BORN TO LITIGATE
Lindsay Sokolowski looks like she might play a lawyer on TV. And that made it challenging to succeed in the courtroom. “I had a hard time being taken seriously,” says Sokolowksi, 35, who refused to pin back her long blond hair or dress in—horrors!—navy suits. But she insists it is quite possible to litigate and love fashion. “I just had to be smarter and better.” She made partner at Fredrikson & Byron in Minneapolis by age 30—dressed like a lady. And a lady likes boots.
INVENTOR BY NIGHT
I lived in a small house and my boots were a mess,” says Sokolowski. Closet organizers took up too much space, so she tried hanging her boots on a rack, but clothespins and skirt hangers left marks. Always one to dabble in side projects, she set to work developing a compact cushioned hanger sturdy enough to hold boots without damaging leather or suede. The Boot Hanger (patented, of course) launched online in 2008 at boottique.com, which Sokolowski developed herself. At first she’d get an order every few weeks. But word has spread across the Internet: She now averages several hundred orders a day. November sales were more than her first three years combined.
For now, Sokolowski fulfills orders in evenings and on weekends at her Edina home. Her husband and step-kids help, and she’s looking to hire. Eventually, she hopes to sell the Boot Hanger and move on to the next big idea. Seems fashion is not so frivolous.