Retirement can be an ideal time to relax and spend time with family and friends after working many years, however, 91-year-old Valley resident Nancy Pettibone has spent the past three years developing and getting her dream product to market: DisposaBoots.
DisposaBoots are shoe covers that protect your shoes from rain, snow and mud. The patent-pending product is made from clear, extra strong, puncture-resistant material secured in place with an adhesive strip. The biodegradable material features slip-resistant shoe protection available in regular and large sizes. They are also small, so women can carry them in their purses or when traveling.
Pettibone, who ran her own company for more than 40 years, constantly traveled to places with inclement weather and wasn’t always sure what the weather would be like. As a makeshift solution, she began carrying baggies with her and securing them with rubber bands around her ankles, and they worked, which gave her the idea to create DisposaBoots.
She conducted a patent search more than 30 years ago and found there was nothing like DisposaBoots on the market–however, Pettibone said she was very busy with her business, so DisposaBoots went on the back burner until three years ago.
“When I came into the retirement village I was kind of bored and I thought ‘Hmm, maybe I’ll do another patent search and see if there’s anything like it,’” Pettibone said.
“I told my family, ‘Don’t get nervous about this,’ this was way back when, ‘I’m doing it, it’s my money and if it flops, it flops,’” Pettibone recalled.
She hired a chemist whom she has been working with for almost four years to develop the biodegradable DisposaBoots. “There are millions of boots on the market but there’s absolutely nothing that’s biodegradable or made of see-through, strong and durable plastic,” Pettibone said, “so we found the best material on the market for it.”
In addition to developing the product itself, getting it to market (which is currently available on Amazon) Pettibone said is in large part to her marketing firm Product Launchers based in New York, which came up with the product’s package design, are housing the product and are distributing it.
“I have never shown DisposaBoots to a woman who wasn’t excited about it, and all the men in my family are excited too,” Pettibone said. “We hope to create men’s and children’s in the future too. I’ve had more men say ‘what about us? We have good shoes that we don’t want to get ruined.’
“We all wear good shoes, and men do too, nobody wants their sneakers dirty anymore. Whether they’re wearing sneakers or dress shoes, if it’s snowing or pouring rain outside, people don’t want to lug boots in that kind of weather, and I’ve never shown them to anybody who didn’t think they were great.”
Pettibone is optimistic about the future success of DisposaBoots. “I think DisposaBoots will be very successful worldwide. It’s been very exciting so far and now it’s even more exciting that it’s really on the market.”
DisposaBoots are available on Amazon.