These Boots are Made for Splashin'
By Neal Fandek and Photos by L.G. Patterson
Twins are fairly rare; their incidence has increased of late but the chances of a mother giving birth to twins hovers around three in every 100.
The chance that a college has successful entrepreneurial twins is even more rare.
But that’s just what Bailye and Brynne Stansberry ’12 are. The twins have taken a teenage brainstorm of clear plastic rain boots with interchangeable liners — boots for every mood! — from a Moberly, Mo., high school marketing competition to patent (No. D623385) to the 2011 Mid-Mo Entrepreneurial Summit ($1,000 first prize) and mega-Las Vegas footwear shows.
Along the way, they’ve received indispensable consultation, support and their business development spark from Assistant Professor of Business Administration Dr. Sean Siebert, and other Columbia College business administration faculty; footwear, other retail firms and small business capital investors; and alumni such as Steve Fishman ’74, chairman, CEO and president of the Big Lots retail chain, and small business expert, TV host and author Susan Solovic ’80.
The twins, who have launched their own firm TwoAlity LLC, estimate it may take as much as $5 million to get Bootleggers, as they call their fun, unique product, up and running.
"#SuperExcited!” reads a tweet on the twins’ Twitter account, twitter.com/stansberrytwins."
"#TwoAlity received all of the new prototypes and tags for the liners! Everything looks amazing!"
It’s hard not to like the petite, ambitious, infectiously enthusiastic twins. And it’s hard not to like these boots.
The twins say Bootleggers may be commercially available as soon as next year.