The product's goal is helping our Olympians to get from slope to slope in comfort and style.
Olympian Stacey Cook
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A star on the U.S. women's ski team was key in getting a Louisville company some big time promotion at the 2014 Olympic winter games.
The product's goal is helping our Olympians to get from slope to slope in comfort and style. SkiSkootys promise to change painful ski boots to a comfortable glide. The product is sp big in Russia it's sold in 35 stores including several in Sochi.
The company's big break came when two-time Olympian Stacey Cook spread the word about SkiSkootys.
"Her coach had said hey, you know she (Cook) loves these and we want to get those to the team members in Colorado Springs where they ( U.S. Women's ski team) were doing their training," remembered SkiSkootys Sally Lawler. "So, I got a whole shipment to them, then they said there's a lot of other countries who want these."
From Japan to Bulgaria the product is in nine countries and 18 U.S. states. They're made at Prestige Plastics in Brooks, Kentucky, but Lawler said, "People are surprised."
The actual design and packaging happens at the international headquarters of Valley Vista Ski Products, on Valley Vista Drive in the Lawler family's Louisville basement. Who's the CEO? Mother Sally Lawler herself.
Her son Reid Lawler, who graduated from St. X, is marketing manager. "My mom and I work on the branding and the marketing," he said.
Dad and skier Rob Lawler is the inventor, but that's not how he sees himself. "I don't consider myself an inventor," he said. "I'm an innovator so, I take something and make it lighter, faster and more mobile and easier to handle."
The idea behind the product is to ease the dread avid skiers have of walking in flat ski boots that can wear on calves and shins. Reid Lawler explained how the curved SkiSkootys that attach to the bottom of the ski help, "They roll from heel to toe, very easy like."
SkiSkootys are easy to pop off and fold up and they fit right in your pocket.
The most difficult part of the operation? Taking international phone calls and questions that have Reid rolling out of bed in the middle of the night. Sally Lawler laughed about their home office, "Somebody over in Germany was saying 'My God, you answer your e-mails at all these weird times!'"
But the family agreed it's all worth it now that SkiSkootys are taking off and have the Olympic stamp of approval. Reid Lawler said, "It's definitely cool that the best of the best are using our product," Ski teams from several countries will be wearing SkiSkootys at the winter games.
The Lawler family also has a new product out called SkiSkooty Claws. The claws pop onto the original product and act like cleats in hard packed snow and ice. You can find them at www.skootys.com.
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