Meet Kelly Schmutte. She has been in your shoes.
Kelly Schmutte is a serial entrepreneur and passionate inventor, and she has been a dancer all her life.
She is currently a Designer and Lecturer at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (the "d.school") and a Lecturer in the Stanford Mechanical Engineering Design Group. Her expertise in human-centered design has been the focus of her studies and professional work experience for the past 10 years. She received both her Bachelor’s and Masters degrees in Product Design at Stanford.
Kelly grew up taking ballet classes, and danced en pointe for about 7 years with a local dance company in Davis, CA. In addition to her love for dance, she has always had a lifelong passion for design and innovation. This interest led her to the Product Design program where she studied engineering and design, but more importantly, how to take a human-centered approach to design and let the needs of the end user drive innovation.
Kelly is driven by the thought of giving back to dancers, and would like to create lasting change in a tradition-bound and often innovation-deprived industry. Her conviction that dancers deserve better, and that the means and the technology exist to provide creative solutions to meet these needs, have been the motivating factors behind her quest to transform the pointe shoe experience. Kelly has spent many years developing her ideas, and has worked with countless dancers along the way to get feedback on prototypes and perfect the final design, for which she holds a patent. She hopes that the PerfectFit Pointe Shoe Insert will dramatically improve the pointe shoe experience for all types of dancers everywhere.
Her company is dedicated to serving the needs of individual dancers with creative, custom-fit solutions that further the enjoyment of dance.