What do running, organic chemistry, and entrepreneurship have in common? According to Betsy Suda, they’re all about your willingness to fail.
When Betsy came down to Gainesville, she expected to finish up her chemistry education and start a career as a professor. But with a mind for business, she found an unmet need and saw the possibility for another path entirely.
When visiting her grandmother, Betsy realized that something as simple as shoe shopping wasn’t accessible to everyone. Online shoe shopping had a whole host of problems and even in-store service just wasn’t up to par.
Pulling from her experience as an avid runner, Betsy came up with a solution: a mobile shoe buying experience. With a van full of shoes and a dream, she opened Suda’s FitFoot Mobile Athletic Shoe Store.
“I had this idea to start my own business and make the shoe shopping experience more efficient, more fun, more inspirational.”
Her small store isn’t just about mobility – it also lets her connect with her customers. There’s no waiting in line or trying to find your size at Suda’s FitFoot – Betsy is happy to focus on each customer to find the perfect fit.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Betsy was able to maintain her unique services, though she did switch up her destinations. Instead of providing pop-up shoe shopping at events and gyms, she started making house calls. And as a one-woman show, she was happy for the chance to connect with others during such an isolating time.
Looking towards the future, Betsy is continuing to learn and grow her business. She’s thankful to the chances Gainesville provides entrepreneurs like herself and looks forward to making the city more of an athletic destination.
“I don’t know another place that’s this supportive of entrepreneurs. Small-scale entrepreneurs, first-time entrepreneurs, female entrepreneurs… I think that’s a really beautiful thing that makes Gainesville unique.”