strongly about that. We found a great group of people at the Last US Bag Co. in Vancouver who have done some of our work. The rest are made in our own studio. We could have them made cheaper overseas, but chose to stay local.
Where do you sell your products?
We sell through our website at www.FlauntBoots.com We are in the process of getting our brochures into orthopedic medical and podiatry offices to educate people being put into medical boots that they have options.
Have you ever had to wear a medical boot yourself?
Actually yes – Dana injured her ankle playing tennis and had to wear a medical boot for a couple weeks. She found it to be invaluable experience learning what a pain it is to be in a medical boot and ideas to improve our products even more. She has a lot of empathy for anyone stuck in a medical boot! As a result of her time in a walking boot, we decided to offer pajama covers for the boots. After walking in around in the boot all day, the last thing you’ll want to do is wear it to bed and get your sheets dirty. So we created a lovely range of satin and microfiber options that help the foot move smoothly between the sheets and keep it clean too.
Why the name Flaunt?
When recovering from an injury, we believe you can choose to either stay at home hiding your walking boot, or you can get on with your life and get out and Flaunt it. We believe that if you feel good about yourself, you can do incredible things. You probably didn’t plan on being in a walking boot, but now you have to take care of YOU. We’re here to help put a little style back into your wardrobe while you are healing, or as we like to say “let us help you heal beautifully!”
We are creating a lifestyle of Flaunting Your Life. We want to empower women to feel good about themselves at all times. We try and do this through our Pinterest boards, our WordPress blog, and our Facebook page. While we may technically be in the fashion industry, we know our products are a great combination of fashion and utility. We are not fashion just for the sake of fashion.
Tell us about the owners:
Sisters Dana Hennelly of Lake Oswego, OR and Dawn Woolcott of Hockinson, WA are owners of Flaunt Boots & Accessories. We have both lived in the Pacific Northwest all our lives. Dana is married with 3 children, and Dawn is married with 2 children. We bring a combined varied work background from human resources, accounting, office management, and graphic design to our company. We have always been creative, starting even back to childhood when our parents ran a fabric store and we were encouraged to sew whatever we wanted to create. Working with family isn’t for everyone, but for us it is fantastic and we have a great time creating together.
As a NW Native, Ashley is a fan of the beauty, creativity and history of the region. And as a mom of two, she also loves finding new family-friendly things to do all over the NW. Ashley Whitham is the Director of Marketing at USA River Cruises and Best of the Northwest.