Successful therapists start selling shoes...
The first step: From therapy to barefoot shoe
The story of our barefoot shoes starts with our actual job: We, Frank and Sindy Demann, are fascia therapists and work with connective tissues (fasciae). Our own Senmotic therapy allows people to regain their upright posture, boosting their flexibility, rooting out pain. Plus it really gives you new confidence. While working in our own practice, we trained more than 50 therapists working worldwide in the past years. Many of these therapists still work under the Senmotic Therapy brand name. Some also work in the health market under their own name.
Frank W. Demann was also a well-known self-defense expert with many schools throughout Europe and a successful author. Several of his books on self-defense, functions, biomechanics and therapy have set new standards. They were also translated to English and French. So we were very successful at what we did and had a great time doing it. We could never imagine doing anything else. But life...
In our therapeutic practice, we regularly found that many people have beautiful hands, but feet ranging from unshapely to outright deformed. The reason: Even a slight heel and the far-too-tight forefoot section of regular shoes lead to acute and chronic suffering throughout our bodies. So we looked around for shoes that met our therapeutic expectations.
But when we asked for “healthy” shoes or even barefoot shoes at shops, they only showed us total “clogs” advertised as “healthy” by their manufacturers. And even if a shoe remotely resembled human anatomy, they were still clonky and old-fashioned. Or the shoes were made of really cheap plastic and produced really far from Germany. Inferior quality that damages the environment, sold at completely overblown prices.
So we went for DIY. As therapists and experts for biomechanics, we know what healthy shoes should offer. What we didn’t have was a shoe manufacturer capable of realizing all our demands in a barefoot shoe. We found a small but good workshop near Leipzig. They were up to developing something completely new, so we spent over a year shedding blood, sweat and tears (and our own cash). After many failures, mark-ups and write-offs, the first Senmotic barefoot shoes came out in 2010, our baby prototype.
The second step: From barefoot shoe prototypes to successful business
After an extensive trial phase, we founded Senmotic 1.0 Ltd and launched an online shop in February 2011 to introduce our barefoot shoes to customers. Although many friends and acquaintances were excited about Senmotic barefoot shoes, the shoes were “slow movers”. Who ever heard of therapists selling shoes... We had so much to learn. How to place your ads high on Google, how to design an online shop so it actually sells. Today we’re on top: Our shop on Google, our sales figures and the quality, properties and design of our barefoot shoes. After all, we wear our barefoot shoes around the clock and are our own worst critics. Just ask at the workshop: sometimes they rather see us going than coming...
By now, we sell Senmotic shoes all over the world. People looking for something special that isn’t off the shelf are best served at our shop. Literally. As a real handicraft workshop in Germany, we are able to offer unique services for our Senmotic barefoot shoes. If you order barefoot shoes at our shop, you order directly from the Demanns. We answer all our e-mails within 24 hours. If it’s urgent, we even answer on the weekend. Small business, personal service. There’s a downside, though: We have less and less time for therapy. We only offer sessions for friends or on demand for buyers of Senmotic shoes. If it were up to us, a day might as well last 30 hours.
The third step: Real entrepreneurship, real social responsibility
Under our managing director Sindy Demann, Senmotic 1.0 Ltd has been seeing double-digit sales growth and profits every year. Most of the surplus is directly invested into developing new barefoot shoe models. With much love for our pet projects, we produce a limited monthly number of barefoot shoes in Germany. Our specialized workshop, where our Senmotic shoes are sewn, glued and polished with passion, is located in Weißenfels, 50 kilometers from Leipzig. But we are more than just “handcrafted in Germany”. We buy all materials in Germany and tax all profits in Germany. In addition, we pay 3.18% of the profits from each sold barefoot shoe into our Senmotic Charity Fund. This fund is at the exclusive disposal of the SOS Children’s Villages. We call this real entrepreneurial and social responsibility, coming from an inner conviction.