The FootLog Story
Working full-time as a school custodian and part-time as an airport security guard, Ren Field’s long work hours took a toll on his flat feet. He tried many products to alleviate his pain, but he couldn’t find anything that provided the relief he sought.
So Field turned to his woodshop in an attempt to create a solution for himself. He made a cylindrical wooden massager covered in 250 small, knobby protrusions that he calls “fingers.” With it Field rolled the toes, soles, heels, and fallen arches of his feet. To his delight, this finally provided the stimulation necessary to ease his discomfort.
Field’s colleagues tried his device and soon wanted their own. The constant question, “Why don’t you sell this?” eventually led him to the decision to begin a business based on the Foot Log.
He resigned from his airport job, withdrew the $2,000 he had in savings and bought some molds to create plastic replications of his original wooden massager. It wasn’t long before Field was selling the product he developed.
As business picked up, Field contracted injection molding companies to make the components. He, his wife and older children assembled the massagers in their basement. He sold between 200-250 Foot Logs each weekend at conventions, county fairs, home shows, and other events.
But things didn’t stop there. Through Media Enterprises—a firm that seeks media exposure for clients—the Foot Log gained a sales spot on the Home Shopping Club’s cable-television program. Field was asked to have 10,000 Foot Logs ready for shipment, but he could not handle an order that size. A compromise was reached and Field agreed to have 5,000 Foot Logs ready for shipment in 30 days. However, this was still a tall order for Field as he didn’t have the capital for production of this size. He also lacked an assembly team and shipping facilities.
To tackle the problem, Field borrowed some money from a relative and quickly arranged for increased production of the Foot Log components. He hired disabled students who were in need of work to do the assembling. He also enlisted the help of some 20 families in his neighborhood to assemble and box the Foot Logs for shipping.
The Home Shopping Club sold 3,200 Foot Logs during the first airing of the sales message. They then sold the remaining 1,800 halfway through a second presentation. 100,000 more were sold over the next several months. Field’s product has also been featured on the QVC home shopping channel and is sold through 250 Relax The Back stores.
Assembly is still done by the schools for the handicapped and neighborhood families, but Field now has a shipping operation staffed by employees.
The company has sold over 500,000 logs in a single year. Sales have been so good that Field has added a second product: it is 25 inches long, has bicycle-type handles at each end, and is designed for application to any part of the body. Not surprisingly, he calls it “The Body Log.”
Ren Field, developer of the FootLog, considers what he does more of a hobby than a business. Field himself has said,
“I can’t really call the hours and effort put into my product a job; I have too much fun!”
- Ranked as 17th fastest growing Utah business
- Ranked as 45th fastest growing Utah business
- Ranked as 78th fastest growing Utah business
- Winner of the Blue Chip Enterprise Initiative Award