For Rollins College grad, Winter Park resident and serial entrepreneur Lindsay Muscato, necessity has definitely been the mother of her inventions. Combining imagination and ingenuity, she launched her first company, Switchflops, based on a simple concept of having more fashion options with interchangeable straps. The wildly successful award-winning interchangeable footwear concept, originally patented in 2004, led to a rebrand (Lindsay Phillips) in 2009 as the company added multiple sandals styles, a variety of shoes, and even booties that featured accessory “snaps” to change up the look in seconds. In 2013, the company was bought by its current owner Trimfoot Co., and Lindsay stayed on as founder, creative director and president until 2016.
In 2017, Lindsay tackled another common complaint for women – a strong, yet flexible, band that would not break hair – by inventing TELETIES, named for their spiral shape reminiscent of telephone cords. Available in different sizes – headbands also – the brand has seen phenomenal growth and ranked 397 on INC5000’s fastest-growing companies in the United States in 2021. TELETIES can be found in boutiques, salons and major retailers in all 50 states including Puerto Rico, and with each purchase, a donation is made to FORCE, a non-profit organization improving the lives of people and families affected by hereditary breast, ovarian and related cancers.
What was the biggest challenge over the last two years?
Obviously, the pandemic presented many obstacles for everyone. My main concern was not only moving the brand forward, but also maintaining office morale. Everyone was going through a lot, and I knew it was important to remember that.
What valuable lessons did you learn from your first business that helped with TELETIES?
Hire people who are smarter than you and always trust your gut. If it does not feel right, it probably is not the right decision.
What would be the one thing you would tell other women who want to be entrepreneurs?
Not everyone will support you, and that is ok. You have to have thick skin and not let what others think of you consume you.
How has your management/business style evolved?
I trust my team. As we have grown, so has our team and I have had to relinquish certain responsibilities that would have been hard to let go of in the past, but my team always gets it done.
While juggling design, manufacturing and distribution, how do you prioritize your time?
Assigning every aspect of the business its own designated day allows me to stay focused on the task at hand. And my good old paper calendar never lets me down.