As a part of our Creator Launchpad program, we’ve been able to partner with some amazing creators to grow their platform, create community and share knowledge about the industry. As a nod to the incredible people we work with, we’d like to begin spotlighting just a few of the creators we’re working with and tell their story.
Josephine Lee is a content creator and professional pointe shoe fitter- she fits the custom footwear ballet dancers need to avoid injury and perform their best. Her content has been huge on YouTube, succeeding even within her small niche, which is a recurring theme throughout her journey.
Pointe shoe fitting used to be something you’d get done at your local dance supply store, something Josephine’s mother did well, and a service she offered at her own such store. Since she was a little girl, Josephine worked alongside her mom fitting shoes, sometimes helping people who would drive six hours for the appointment. 10 years ago Josephine opened a dance store for kids, selling everything they’d need to get started, from their tutus to their shoes.
Though as with content creation, Josephine saw a niche that was yet untapped. People loved her fitting service so much, they would fly her out to their dance studios to serve anyone who needed it. Seeing the demand for fitting services and the lack of ANY large businesses specializing in the practice, she thought she’d take a leap of faith. In 2014, she switched gears to focus entirely on pointe shoe fitting.
Josephine recognized that while the internet could allow you to purchase everything you’d need at a brick-and-mortar store, pointe shoes remained an impracticality. They’re not as simple as a single size- ballet dancers need shoes to designed specifically for their feet, to prevent catastrophic injuries and allow them to perform their best. Josephine likens pointe shoes to a cast, it must be perfectly formed to you and cannot float, slip, rub or catch. In her mind, even if internet killed retail, this would remain the one place she could still grow.
Many warned her against this move and even she herself remarked upon the massive risk involved in dropping her successful one-stop-shop business. However, that gamble paid off and today she’s known as a leading Orange County business woman running 4 locations across the country, with another opening in November.
In addition to her massively successful fitting business, she also started a second company which connects medical professionals experienced in dance and dance injuries, to compile the latest research and avoid injuries. Dance injuries are particularly unique, stemming from movements and strains which aren’t often seen in other sports. Just as with fitting, you need someone intimately familiar with dance and the bodies of dancers, to properly serve that community. DanseMedica facilitates just that.
Members of DanseMedica meet monthly to attend mastermind group sessions, where they discuss the current research, cases, news, and preventative measures. They also randomly pair specialists up with each other to promote the unique interactions and information sharing. Atop these meetings, the company also runs public events aimed to educate dancers on their findings. An annual meeting is hosted in New York, where dancers from around the world come to discuss and present ideas as well as get to know each other.
While pointe shoe fitting is her business, she enjoys content creation as a fun, creative outlet as well as offering an introduction to the world of dance for millions online.
Josephine has seen tremendous success and positive reception on both YouTube and Instagram, where she posts dance-related content regularly. Her process is incredibly well-developed and she has an awesome team of people she’s looking to expand, enabling her to shoot more content in more places. As a part of our work on Launchpad, we’re hoping to make this possible by connecting creators with videographers, editors, thumbnail artists and more- to level up their creative output.
A huge benefit she’s seen from Launchpad is the motivation she gets from community members. After spending a lot of time in the industry and on content creation, it’s easy to become victim to your own success and stop innovating. Despite getting her start taking a chance, it gets more difficult to consider as you settle into what works.
Our cohort is full of creators at different stages in their journey, with guest speakers who come in enthusiastic and willing to speak with everyone individually. Josephine and others, have found that the relationships to other driven creators in the cohort has rekindled their passion for creating. Many people in the cohort are trying new platforms, formats and ideas. What makes that process easier, is having other people to speak with about it and support you along the way- driving you to do the best you can and take chances when the opportunity presents itself.
For example, in alignment with the goals of DanseMedica, Josephine hopes to work on delivering more informational content that a broader audience can enjoy. While she’s certainly dominating reaction content, she’s working with us to figure out how to incorporate more education about the field and sport. By speaking with others in the cohort who are working in entirely different niches, or on different platforms, Josephine has been able to lean on other members for support, ideas and enthusiasm.
It’s our hope that through her time in Launchpad and beyond, as a CreatorDAO member, she can develop those ideas further and continue to be inspired by our other members. If the last three weeks are indication, we’re confident we can facilitate that for her and future creators.
Big props to Josephine- we’re looking forward to share even more stories about our amazing Season 0 cohort, so stay tuned!