Tina Aldatz Norris has always had a love/hate relationship with her feet. It all began when, as a teenager growing up in Orange County, she burned the soles of her feet on hot charcoal during a beach bonfire. For months, just the simple act of walking in sneakers or flats was painful and her feet were never quite the same.
Fast forward several years later and Tina was living in New York City, working as the Special Events and Merchandising Director for BCBG Max Azria. All day, every day, Tina was on her feet – hustling around the showroom and the sidewalks of New York in chic high heels that, looked great, but left her feet crying out in pain at the end of the day (and often during it). Rather than succumb to the Working Girl look of bulky sneakers with a business suit during her nightly commute home, Tina purchased blue bulky orthopedic insoles from the local drugstore and pasted them into her precious heels. However, this led to unsightly insole-overflow and even when Tina wanted to kick off her shoes and relax at her desk, she was too embarrassed to let anyone see the unsightly blue insoles inside.
Skip ahead to 2001 and Tina was back in California, working at an ill-fated internet start-up company. When the business went under, Tina saw it as her opportunity to finally solve her persistent uncomfortable shoe problem and set out to create what are now known as Foot Petals.
Tina began by researching materials, convinced that there was something better than traditional insert materials out there. Finally, she stumbled upon a high performance urethane called PORON and found that it did everything she wanted: it repelled moisture, bacteria and odor, absorbed shock, and was available in colors other than that hideous shade of blue. Very soon thereafter, Tina introduced her first Foot Petals product, Tip Toes (a foot cushion for the balls of the feet). Tip Toes has since been endorsed not only by those in high fashion, but also by the medical community, the American Podiatric Medical Association has endorsed a variety of styles from Foot Petals.
Today, Foot Petals consists of over ten unique products and kits that provide women with stylish, yet invisible solutions to common problems caused by wearing their favorite shoes (especially their favorite high heels and stilettos). Beloved by countless celebrities, it is currently sold in over 5000 retailers in the United States.
Tina is constantly searching for new solutions to add to her Foot Petals collection and has recently completed a pre-certification course in Pedorthics. Pedorthists are trained individuals who have the knowledge and experience to fit and modify footwear and orthotics in accordance with medical prescriptions for the treatment of disease, injury or deformity. Through her recent 120 hour course, Tina has learned about pedorthic assessment, lower extremity disorders, internal and external shoe modifications, orthotic fabrication, and foot anatomy. In other words, she is learning everything about her feet and the feet of her customers, so that she can continue to create new ways for all of us to be even more comfortably chic.