Our Good Feet stores were started from a collaboration of the three people: Dan, Dean, and Sue. Altogether, they have opened stores in Indiana, Montana, and Oregon. They have since sold off the stores in Indiana and Montana, to focus all of their efforts on Portland and Salem, Oregon. With the combination of all of their talents, they have designed a business that creates happiness and joy to those who suffer from foot, leg, back, and knee pain. We would like to share the stories on how each one of them got into the Good Feet business.
Sue Austad’s Good Feet story
I was in a school for medical body work and massage back in 1996 in Denver, Colorado. This school was the one I wanted above all the rest I had looked at because it taught you as a professional how to address serious issues in the body, not just relax the patient. I was one of the privileged few who worked with the original owner/teacher of the school. His idea was to combine several techniques together for the purpose of treating the body as a whole. Many treatments we have are located in one segment of health and healing. In this time, I learned a great deal about body movement and the posture of a gait cycle, the importance of stance. I also learned how to recognize the misalignment in the body. I worked every day to realign the body, so it would function the way we were meant to move.
So I started my business in Montana after we moved there in 1998-9 and went to work. I soon had a very busy office and lots of work for me. Insurance work made up of 60% of my business at the time since I knew how to get people back on their feet, so to speak. So I decided I needed to go to the next level and in doing so I had decided to add retail to the office I was currently running. I spoke to Dan about this idea and he had the perfect thing for me to sell. The arch supports he had purchased in California when he was working there was the product to retail. I was not convinced on the idea at all, I was thinking about a line of oils and candles and the typical things massage therapist sell. But he insisted, so he got a package from this arch support place in the mail, and he had a VHS type for me to see. I was reluctant, but I watched just to get him off my back.
So I watched the video and to my amazement they had one of the owners at the time of Good Feet stand up, and measured the misalignment in her body with a straight pole held behind her. It was obvious she had some issues, when she stood in the supports her body went straight up! The normal measurements of 2 fingers in the neck and lower spine were dead on. I about fell of my seat at that moment, because I realized why this arch support was helping Dan so much with his own issues in his back were the very thing I was trying to get my patients to do on the table every week.
The idea of taking this simple devise and placing it under your feet to get these results was absolutely astonishing to me. My body work was very painful for my patients; anyone who got on my table will tell you it hurts when you are realigning muscles and softening tendons in the body. I realized I had to share this with everyone I could, people live in a lot of pain in our society and it doesn’t have to be that way. I had no idea so many suffered the way they did until I became involved with the body work.
I truly love what I do, I help people live a better quality of life, and I don’t have to torture them to get there. In that moment of seeing the video, I realized I could impact far more people with putting this device in their shoes. It would accomplish so much more to have slow daily changes on an ongoing basis than even some of my greatest successes as a massage therapist could do. I stayed in business for two more years, before the burden of working all day at the Good Feet store and all evenings doing body work took its toll and I had to make a choice between the two. I made the right choice with Good Feet.