Among ornament shot glasses, beer mitts and inflatable sweatpants, a Cal Poly alumna’s convertible high heels were heralded on The Ellen Show as this holiday season’s “perfect present,” according to Kym Douglas.

Citing how uncomfortable it is to wear heels to lengthy holiday parties, The Bold and the Beautiful actress showed Ellen DeGenerous she could simply remove her heel and transform the shoe into a flat. The video has drawn over 53,000 viewers since Dec. 2.

“So what you want to do is you want to take your heel off, and you have a flat,” Douglas said in the episode. “I just took my heel off. Look, I got flat shoes.” 

The transformable shoes are a part of Pashion Footwear, a startup company founded by Orfalea College of Business alumna Haley Pavone, who is also the CEO. Seeing her product appear on Ellen, she said, was “an absolute dream come true.”

“To know that we have created something unique and special enough to gain the interest of someone like Ellen has been incredibly validating for the entire team,” Pavone wrote in an email to Mustang News.

Pavone’s idea for a convertible heel began in 2016, after a sorority sister accidentally stepped on her foot with the spike of her heel. After drawing up a sketch on a napkin, she took her idea to the HotHouse Incubator, a two-year small-business mentorship program in the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and launched the startup’s first kickstarter in July 2018. 

Since then, the company shipped its first pre-sale line of heels to customers across the globe and debuted its consumer website. But this is not Pashion Footwear’s first time in the limelight – in addition to appearing on Ellen, the shoes also were gifted to A-list celebrities as one of 20 products featured at the Grammy Awards 2019 pre-party. 

Of three style choices, Douglas wore the “Pashionista” heel, which sells for $165 on the company’s website.

“We have already gotten a lot of positive messages from viewers of the episode, commenting on how this shoe is first-of-its-kind and the perfect solution to common high heel inconveniences,” Pavone wrote. “It’s great to know that the functionality, style and empowerment focus of the product really came across on screen.”  

Throughout 2020, Pavone said she looks forward to giving customers more shoes to choose from by adding more styles, colors, materials and heels.

“Our product has been three years in the making, and it is finally ready for the mass market,” Pavone wrote. “We could not think of a greater way to fully debut these shoes into society.”

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