- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
July 6, 2020
Nick Kolterman has definitely found a niche.
The owner of Fit My Feet Orthotics & Shoes is working on multiple new locations and an e-commerce launch in a year that likely will see him retain a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest growing businesses.
“Our growth has been overwhelming,” said Kolterman, who worked in orthotics and prosthetics for 15 years before shifting to the retail shoe business.
“We’ve just been rolling.”
Kolterman credits much of his growth to referrals from all the Sioux Falls health systems, including the VA, which send patients there for shoes selected by someone with professional expertise.
When he was on that side of the business, Kolterman often would send patients to chain stores where “teenagers would wait on them,” he said.
“I was hoping we could open a shoe store and call it Fit My Feet because that’s what we do – we fit people’s feet.”
Medical professionals told him it was a good idea and followed through by sending him business. He now has two dozen employees in four locations: Sioux Falls, Brookings, Dakota Dunes and Mitchell.
“Our business is driven by medical referrals through orthopedics, sports medicine, podiatry, and we get a lot of referrals from chiropractic care, family practice with diabetes, rheumatology, you name it,” he said, while adding no referral is needed for service.
“They can come in; we do an assessment,” he said. “People self-diagnose, so if it’s something we can’t figure out over the counter or with the right shoes, we refer them on.”
He opened in the Southway Center on Minnesota Avenue nine years ago and then took over the former Norman’s Men’s Wear space at 2621 S. Minnesota Ave. more than three years ago.
In August, Fit My Feet will move to the former Play It Again Sports location at 3534 S. Western Ave., where it will gain some needed space.
“He’s got a great business,” said Scott Blount of Lloyd Cos., who leased Kolterman his current and future spaces.
The new space will give the business more visibility and possibly a little more regional traffic, bolstered by its proximity to Scheels as well as the interstate, he added.
“He’s also somewhat of a destination,” Blount said.
Kolterman also is in the process of opening at store in Rochester, Minn., that’s two blocks from the Mayo Clinic. He could be open in Fargo by late this year too.
“It’s very unique,” he said in describing his business model. “I created this off the plan that you can’t just walk into any shoe store and have a practitioner on staff who does what I do. By the time we get them, a lot of patients have already spent $500 to $700, and they still don’t have an answer.”
Last year, the company ranked No. 2,713 on the Inc. 5000 list, with 142 percent growth from 2015 to 2018.
He anticipates he will qualify again for the list this year.
In the coming weeks, he also plans to launch an online brand to offer his service through e-commerce. It was inspired through COVID-19 as he watched patients go months letting foot problems go.
“It gave me an idea to launch a teleservice just like Teledoc with patient care,” he said.
“It’s going to revolutionize the orthotic and prosthetic world as far as what we do.”
“Our growth has been overwhelming.” At local startup Fit My Feet, multiple new stores and an online launch are on the way.