Fall 2018 Founders Bootcamp 1st Place & Audience Choice Award Winner
Pitch Link: https://vimeo.com/308445989/24b39c1ac0
Company Bio: Moosh Walks is a girl empowerment company. The company was founded on the idea that self-expression and individuality is a necessary step to discover your confidence. Confidence leads you to become a fearless leader. Moosh Walks’ focus is on storytelling based on original characters. Each character has a superpower that reminds you that you are not alone on this journey. Our first physical product is: 3D socks. We believe the true superpowers are: confidence, resilience, perseverance, positive point of view, and the many other qualities our characters possess. Moosh Walks gives young girls and boys the ability to stand out, make friends, and start a conversation.
To inspire and empower women has become a crucial part of Olga Kay’s life. The founder of Moosh Walks has dedicated her mission to build future female billionaires through storytelling and creative product design. By doing so, Olga had a vision for young girls to develop leadership skills at an early age.
The beginning of Moosh Walks began with Olga’s YouTube career where she had over 1.3 million subscribers. Most of her audience were young girls who felt invisible in today’s world, so they looked up to Olga as a role model. Most of the young girls didn’t know how to stand out or they didn’t have the confidence to be their authentic self. Once Olga realized that young girls wanted to stand out, she came up with the idea to design socks with ears on them. These socks would be characters that would help young girls stand out, and once they stood out they would be able to share their story. She saw this as an opportunity that she could leverage.
Today young girls aren’t taught leadership. Olga believes that at 5 or 6 years old girls need to learn these invaluable skills. Young girls have always been treated as princesses, but Olga wants to change that psychology so they can be more than that. In order to strengthen these girls, she has implemented storytelling through these unique characters that she has created.
By developing these fun stories, she is able to connect with girls. One of Olga’s main characters is Lilly, who is a Big Thinker and Inventor. She is never short of grand ideas, which often result in failure, but she never gives up because she knows each failure brings her closer to success. By providing stories like this she is subliminally programming into young girls that it is okay to fail, and that you shouldn’t be afraid of failure.
Moosh Walks has accomplished a lot, including stepping into the wholesale market. Getting her products into stores increased sales and created more brand awareness. Last year, Moosh Walks conducted a huge marketing campaign where she sold over 1,000 units in 24 hours. As of yet, the messaging has been tailored more for girls and for their parents as well. However, boys are also interested in wearing these socks because they identify with some of the characters. Even some rappers have worn her socks because they like the way it makes them stand out.
Nevertheless, Olga has experienced some roadblocks that she has had to get through. One was how to find and secure a deal with a manufacturer. She was able to develop her ecommerce and wholesale strategy, but in order to create and sell more product, Olga required more funding. Only 2% of female businesses are funded by venture capital today. That percentage is even lower if you are not a tech start up. So the only real option is to operate and grow the business on loans. Loans allow for more inventory buy and growth of the business, but once all the loans are paid off, supporting the growth requires more capital and higher interests rates to keep going.
Olga is set to launch her indiegogo campaign where she is hoping to raise the necessary funds, which she will use for inventory, building a team, developing animation stories, and finalizing her book.
Originally Olga joined the Bootcamp because she was looking for funding, but once she was in it she realized that a lot was missing in her operations. Olga claims that it was the best thing she ever did for her company because she realized that she had a lot of work to do before she went to raise funds. She has embraced adversity, which has led her to become creative and think outside of the box.
This hard work eventually led to her striking an emotional chord with the audience and judges at the Fall 2018 Bootcamp pitch day, where she took home the number one prize. Without the Bootcamp, Olga still had trouble understanding her financials. The Bootcamp forced her to figure it out, and now she has become obsessed with numbers. Olga said that she was able to utilize the tactics learned in the sales and marketing module to actually close a big sale that took 8 months. With Olga’s budget, she was forced to be creative with her marketing. This led her to develop an ambassador program for influencers to market for Moosh Walks. Staying lean is very important during this stage, and marketing spend is a luxury. Her ambassadors are compensated based on performance.
Since the Bootcamp, Olga has tripled her revenue. She feels very prepared to scale up her business. In the next 5 years, Olga hopes Moosh Walks transforms into a franchise model where she can expand into after-school programs. By doing so, she will be able to reach more girls than she could ever imagine.
This whole experience has transformed Olga as a leader herself. Her piece of advice to other small business owners is to just do it. Hop onto any opportunity, learn, make mistakes fast, and adjust faster. By getting out of your comfort zone you gain more confidence. Olga has gone from growing up in a small village in Russia to becoming a successful CEO that empowers the next generation of women leaders. LIFT DE is extremely proud of Olga and all of the progress she has experienced. Check out Moosh Walks at mooshwalks.com and get a pair of socks!