How Dana Ward, Founder of Barefoot Scientist, Is Making Footcare a Luxury

Welcome toSecond Life, a podcast spotlighting successful women who’ve made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief content officer at Who What Wear, each episode gives you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or anywhere you get your podcasts to stay tuned.

There’s nothing quite like a good self-care spa day, from massages and meditation to facials and pedicures. Dana Ward, the founder and president of Barefoot Scientist, has mastered the art of self-care and pampering through premium footcare solutions. With the mission to provide the highest-quality products to help nourish, freshen, and revive your feet, Ward set out on a journey to inspire people to treat their feet in the same specialized way that they care for their face, hair, and body—ultimately, integrating that spa-day feeling into the everyday.

After years of extensive research and thorough studies on the foot’s needs, Ward created a brand that fused advanced, dynamic ingredient formulation with simplicity and efficiency, setting a new standard in footcare. Ward oversees everything from branding and marketing to product development, and within a year of launching direct-to-consumer in 2019, Barefoot Scientist expanded into over 1000 Ulta Beauty stores and 2400 Rite Aid locations. Her innovative footcare products like PreHeels+ Blister Prevention Spray and Reboot Exfoliating Foot Peel have garnered the attention of thousands, and today, Barefoot Scientist is sold in major retailers like Anthropologie as well as boutique spas, wellness centers, and podiatry offices.

For Ward, the concept of Barefoot Scientist was initially an answer to a personal need. In Ward’s early career, she was on the founding team at Clever Media, where she was responsible for content strategy and production of the most-viewed entertainment news network on YouTube. She also led creative development and production for outside brands such as Adidas and Sony and hosted segments for outlets like NBC and E! Entertainment. Impressively, Ward has produced and/or hosted over 7500 segments to date. Throughout those long, intense hours on her feet working the red carpets, Ward began to conceptualize her first product, which would eventually evolve into a footcare empire.

Listen to the latest episode of Second Life to hear how Ward transitioned a personal need into a burgeoning business in a completely different industry. And keep scrolling to shop some of Barefoot Scientist’s best sellers. 

Next: How Karla Gallardo & Shilpa Shah of Cuyana Built a Fashion Brand With Intention

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