“Entrepreneurs have a profound grasp of the obvious” is a quote that Taryn Rose, M.D. said during her keynote speech at the Women Venture event in Minneapolis yesterday. Herself a “serial entrepreneur”, Dr. Rose shared her family’s story of fleeing then-Saigon in 1975 and persevering to find an American to sponsor her family as a partial basis for her success. Being a physician’s daughter, Dr. Rose went into medicine to eventually become an orthopedic surgeon. During her medical training, while working in a Diabetic foot clinic, she brilliantly devised a research study that successfully demonstrated that fashion-forward diabetic-friendly shoes. had a higher rate of compliance by the people who used them. In other words, she designed shoes that were functionally appropriate for people with Diabetes by engineering the shoe inserts with materials that helped protect their feet from skin break-down or foot ulcers which, left untreated, could lead to amputation. Taking it further, she started designing shoes in her garage and eventually developed her Taryn Rose shoe line into a multi-million dollar shoe empire.
Although her bio on the Women Venture’s website is what initially piqued my interest in attending yesterday’s event, I had no idea that I would be so motivated by her story. What first interested me in her story is that she is an orthopedic surgeon who forged her own path into fashion by creating fashionably functional shoes.
As someone with a life-long love affair with fashion, I chose the legal and medical (as a nurse, a histotechnician, and a clinical researcher) professions because I didn’t think fashion careers were “credible” (by my own perception). Not that I would forego the amazing career path I’ve chosen but I’ve reached that point in my life to find my truer self and to do that which brings me passion.
So with my inner voice telling me that I had to meet Dr. Rose, I did just that. At the conclusion of the luncheon, I made my to the front of the ballroom, patiently stood in line for her, introduced myself, told her about this blog, and said I am going to buy a pair of her shoes so that I can blog about them. I told her that I’d love to consult with her about developing shoes for prosthetic feet and she didn’t say “no”.
Meeting her put it all into perspective for me. Maybe this blog is my only foray into fashion and that’s okay. It’s manifests my academic amalgamation of providing advocacy (that’s the legal brain speaking) by giving peer support to people with limb loss (that’s the medical care-giver-wanting-to-help-people brain speaking) about life-style expertise on fashion, travel & fitness (that’s the passionate true-self brain speaking).
So, if by blogging about fashion is the extent of my fashion “career” and one person feels beautiful or more confident about something they’ve learned, then I have achieved success.
And now, time to shop for these uber fabulous Taryn Rose shoes!