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Every well-heeled woman knows a quick walk down the block can scuff up a new pair of pumps. “My customers were buying shoes that cost upwards of a couple hundred dollars a pair, and the soles were getting run down very quickly,” says Kathryn Jackson, a former sales associate for a luxury department store. “We could resole the shoe, but that could cost up to $75 per pair. I thought, “There’s got to be a solution to prevent this.’” After researching the market, Kathryn teamed with a manufacturer to create transparent, non-slip, adhesive sole protectors. She launched Protect Your Pumps in 2011. “I knew I needed an online presence in this untapped market,” she says. Within two years, this bootstrapped operation became Kathryn’s full-time e-commerce business.

“I would not be able to do this without Google and my online presence.” – Kathryn Jackson, Founder

Forty percent of her online sales comes from Google Search, and Kathryn leverages AdWords, Google’s advertising program, to drive additional seasonal traffic. Since online customers constitute most of her business, Kathryn knew she needed to build a fanbase. She sends product samples to fashion bloggers to “create brand champions” and invites customers to post photos of their newly protected shoes on social media. Google Analytics helps Kathryn track where online traffic is coming from and gives her a leg up on making improvements to her website, social media properties, and advertising campaigns. It also shows her where traffic is coming from geographically, so she can pinpoint the best cities to host in-person events.

Protect Your Pumps has shipped product to 80 countries.

Kathryn has now expanded her product lines for flats and men’s shoes and was named Wisconsin’s 2015 Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Kathryn plans to kick up her social media marketing a notch by creating YouTube videos to show customers how to use her products. “Without Google, people would not be able to find my business,” she says. “The reach of the web has been tremendous.”

Also on Mercury Promotions [A Google Case Study]

For more information on the Protect Your Pumps case study, visit

Content provided by Google.

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