MBA project helps get business off on the right foot

A Texas internist turned class work into a company that sells inserts for high-heel shoes.

By Karen Caffarini — Posted Jan. 19, 2009

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Making sidelines pay

Business Pitch

Doctors who branched out beyond running their practice tell why they did it, how they did it, and what you should know before you do it.
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Name: Majin Castillo, MD

Specialty: Internal medicine

Location: San Antonio

Company: TCG Enterprises Inc., which makes Sassy Soles, a soft gel-like plastic insert designed to prevent feet from sliding forward when wearing open-toe high-heel shoes. A patent-pending ridge between the ball of the foot and toes helps keep the foot in place.

Annual revenue: Less than $50,000. However, after the company's Web site debuted in September 2008, Dr. Castillo received his first big purchase order. Sassy Soles can be purchased at HEB Plus Stores in Texas and at Elegance Boutique in San Antonio. They are also available on the Web site for $9.99 a pair (link).

Why he started the business: "I developed the concept of Sassy Soles in December 2007 during my MBA studies. I had to come up with a fake company and a business plan for it in a business development course. Several students and I came up with the concept, but it was just mine at the end," Dr. Castillo said.

He designed a prototype and presented it in class. He said after getting a positive reception from classmates, he and his wife formed the company. Their product is made in Boerne, Texas, outside San Antonio.

Why he continues to practice: "Medicine is what I do. I love dealing with people," Dr. Castillo said. But he added that he is considering decreasing his hours at the group practice where he is employed because the business is taking more of his time.

Words of wisdom: "Business opportunities are out there. You just have to look for them and don't be afraid to go after them."

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