Then vs. Now: Everyone Has a Cinderella Story

Corporate America's Best Cinderella Stories

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It’s easy as an entrepreneur to move too quickly to celebrate the wins and reflect on progress. Even though we are hard-wired to always be slightly dissatisfied with where we are at all times, at every moment we are much closer to where we want to be than we were a week, a month, or a year ago. It’s important to stay focused on the future and on achieving what we set out to do, but sometimes, it’s equally as important to recognize just how much has changed and improved. Reflecting is also a powerful tool for strategizing and projecting your next targets. For me, I’ve been thinking about how much has changed at Unfettered Socks since we launched, and where we want to be next. Here’s a look at us then vs. now, because everyone has a Cinderella story (ours just doesn’t have an ending yet):

1. unfetteredsocks.com: while we haven’t changed our platform (still hosted on trusty Shopify), we have certainly made major design improvements and are now utilizing applications and add-ons to optimize SEO and conversions:

What’s Next: web design is a constantly iterating process, so we will always be making enhancements as we add new products, but the pipe dream is to be big enough that it becomes a full-time job to maintain the site and produce content.

2. Branding: Like so many other companies, we started out as one thing and became something else, in order to secure our IP. We originally launched on Kickstarter as GoodFoot Socks, but quickly switched to Unfettered Socks to honor our namesake co-founders (The Fetters) and to encompass our true mission: to unchain men everywhere from the norm of business footwear.

What’s Next: While we hope to stay Unfettered for eternity, we will have to shift our image when we expand beyond socks. From unfettering feet to unfettering the world, the long term strategy will maintain our mission but allow us to grow our brand.

3. Product: Our product is the core of what we do – it is what we spend our time and efforts changing and improving. From version 1 to version 2, we made several key changes to bring our sock one step closer to perfection. A few small but important adjustments to the design, and slight changes to the ratio of various materials brought our sock game up a notch. Plus, we expanded our designs:

What’s Next: when it comes to product, the short term future is clear: more styles! We are just a few weeks away from releasing our fourth and fifth styles, and version 3 also includes some important improvements based on customer feedback. In the long term future, we have our sights set on an expansion of items that will continue to revolutionize the business wear industry.

4. Meetings: the way we conduct business has changed dramatically since we first kicked around the idea to fix footwear. From the on-campus basement in the business school library to remote calls and FaceTime, it’s safe to say that things have changed since we graduated.

What’s Next: it’s not imperative to our strategy that we are all in the same place at all times, but the possibilities are endless for the future of Unfettered communication. One day we will be holding board meetings in our shipping facility, and that’s when we will know that our Cinderella story has a happy ending.

Just like all the greatest startups of our time, we all have a Cinderella story of where we came from and where we are headed. Don’t forget to celebrate the successes of your business with your team, and use those moments as an opportunity to plan and prepare for the future.