Mary Poppins has the right outlook! There is always an element of fun in my job, and today's featured fabulous female also finds fun in all of her various roles in life!
When I took the full-time position of Creative Director at Walking Cradles, our shoe designer, Jamie, and I spent countless hours researching who our customer was and what makes our brand special. With both of us having a background in graphic design, we didn’t have a problem coming up with ways to make our shoes look great – but we also knew it wouldn’t matter if we weren’t delivering the right message to our target audience.
The Walking Cradles tagline “It’s a Matter of Fit!” was selected because it is highly relevant – not only because we have shoes in sizes 4-13 in Narrow, Medium, Wide and Wide-Wide widths, but because we both understand how NOT wearing a proper fitting shoe can cause much more than foot pain. During this time of research, we talked with many women about shoes. Our findings were fascinating! Not only did most women not realize that different width shoes were an option, most had never been properly fitted for shoes. The brands many women love are offered in either European sizes (36, 37, 38, etc.) or only one width (Medium – or as many people refer to it as “Regular”). Here is one thing I have learned for sure – the word “regular” does not belong in foot vocabulary! Another word we have heard resoundingly is “weird.” Most women think they have weird feet. Define weird how it pertains to feet? Well, here are a few of the things we have heard:
“I have one foot larger than the other.”
“I have bunions.”
“I have a hammertoe and no shoes provide enough toe room.”
“My feet are so small I have to buy kids shoes.”
“My feet are so big I have to buy men’s shoes.”
“My feet are narrow.”
“My feet are wide.”
“I have heel pain and it doesn’t matter what shoes I wear, they still hurt.”
“I can’t wear heels anymore.”
“All shoes slip on my heels.”
“I’ve had surgery and now no shoes fit right.”
“My feet have grown.”
Any of these ring a bell? I’m guessing everyone who is reading this can relate to at least one of these concerns.
As Jamie and I pondered these comments, we began to realize that if women had shoes that were constructed to feel and fit as good as they looked, then they could love their shoes (and their feet) again! But, these same women also didn’t realize that Walking Cradles offers shoes that can accommodate their wants and needs. Then it hit us – why feature a model selected from an agency to just show what our shoes looked like, when we could feature the women who actually wear our shoes? This way we could represent all the sizes and widths Walking Cradles offers, spotlighting that shoes that look great should also fit and feel great!
This leads me to Part VII of “Shoes for All Walks of Life” with Bethany Rosenthal.
We first met Bethany when she found out that we carry shoes in her size of 4.5 medium. Bethany embodies the word “adorable.” She is petite, bubbly and immediately likeable. One might think this tiny ray of light to be a fun-loving teenager, when in fact Dr. Bethany Rosenthal, OD is a highly regarded Optometrist specializing in pediatrics and binocular vision at Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, MO.
Bethany frequently has had to purchase children’s shoes for her petite foot. And while this isn’t always a problem when it comes to a cute little pair of flip-flops, a professional pump is impossible to find in the kids department! Imagine how excited Bethany was when she found Walking Cradles! Imagine how excited we were, too!
Lisa Loyet Schmitz and Bethany Rosenthal behind the scenes at a photoshoot.
Over the past few years, we have had the pleasure of working with Bethany for our photo shoots that include women of all ages, sizes and ethnicities. She is always a breath of fresh air, and modeling comes naturally to her, as one of her many talents includes performing!
Recently, we were blessed with a beautiful Sunday morning when we met Bethany at Children’s Hospital and then moved across the street to Forest Park for our photoshoot. But, without further ado, I’m thrilled to introduce you to the newly married, always fun and optimistic – Dr. Bethany Rosenthal / Mrs. Jake Sims.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A PEDIATRIC OPTOMETRIST?
My grandma bought me a fake pair of eyeglasses about age 6 because I adored my older brother's glasses. From a young age, I always wanted to be an optometrist! In 4th grade I actually dressed up in my mom's white lab coat wearing my pretend glasses and carrying a homemade eye chart for our Career Day at school. Needless to say - I followed that passion! My grandpa had terrible eyesight and was another inspiration for my optometric desire. He was going to be my first patient but passed away while I was in Optometry School. He told his Ophthalmologist he would not be returning to him - because his granddaughter was going to check his eyes. I miss him terribly but not a day goes by that I don't think of him during an exam!
Bethany during her Radio Disney days.
In middle school, I began performing with Radio Disney across the Missouri and Illinois region. I worked with an abundance of kids of all ages and fell in love with the work. While I still sing and perform with local theaters and church choir on the side - Pediatrics and Eyes just happened to be the perfect match! After finishing optometry school, I completed a Residency in Pediatrics/Vision Therapy and now have my dream job working with children (and adults) at Children's Hospital. It is an honor to work alongside amazing doctors and to treat patients who continue to inspire me with their incredible stories and determination.
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR RECENT WEDDING, WHAT ARE SOME THINGS YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND ENJOY DOING IN YOUR SPARETIME?
The recently wed Mr. and Mrs. Jake Sims
Thank you! We have been together for nearly 12 years - and despite 3 postponed pandemic wedding dates - we are officially husband and wife! Ironically enough, he was actually a shoe salesman while we were in college. I would try to have him hold any size 5's that would come along - but that was far and few! And they were always still too big for me.
