According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, only half of all businesses that open survive five years, and around one third survive to 10 years. Many people want to achieve the American success story, where they think of an idea, bring it to market, and enjoy the success from their hard work, but that’s not what happens to most people who make the attempt. Serial entrepreneur Tina Aldatz is one of the stories of someone who did overcome tragedy and become an American success, helping to keep that dream alive for others.
“Sometimes the thing that takes you to the finish line and helps propel you to success is determination more than anything,” explains Tina Aldatz, chief executive officer of travel wellness company Savvy Travelers. “I was determined to do something that would change the course for my family, and that’s just what I did when I invented Foot Petals and now Savvy Travelers.”
Aldatz, who shares her story in the autobiography “From Stilettos to the Stock Exchange: Inside the life of a serial entrepreneur,” grew up poor in a family with five siblings that she helped raise. As a child, she survived domestic abuse, as well as horrific burns on her feet from stepping on hot buried coals at the beach. Her father, who was a tailor in prison, had taught her how to sew, which turned out to be a passion of hers. When she entered the workforce she worked in the fashion field for Victoria’s Secret, where she had to wear designer shoes all day. While they may have looked great, they left her sensitive feet in a lot of pain each day, setting her on a quest to find a way to get relief. She used her skills to create a shoe insert designed for high heels, which turned the light bulb on in her head, sending her down the path of creating a business of selling them to other women.
After getting funding from an angel investor, she started the company, called Foot Petals, and set up at her first trade show to promote the product, where she garnered $50,000 in orders. From there, she grew and began getting more orders, and eventually became partners with the manufacturer out of necessity to keep the company afloat. That move took the company from $1.6 million in sales to $10 million. Proving to be a bold, and smart business decision, Aldatz ended up selling the company for $14 million, while agreeing to continue to stay on and run it. One thing that has helped her become successful is that she believes in surrounding herself with great team members, who bring their own set of skills and experience to the table. Working together toward a common goal, they are able to move the company toward higher goals.
“I’m proud to say that I’m an American success story,” added Aldatz. “And I’m still not done. I continue to pave my way and work toward continued success. What it takes to be an American success story is determination, will power, ingenuity, and the ability to work through challenges. If you can do that, you will make it in the business world.”
Aldatz has become a serial entrepreneur, teaming up with her best friend and partner from Foot Petals, Margie Floris, to co-found Savvy Travelers, a company that has created a line of products specifically aimed at travelers. The company offers a line of pre-packaged individual sanitizing personal and surface luxe sheets, antiperspirant deodorant sheets, mouth cleansing sheets, and more.