Young entrepreneur Ehan Kamat got the name for Sole Mender, his product designed to ease the discomfort of plantar fasciitis, from a Shakespearean play. His nod to the Bard comes from Julius Caesar: Act 1, Scene 1 where the cobbler in the scene claims to be a “mender of bad soles," Ethan isn't repairing shoes; he's “mending” your actual feet with his product.
Ethan's mom suffers from plantar fasciitis, pain in your feet due to a weakening of the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes, which supports the arch of your foot. One treatment is rolling your arches on something cylindrical. This helps stretch the ligament. Using a frozen water bottle works well as you ice the foot as it stretches. Ethan's mom used this method and he noted the mess she made.
That's where the idea for Sole Mender came from. Ethan took a metal cylinder and put it in a no-skid base. You freeze the cylinder to give you the icing effect. He patented the product, with his dad's help, and sells it on Amazon and his company website for forty bucks per unit. He probably wants a Shark's help getting more attention and distribution opportunities.
My Take on Sole Mender
I suffer from plantar fasciitis. Sometimes I wear a splint and I am always rolling my feet on a wooden roller under my desk. I tried the frozen bottle trick and, like Ethan, found it messy. His idea is so simple, it's a “why didn't I think of that” product. Many people, like myself, will buy one to ease their foot pain. The ice-like cooling is the icing on the proverbial cake.
Even though I have a roller, I'd like a Sole Mender. It looks solid and I get exactly what it's supposed to do. I am IN.
Will Sharks have Sole?
Kids always get it easy from the Sharks, especially if they are on the ball. Ethan is. The Sole Mender won numerous awards and Ethan won many entrepreneurial competitions. There's a patent on the product and he's actively selling it online. Not bad for a kid who invented the product at age 12!
At first glimpse, this could be a Lori product: inexpensive, mass appeal, easily demonstrated; but Lori tends to shy away from anything with any kind of implied health claim. A-Rod might like the kid and take a flyer – a la Richard Branson with Lockerboards. Barbara tries it out and could bid too – she's been bidding a lot so far in the young season. Even Mark and Mr. Wonderful could bid. I think Ethan leaves with a deal.