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Friday, February 23, 2024

UW grads invent Grammy gift bag boots

Most would think it absurd to step out into the snowy and frigid weather wearing sandals, but after enjoying the luxurious spa treatment of a pedicure during the winter months, that is exactly what women are forced to do. 


Three UW-Madison graduates and sisters, Erika Whitman, Pamela Karp and Deanna Kipnes, have created the perfect fix for the winter spa service with their warm, pedicure-friendly boots, Bootie Pies. 


The sisters came up with the idea three years ago after having the pampering experience of a pedicure ruined when they had to step outside in the cold, Karp said. 


The boots, launched in November, are quickly making their mark in the industry. The sisters have filmed segments for the Today Show and the Rachel Ray show, and Bootie Pies were included in this year's Grammy celebrity gift baskets Feb. 11, Karp said. 


""The Grammy's pride themselves on finding things that are unique and new and things that celebrities would like,"" Karp said. ""They thought that Bootie Pies really fit the bill.""  


Karp said she and her sisters were thrilled to find out that celebrities, including style makers such as Christina Aguilera and BeyoncAc, would be introduced to Bootie Pies. 


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""[Bootie Pies] are worn like regular boots to the salon but then convert into pedicure boots and allow you to expose your toes while keeping the rest of your foot toasty and warm,"" Karp said. 


Karp said the boots are great for people in cold climates and women on the go who don't have time to let their polish dry. 


""[Bootie Pies] really enable you to enjoy your favorite spa service without having to sit around all day or wear those silly flip flops, which is ridiculous on a cold day,"" Karp said. 


The sisters conduct all of their own publicity and marketing and have received an overwhelming response, Karp said. 


Kipnes said she believed in the potential of Bootie Pies from the beginning, but did not expect the boots to bring about such excitement so quickly after their launch. 


Kipnes said she is enjoying getting a taste of the fashion and beauty industry and is looking forward to next season. Eventually, the sisters want to develop a summer line of products, but for right now, their efforts are geared toward the fall and winter seasons, Kipnes said. 


""We are just getting our feet wet this season because we launched late,"" Karp said. ""We've thought big since the beginning, though, and we're not stopping until Bootie Pies are the must-have beauty item for women who get pedicures."" 


Currently, Bootie Pies are sold exclusively at for $128, but the sisters are in the process of making the boots available in various department stores, boutiques, salons and spas for the fall season, Karp said. 


Kipnes, who majored in economics, said her education at UW-Madison helps her with the business aspect of Bootie Pies everyday. 


""The whole process has been exciting, a whirlwind and so much fun,"" Kipnes said. ""If nothing else, it's just been a great learning experience.""

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