In our free time, you can almost always find us doing something outdoors! We love to go for runs, play tennis, ride bikes, and enjoy our evening walks after dinner. He is my movie guy - we were even originally supposed to be married in a theater prior to the pandemic! While we are both busy individuals, we love our down time to relax and watch a movie - after making a fun gluten free treat of course! While I am not a big eater - I LOVE to cook! And he loves to eat! So, one of our favorite places to be is in the kitchen together creating a new gluten free or paleo creation. We both enjoy a healthier lifestyle, but we do enjoy our sweet tooth! Usually once a week we will have a "cheat" meal or treat and make a gluten free dessert, cookies, or even a cast iron skillet pizza. It is amazing what you can do with your own produce, and we love cooking a homemade meal together (with a little 80's rock music playing in the background, of course!) We also love cars and anything with music.
YOU WEAR A VERY SMALL SIZE SHOE (4.5M), WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED IN SHOE SHOPPING?
I wear a child's size 3 and am a pediatric optometrist - nothing like walking into an exam room wearing the same shoes as your patients!! There are many challenges I have faced in the past with having a small shoe size - proms, homecomings, sports - my tennis coach in high school even had my tennis shoes special bought from the kid selection. While the kid shoes are fun and usually more affordable - their support and comfort are much different from the true fit that I need. I am an avid runner and running in a toddler boys' shoe with a "pretend" shock absorber or ill-fitting arch is hard on small feet! Needless to say, Walking Cradles has been an absolute blessing! Thanks to this fabulous company, I can find shoes made of quality with comfort and style galore. I am on my feet constantly and it is imperative that I have a shoe that will get me through the day. Between engaging with pediatric patients in clinic, to performing, working out, and just meeting up with family and friends, Walking Cradles provides a variety of designs for every scenario that are tailored to my own foot. I no longer have to worry about stuffing the toes of my shoes with cotton or bringing a Band-Aid from my shoe slipping on and off. Walking Cradles for the win!
MANY TIMES YOUNGER WOMEN DON’T THINK ABOUT THE DANGERS OF WEARING ILL-FITTING OR POORLY MADE SHOES. AS SOMEONE WHO HAS DISCOVERED WALKING CRADLES AT A YOUNG AGE, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BIGGEST BENEFIT YOU GET FROM THIS BRAND THAT OTHER YOUNG WOMEN COULD ALSO FIND HELPFUL.
QUALITY!!! I cannot stress this enough! Even at a young age - I already have faced the consequences of wearing ill-fitting shoes early in life. From broken toes to having a flat arch, the structure and quality of a shoe is ideal and extremely important for my busy lifestyle. Walking Cradles provides a shoe for not only style but for comfort and support too! They provide a shoe style for every walk of life from dressing up, hanging out with friends, or simply spending long hours on your feet at work. Walking Cradles is one of the few shoes that I have found to make their own comfort "pillows" on the sole of every shoe - they are like little soft clouds to float on all day! The biggest benefit this brand offers for me is the correct size and overall fit of each shoe. I feel like Cinderella when I slip into my Walking Cradles!
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE WALKING CRADLES SHOES YOU ARE WEARING IN THESE PHOTOS?
Dr. Bethany Rosenthal wearing the Jackie Pump,
outside Children's Hospital in St. Louis, MO.
The BEST thing about each of these Walking Cradles is how incredibly versatile they are! Not to mention their comfort. The Jackie Pump is not only stylish and professional for a day at work but could also be dressed up or down with a cute pair of jeans for going out, as well. The heel is just the right height [2"] and size that I can wear them in clinic all day and still walk a mile back to my car - not kidding! I love the detail and class that each of these shoes have to offer.
Bethany wearing the Dylan Metro+ Sneaker in Black Leather/Black Snake Print Fabric. Fun fact: Bethany's parents painted and decorated this bike for her recent wedding!
The Dylan has a fun snake print that just adds to its fun personality and comfort. Both shoes have the padded pillows in the soles, and I honestly miss them when I wear any other shoes!
WHAT IS A MESSAGE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH EVERYONE?
"Give a girl the right shoes, she can conquer the world" - this quote could not be more accurate, and Walking Cradles makes this their mission! You can't leave the house in the morning without thinking - what shoes am I going to wear?! Shoes carry us throughout the day and are often part of some of our most important life events! Interviews, weddings, dances, work - wherever you are and whatever you do, always be proud of the shoes you walk in.
As Mae West stated: "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." In a world that is constantly changing and evolving - I find this quote imperative to remember. Follow your passion. Be kind to everyone. Eat the dessert! It's the little things in life that sometimes turn out to be the best things or the most memorable. It is easy to get caught up in our busy lifestyle and forget to step back and recognize the beauty in the day and all around us.
Walking Cradles has introduced me to some amazing individuals and women who are constantly giving back and being inspiration for others. Despite negativity in the world - we must continuously be looking for and portraying the good. As a pediatric doctor, it is truly an amazing feeling to see the world through some of the youngest eyes just beginning on life's adventures. We become role models for many, and they look up to us as they take on this world. We must remember to set good examples for all those around us and to amplify a strong foundation of positivity, motivation, and goals that we are all capable of.
Bethany wearing the Lydia sandal in white leather. Parasol by Lily Lark.
Coming up later this month: We had the opportunity during Bethany's photo shoot to get some shots for an upcoming collaboration with Lily Lark parasols. Be watching in the coming weeks to learn about this fascinating company that creates these exceptional sun parasols and why they aren't just beautiful, but beneficial!
We are very grateful to Bethany for being part of “Shoes for All Walks of Life.” Thank you for joining us to learn more about the women who wear Walking Cradles and their multi-faceted lives. We will feature a different fabulous female each month and we hope you look forward to reading their stories as much as we enjoy working with them. Although, is it really work when you love what you do so much and get to spend time with such amazing people?!
Until next time...
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