St. George is an unlikely place for a rain boot empire to be born, but that’s exactly what the mother-daughter team of Theresa and Heidi Lisardo are doing with puddlejumpers.biz—a retail website devoted to rain boots and boot socks.
After living in Portland and working at a shoe store, daughter Heidi realized that many brick and mortar stores carry rain boots only as a seasonal item—a problem in the water logged Pacific Northwest. So, she moved back home to Washington County to start a boot-selling website with her recently retired mom.
One garage renovation project later (it’s now a warehouse/office) the women are in business. And they say they’re having a great time, “We’re trying to be fun,” says Theresa. “We’re keeping it on the light side.”
Theresa acknowledges that the duo is getting in on a fashion trend, but says there’s a plan for long-term boot wearers, long after the trend passes. “If we slide in on a fad,” she says, “we can maintain a business on the commercial end, because that’s who we want to cater to—mailmen and real estate agents who tromp around in the rain all day.”
Q: How does your personality, experience and background influence your business?
I am retired from a career in office work and Heidi has the experience in the shoe industry. We both have an eye for fashion and are creative. Creativity is important when you are starting from scratch. Having a sense of humor also helps.” —Theresa Lisardo
Q: Where do you look for professional inspiration?
“Hours and hours of research online. Reading reference books about the industry. Attending trade shows and connecting with vendors.”
Q: Biggest challenge?
“Competing for product with the “big companies” as a starter business. Finding the right wholesale vendors. Also, when a business is brick and mortar you are visible, but trying to get your online business to the front is challenging, you feel like you are swimming with the sharks.”
Q: Best Advice?
“Do your homework before making an investment. Research, research, research. Don’t get discouraged, there will be days when you wonder, “what the heck am I doing.” If you are passionate about your goals you will wake up the next morning with renewed energy to move forward. It’s a great high.”
Q: Dream Goal?
“Expanding to include a fashionable line of raincoats. Working to manufacture our own line of boots made specifically for Puddle Jumper’s, and a good commercial end for practicality. It would be fun to have trendy little retail shops in the old district of Portland and downtown areas of bigger cities in colder states.”
Puddle Jumpers | St. George, UT
435.319.8198 | puddlejumpers.biz