Kelly Schmutte, Founder + Creator
(She has been in your shoes.)
Kelly is a dancer, artist, and entrepreneur. She grew up dancing in Davis, CA and got her first pair of pointe shoes at age 11. In addition to her love for dance, she’s always had a passion for creating and making. She studied Product Design at Stanford, which was where she first began putting her creative energy toward her lifelong curiosity of how to improve the experience of dancing en pointe.
After working hard for many years to prototype the right solution, Kelly launched PerfectFit in 2015. Within a year, she was connecting with interested dancers at NYCB and ABT, which signaled the beginning of an exciting new chapter. She credits the openness and curiosity of dancers at all levels in helping to catalyze a shift in the ballet world, and for growing PerfectFit to where it is today.
Kelly’s favorite part of her job is reading the daily stories of how PerfectFit inserts are positively transforming the pointe shoe experience for all types of dancers everywhere.
When she’s not running PerfectFit, Kelly teaches design at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (the "d.school") and in the Stanford Mechanical Engineering Design Group. She loves bright colors, watercolor painting, and long hikes to remote mountaintops. She’s down for a dance class anytime — hip hop, Bollywood, and of course, ballet.
Leilani Tian, Ambassador Program Lead
And meet Leilani!
(She has also been in your shoes!)
Leilani is helping us design and shape our very first ambassador program this summer.
Leilani Tian is currently studying Product Design and Dance at Stanford University. As someone who grew up with intense ballet training, preparing for ballet competitions, and stretching in her free time, she is a complete bunhead. In fact, she took some time off from school to dance professionally with Ballet Austin 2.
As a long-time pointe shoe wearer, she frequently had painful corns which hindered her from feeling and dancing her best. However, after her Ballet Austin roommate introduced her to PerfectFit and walked her through the fun molding process, all the corns slowly went away. She was hooked—not only because of how comfortable her feet felt in her pointe shoes but also because she loved the process of creating and customizing. Since then, her PerfectFit toe inserts has supported her in many performances from Ballet Austin to Cardinal Ballet Company’s Nutcracker at Stanford. Little did she know she would eventually meet Kelly, the founder, when she went back to school and even work with her.
As an artist, connector, and Product Design Engineering student at Stanford, Leilani leverages thoughtfulness, her love of human stories, and curiosity to create innovative products and services. In addition to her experiences in product management, counseling, and marketing, she hopes to use her strong background in ballet and design to make it a little easier for ballet dancers to be the athletes and artists they are.