We caught up with Kate Austen joint owner of Podplus with her brother Tom to find out just why they started a business:
What is Podplus?
Podplus is a Sports Shop & Injury Clinic based in Ashford. The business offers a shoe fitting service to all customers so that they can get appropriate advice on what will suit their foot position & activity to prevent injury keeping you comfortable whilst being active.
The business also offers clinics via appointment for Podiatry (lower limb and foot problems), Physiotherapy and Deep Tissue Massage to treat any injuries, or provide maintenance for sports and non sports people of all ages.
Why did you take on the entrepreneurial challenge?
I was 22 when I started Podplus, I felt I had nothing to lose by giving entrepreneurship a go – I needed a job that I enjoyed and was able to create one with this opportunity.
The initial idea wasn’t mine, I took the challenge on which was suggested by my brother Tom. He was practising as a Podiatrist for the NHS and felt there was a lack of advice and products to help people manage very common foot and lower limb problems. He was right! Podplus now provides specialist products and services that were not previously available across Kent and East Sussex. Our customers happily travel to our base in Ashford from a wide reaching radius to take advantage of our services.
What makes you different?
The products we stock are designed for activity and not found on the high street – they are unique and of high quality to ensure they look good and feel great. One of our strongest aspects is the consistency in our customer service. Before selecting a product every member of our team provides advice and guidance to the customer by listening to them and taking their best interests to heart. This ensures the right product is selected to meet the needs of the customer. A couple of our top selling items are:
Brooks Adrenaline Walker – A discrete everyday walking shoe designed to support and cushion your body from the impact of walking.
Vasyli Supportive Insole – One of the best insoles and only sold via health professionals, they can support your feet to help treat common arch & heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis)
Happy 10th Birthday! What continues to drive you after 10 years?
Podplus is now a team, as an owner of the business I have a duty to every member of my team to give my best. The business still fills a void in the market, every customer deserves the best service too! Everyone should have the opportunity to be active and comfortable, we aim to provide this every step of the way.
Thanks to all those who joined us in celebrating and have made the business what it is today – We clinked glasses of Chapel Down bubbles (courtesy of former Institute of Directors Chairman Frazer Thompson) with Ashford Mayor John Link, Peter Davidson former chair of Julie Rose Stadium Trust, Paul Barron from the Kent Foundation who support young business, Joyce & Don Rose plus plenty of staff & customers past present and future for a fun day of celebration. THANK YOU!
What is your top business tip?
“Only recently I added a permanent bookkeeper/finance member to our team – it really helped to focus the ‘business’ needs rather than continuing to keep afloat and being bogged down in the daily needs, decisions can be made with an overarching goal in mind.”
Get in Touch with Podplus:
Podplus Company Website
Podplus Shopping Website