Our Good Feet stores were started from a collaboration of three people: Dan, Dean, and Sue.
By combining their talents they designed a business that creates happiness and joy in those who suffer from foot and body pain. Below is the story of how they got their start.
Sue Austad’s Good Feet story
I was in a school for medical bodywork and massage back in 1996 in Denver, Colorado. I had initially been attracted to the school because of their focus on addressing serious issues in the body and not just relaxing the patient. I was one of the privileged few who worked with the school’s founder and learned how to combine several different massage techniques for the purpose of treating the body as a whole. While at school I learned a great deal about body movement, gait cycle, the importance of stance, and how to recognize malalignment in the body.
After school I started my massage business in Montana when we moved their in 1998-9. I soon had a very busy office. Insurance work made up 60% of my business at the time since I knew how to get people back on their feet, so to speak. As work continued steadily, I decided I needed to go to the next level and add retail to the office. I spoke to Dan about this idea and he had the perfect thing for me to sell: arch supports. He’d purchased a pair while working in California to help with his own posture issues and pain. I had been thinking about a line of massage oils or candles (typical massage therapist stuff!), so I was a little hesitant. But he insisted and got a package from this arch support place in the mail. He also had a VHS tape for me to see. I was reluctant, but I watched it just to get him off my back.
One of the then-owners of Good Feet came on the video and measured the malalignment in her body with a straight pole held behind her. It was clear she had some issues. Then she stood in the supports. Her body went straight up! To my amazement, I realized the arch supports were doing the very same thing I was doing with my patients on the table every week. The idea of getting such incredible results from such a simple device was astonishing. The bodywork I was doing was very painful for my patients; anyone who got on my table will tell you it hurts when you are realigning muscles and softening tendons in the body.
I realized I had to share this with everyone I could. Until I got involved in bodywork, I had no idea how many people suffered from difficulty moving on a day-to-day basis. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When I first sat down with that video, I learned I could impact far more people by putting this device in their shoes than with massage therapy. I love what I do now: I help people achieve a better quality of life without having to torture them in the process.
I ended up staying in the bodywork business for two more years before the burden of working all day at the Good Feet store and all evenings doing massage took its toll and I had to make a choice between the two. I made the right choice with Good Feet.