by Liz Fox
Posted 5/27/2013 12:00 am
Updated 9 months ago
A burgeoning fashion company based in southern Arkansas has plans to patent and copyright a women’s shoe with interchangeable heels and accessories.
JesKa Shoe Co. was started by 24-year-old entrepreneur Jessica Haynes, a native of Emerson (Columbia County) who conceived of the product in 2010 after experiencing a common mishap: breaking the heel off one of her favorite shoes.
While she was a student at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Haynes competed at the 2011 Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup business plan competition and took home the coveted Innovation Award at the graduate level. After filing a patent and vying for a spot at a casting call in Los Angeles, she later appeared with SAU classmate and business partner Kaci Matthews on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” in a program that aired March 11.
JesKa Shoe Co. and its main product were chosen by FUBU clothing founder Daymond John, who funded the business plan by buying 70 percent of the company for $70,000. ”I will teach you every single thing I know,” John told Haynes on the program.
While Haynes and Matthews have yet to work out final details, a rough design has been developed. The JesKa high heel will offer customers the chance to modify the look and feel of their shoes through interchangeable components available in a variety of shapes, heights and colors.
For now, the company remains based in Magnolia, where it was founded as an SAU startup.
Haynes said being an entrepreneur is no easy feat. In addition to spurning occupational and financial guarantees, she also had to use the bulk of her $63,000 college fund, which had been left untouched as a result of her scholarships. Her family has also invested money.
For more information, visit JesKaShoeCompany.com or call (870) 461-0162.