International Women’s Day – Q&A with Founder, Katharin von Gavel

07 March, 2024

International Women's Day started off as a project by women, for women. It's a celebrated day where we cheer for all the amazing accomplishments women have made in jobs, politics, society, and talk about what more can be done. Every year on March 8th, women all over the world should take a moment to think about how far we've come and how much more of an impact will have moving forward.

Speaking of important movements, let's discuss one of the reasons we celebrate Footlogix® this International Women’s Day. Not only do we have fantastic women working at the headquarters in Toronto, The United States and abroad, but Footlogix® was founded by a woman, Katharin von Gavel. Katharin's journey is a perfect example of the kind of leadership and innovation we need to celebrate today and every day, especially when celebrating International Women's Day. Her story adds another layer to how women are shaping industries and creating change, right from the ground up—quite literally, in the case of Footlogix® and its focus on foot care.

Katharin started Footlogix® with a simple philosophy – to elevate the pedicure industry and provide professionals around the world the means to give an exceptional foot care experience. True to this vision, Footlogix is now available in over 90 countries around the world.

We sat down with Footlogix® founder, Katharin von Gavel to find out what success looks like to her and what advice she has for young women eager to make a name for themselves.

Q: What does success look like to you?

A: For me, the definition of success is: Can you leave a legacy? Mine is to know that there are at least 1000 people who, once I’m gone, can say Katharin has had a positive impact on my life in some way. That way, I know I have been successful.

Q: What skills do you think are essential to be a great leader?

A: I think there are really two essential skills for being a great leader. Number one is communication. It is impossible to become an effective leader without first becoming a great communicator. However, that doesn't mean just learning how to talk; everybody can do that. A leader will offer integrity and honesty when they speak, but more importantly, a leader will know when to listen and to always influence with integrity. Number two, the most important skill in my opinion as a leader, is to promote and help your team members with their personal and professional long-term growth, helping them get out of their comfort zone. We can only grow when we are out of that comfort zone. It’s difficult, but a good leader can help a team member get there.

Q: What are the most valuable lessons you’ve learned throughout your career?

A: A valuable lesson that I’ve learned is to never sacrifice your reputation. Your word and your reputation for doing the right thing follow you. Integrity is everything.

Q: What advice would you give to younger women starting out in their career today?

A: For any young person starting out today, I would always say work towards being the best you can be all the time. Never do anything in just a mediocre way. It means that you always have to learn, never stop learning, and never get to a place where you think you know everything. But, more importantly, very important, is learn how to fail. Learn how to fail, fail fast, and fail hard. Failure is not the enemy. If we learn from it, it can be our greatest gift. If you are not failing, you’re not optimally growing or learning. Learning and education build confidence. Confidence leads to success.

I always like to remind women how capable we are and there are some things we should learn from successful men, that will help promote our own self-worth. For example, I often say, if you look at a successful man, they can be the ugliest person with warts on their nose and horns growing out of their forehead, and when they walk by a mirror, their shoulders go back, and they see Adonis. When we as women can be beautiful, tall, slim, and gorgeous and when we walk by a mirror we see a little wrinkle or a little too much fat. That we have to stop. We have to learn what successful men do when they look in the mirror and we see beauty. And then, we have confidence and with confidence, we can be successful.

Q: Is there a little-known fact about yourself that you would like to share (i.e., an interesting hobby or talent)?

A: I’ve often been asked if there is a little-known fact about myself that people don’t know about. I guess because I spend so much time at work, most people don’t know that I am a bit of a thrill-seeker. I have jumped out of an airplane at 14,000 feet over Hawaii. I’ve got my pilot's license, became a scuba diver, and underwater photographer… but one thing people don’t know about me is how nervous I was when I was the only female captain of a flotilla of 40 yachts on a 10-day vacation. Everybody was making sure that when I docked the ship, I was doing the right thing. It worked out well… but I was nervous.

Q: How do you handle work-life balance?

A: Work-life balance, that is always a tough one. I believe if you love what you do, it transcends into your personal life and into everything else, which gives you automatic balance in life and love.