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May 4, 2021

Meet the Black Women Raising Capital to Roll Out Six New Vending Machines That Sell Footwear

Dawn Dickson and Danielle Shortt of Flat Out of Heels

Two entrepreneurial Black women — Dawn Dickson-Akpoghene, founder, and Danielle Shortt, CEO of Flat Out of Heels — continue to make history in technology and innovation. Their company, which uses advanced automated retail technology to sell stylish, machine-washable flats from innovative vending machines, is now raising at least $250K in capital to support the rollout of six new machines to scale operations.

As a pioneer in the equity crowdfunding space, in 2020, during a global pandemic, Dawn made history as the first female founder to raise over $1.07 million in capital exclusively from crowdfunding investors in a mere 47 days. Her crowdfunding total from all campaigns is currently $3.5 million and counting.

Her company's mission is simple yet brilliant because it provides a solution of comfort for women who need to retire their aching feet from the discomfort of wearing heels and are a perfect everyday flat. And because the machine-washable flats are available online, in boutiques, and in PopShop vending machines in high-traffic locations, including airports, convention centers, transit stations, and nightclubs, there is 24-hour global accessibility. Flat Out of Heels is a flat-out game changer, eliminating the need for packing an extra pair of shoes or resorting to walking around barefoot.

The company made its market debut in 2011 with prominent figures ranging from actress Eva Longoria to WNBA star Swin Cash becoming instant fans. The brand has since garnered features on The Breakfast Club, MSNBC, CNN, and Yahoo. Dawn has also been featured in publications such as Huffington Post, Forbes, and Fortune.

Recently, the company partnered with PopCom to launch two Flat Out of Heels PopShop vending machines at Polaris Mall in Columbus, Ohio, and Stonebriar Centre in Frisco, Texas. Six more machines are scheduled to launch in 2021.

Flat Out of Heels’ leadership team has been hard at work for the past decade solidifying the brand’s name within the marketplace with scalable success. The current focus is expanding its vending machine presence as well as increasing sales. With the addition of a new CEO, Danielle Shortt, leading the charge, the pioneering brand is in a solid position to succeed with its long-term vision.

“It is such an exciting time for Flat Out of Heels,” says Danielle. “As we celebrate our 10th Anniversary, for the first time we are allowing our customers and supporters to be owners. There is so much in store for the brand and now we have the opportunity to have our community join us along the journey in saving soles around the world.”

Flat Out of Heels rollable ballet-style flats were designed to be used as an emergency on-the-go footwear option or worn as an everyday look. Each pair of flats come rolled tightly in a disposable box with a shoe bag included with each purchase for convenience. With an overwhelming majority of women reporting that their high heels start to hurt after just over an hour of wear, some experiencing pain after just ten minutes, Flat Out of Heels is the solution for stiletto sore feet.

How to Invest:
Flat Out of Heels is currently raising capital on Start Engine to support the rollout of six new machines to scale operations. Anyone can invest for a minimum of $160 at StartEngine.com/FlatOut

Flat Out of Heels is a high-quality product offered at an affordable and superior price point adding to its benefit for a profitable growth trajectory. With the world slowly regaining a level of normalcy due to the pandemic, an increase in travel and social activity is imminent. The company understands the unique opportunity to thrive as well as revolutionize the industry with its timely footwear concept and worldwide distribution. Driven by innovation, adaptability and a passion for business, Flat Out of Heels is doubling down on its flagship product to maintain its premium position in the market.