We had the good fortune of connecting with Laina Gossman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laina, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
One of my favorite quotes I found on a plaque that used to sit on my grandfathers desk. “Press On – Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” ― Calvin Coolidge. Many things can get in the way of completing our goals. People can criticize our idea. Agreements can fall through. We can hit a wall when we thought we were going the right direction. We have the choice to step down, take a different path, or to press on. Either choice may be right. When starting Soul Insole, I chose to press on through many obstacles. The drive to do so was fueled by desire to be able to help more people. The bigger the company grows, the more actions and choices are needing to be completed. It’s clear that persistence was needed to start and will continue to be an integral part of my life as an entrepreneur and it is a powerful habit.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My company, Soul Insole aims to improve the quality of life of our customers through improving foot health. Foot pain can be debilitating and prevent us from being able to do the things that we love. By getting people back on their feet, we can make such a big difference. I used to hand-make orthotics. Many of those years I only had time to help 50 or so people per year. By getting my designs manufactured on a larger scale, I’m able to help tens of thousands of people each year to get back to doing the things they love. Soul Insole’s keystone product is the Shoe Bubble Orthotic. It’s a very unique, micro-sized orthotic that provides substantial support, pressure relief and comfort. Its small size allows it to be used within any shoe without crowding the shoes. It is also unique in that it can be used in sandals and ballet flats, as well as other shoes. As this was my first design, it was the most incredible feeling when my patent finally was approved. It’s a process that takes many years and a lot of work. It is so exciting to be able to share my designs with people across the world.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ve lived in San Diego my whole life and I love this city because there is so much to explore. I love taking friends to snorkel at La Jolla Shores with the sharks, hiking the trails by the glider port and walking around the OB Farmers Market. The convoy street area has so many yummy restaurants like Friends House and Tofu House. I also like to share the Ethiopian food experience at Muzita Bistro.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to my first mentor, Michael Kendall. He hired me at his little gem of a shoe store when I didn’t have any experience. I became his apprentice in orthotic design and worked under him for 7 years. He inspired me to change my major in school to study Kinesiology and Biomechanics – like him. He passed away last year and he is missed by so many. He helped an incredible number of people go from limping to walking, running and dancing again. Beyond his knowledge of orthotics, he was wise, spiritual, kind and compassionate. I am grateful to have gotten to share so much time with this incredible human.