I’m Abby Walker, founder of Vivian Lou and now Goldie Lou. Since 2014, I have had the distinct privilege of bringing to market a variety of products that help women look and feel great in the shoes they love. Last year, I was approached about an opportunity to create a line of sandals with a unique footbed featuring two technologies that would allow women to wear sandals longer and without pain. And I jumped at the chance! Selfishly, I wanted to design a line of sandals for my mom, Barbara.
My mom Barbara with my dad John and their youngest grandchild; and my mom in Paris suffering from sore feet.
See, my stylish mom suffers from severe foot and leg pain. Over the past two decades, she has tried on thousands and thousands of pairs of shoes in the hopes of finding one that would be stylish AND comfortable. While she struck gold a few times, more often than not, she was disappointed.
What if I could design a sandal that supported her feet, knees and back? What if I could design a sandal that would match her style and provide comfort - if not relief? What if I could design a sandal so that she no longer thought about her feet while playing bridge with her girlfriends, grabbing cocktails with her husband (my dad) or chasing her 10 grandchildren around the yard? In seeking answers to those questions, Goldie Lou was born, and the first style was named…the Barbara sandal.
Why the name Goldie Lou?
My great grandmother on my dad’s side was named Goldie. She is remembered as being an extremely generous woman who had a presence, a strong opinion and a great sense of style.
Goldie Thomas, my great-grandmother.
When reviewing my husband’s family tree a few years back, it turns out that he, too, has a great grandmother on his dad’s side named Goldie. Incredible! It had to be. And because this line of sandals is an extension of my other brands - Vivian Lou (insoles for high heels) and Sophia Lou (insoles for flats) - I added Lou so that Goldie knew she was welcome in the ‘Lou’ family of brands.
Abby Walker is the Founder of Goldie Lou and Founder/CEO of Vivian Lou Inc., a company dedicated to helping women look and feel better in the shoes they love. She started her company as a “hobby” business (while being a full-time working mom) after picking up the phone and asking one simple question.
This “hobby” made her feel alive again. She had finally found something that quieted her burning desire for something more; and a short two years later, she strapped on a pair of her favorite high heels and walked away from Corporate America.
Her mission as the CEO of Vivian Lou and Goldie Lou is to empower women to wear the shoes they love longer without pain so they can focus more on their dreams and less on their feet.
She’s also an author of the book, Strap On a Pair - an honest, raw and humorous memoir about her journey into entrepreneurship. It was written to inspire fellow middle-aged, middle-management, middle-class moms to take the first step—or the next step—toward finding their something more.
Prior to starting her own company, Abby served as Chief Marketing Officer for a natural supplements company; Vice President of Account Management and Communications for a financial services company; and Senior Director, Internal Communications at a large financial planning company. She received her Master’s degree in Business Communication from DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, and her Bachelor’s degree in English-Journalism from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
Abby currently resides in Denver, Colorado, with her amazing husband, and is Mom to two incredible elementary-school aged kiddos and a couple of cats. She just recently lost her lovable old dog.
She loves the color red, bubbly beverages, and all things chocolate. She laughs a bit too loud and uses words like Awesome, Amazing, and Great.
She craves long hugs from good friends, the smell of fresh-cut grass, and heart-printed pajama pants.
She believes in helping those less fortunate, in encouraging others to accomplish their dreams, and in women promoting and supporting other women.
She cheers for women who have found their niche, hit their stride, and silenced self-doubt.
She makes pancakes for dinner, loves South Haven, Michigan, and believes that a great pair of shoes can change your perspective on everything.