Boots keep pedicures perfect in winter


Staff Writer

Sisters Erika Whitman, Deanna Kipnes and Pamela Karp (l-r) are the creators of Bootie Pies, a pedicure boot that is generating buzz in the fashion industry.  Sisters Erika Whitman, Deanna Kipnes and Pamela Karp (l-r) are the creators of Bootie Pies, a pedicure boot that is generating buzz in the fashion industry. MARLBORO – While some boots are made for walking, these boots are made for pedicures. The launch of a new beauty product called Bootie Pies: Pedicure Boots for Posh Toes is the creation of sisters Pamela Karp, 32, Erika Whitman, 35, and Deanna Kipnes, 24.

The sisters grew up in Marlboro, and Karp and Whitman still live in the township. Kipnes lives in New York City.

Bootie Pies are suede boots with a convertible, soft patent-leather toe and a plush faux sheepskin lining. Bootie Pies are luxury pedicure boots that allow women to enjoy pedicures in style all winter long. Worn as regular boots to the salon, Bootie Pies’ unique patent-leather toe then converts to expose toes for polishing, Karp said.

The boots cost $128 and are available for purchase on the company Web site, The company name Tres Chicas means three girls and is a play on the French phrase tres chic (very fashionable).

TALI ISRAELI  TALI ISRAELI “We wanted it to be cutesy and girlie and fun and something you remember,” Kipnes said about the name of the company and the name of the boot.

The boots are also displayed at local salons including Ginger’s Nail Salon, Colts Neck and Holmdel, and Gabrielle’s, Manalapan.

Karp said although the price of the boot may seem expensive, it is designed for women who are getting pedicures on a regular basis throughout the winter.

The boots come in whole sizes 5 through 11 and the colors, which are named after pies, are pecan (dark tan), coconut cream (tan), blackberry (black), bayberry (gray), and boysenberry (dark blue).

Getting pedicures year-round was a regular pampering event for the Kipnes sisters, but the problem of keeping their feet warm and their polish from smudging was what sparked the idea for Bootie Pies.

“We thought there had to be a better way,” Kipnes said about getting pedicures in the winter.

For any woman (or man) who has ever gotten a pedicure, you know the drill: either wait 20 minutes in the salon for the polish to dry, walk out in paper flip-flops or risk ruining your perfect pedicure.

And in the winter the problem is even worse. Who wants to walk around in flip-flops when there’s snow on the ground? What mother or working woman has time to wait for her toenails to dry?

The Kipnes sisters didn’t, and so they invented the pedicure boot.

The women used their own inexpensive boots to try and make prototypes of the product they envisioned. They tried snaps, sewing, zippers and buttons before working with a manufacturer in Canada to come up with the final product.

The sisters said it took about a year to go from idea to conception. Whitman added that finding the right manufacturer took patience, research and time.

Sometimes the women would have to wait six weeks for a sample to come back from a manufacturer, only to see that the sample was not at all what they expected.

Kipnes said they came across the Canada-based manufacturer that they eventually chose on the Internet and that representatives of the company were intrigued with their idea. She said the manufacturer specializes in winter boots, so the company was knowledgeable about what soles to use for the boots and what the warmest materials are.

“They had a ton of ideas for us,” Kipnes said.

Whitman added, “We just clicked with them.”

Karp said the manufacturer added value to the product instead of just manufacturing it blindly.

The women wanted the boot to be a high-quality luxury item, and because it is made to be worn in the winter, they wanted it to be a solid boot.

In addition to finding a manufacturer and creating the ideal product, Kipnes said they had to make decisions about packaging, logos, colors and tags as well.

Once the final product was made, the Kipnes sisters got the word out to everyone they knew. Soon enough, their product was being talked about on beauty blogs and other Web sites.

“We just announced it to everyone we knew,” Karp said. “We just contacted every e-mail address and magazine.”

Bootie Pies had been on the market less than two months when the women were approached by, the online version of People magazine, and, the online version of Life and Style magazine, to feature the boot on their Web sites.

“We felt like it was really starting to get out there,” Kipnes said.

Bootie Pies has also been featured in the style section of newspapers in Sacra-mento, Calif., and Minneapolis, Minn.

But the biggest shock of all was yet to come.

It won’t be long until Bootie Pies becomes the new fashion among the elite in Hollywood. The performers and presenters at this year’s Grammy awards will be receiving a pair of pedicure boots in their Grammy gift bags at the awards show on Feb. 11.

Karp said the company that fills the bags “flipped over our product” and said it was perfect for celebrities. She added that all of the items selected for the bags are luxury items and it is stiff competition to get a product in the bag.

“We were just thrilled when they approached us,” Karp said.

On Jan. 25 Bootie Pies appeared on NBC-TV’s Today show in a segment featuring hot items for winter fashion.

Kipnes has also attended a “break the winter blues” cocktail party in New York City hosted by Marie Claire magazine, at which Kipnes said there was definitely a buzz about their product.

“There’s so many things that have happened,” Kipnes said about all of the recent publicity surrounding the boot. “It’s such a unique product that I think people have really picked up on it and it solves a problem that a lot of women have.”

The women said they have had a ton of inquiries from boutiques, spas and large chain stores that want to sell Bootie Pies. Karp said they are in the process of working out those issues for next season.

As for the future of Bootie Pies and Tres Chicas, Karp said after the boot is in the hands of every major recording artist in Hollywood, she feels like big things are going to happen for them.

“To have our product in the hands of so many style makers, we can see it playing out in so many ways,” Karp said. “We really feel like anything can happen.”

Kipnes added, “We are really optimistic about what can happen after the Grammys.”

In addition to the pedicure boot, the women said they have ideas for other styles and colors for the boot, and ideas for other beauty products are in the works.

“We consider ourselves a beauty solutions company,” Karp said.

Karp said the sisters are grateful for all the positive feedback they have received from people who are in the fashion industry and the celebrity world.