Best Foot Forward

Ron Maceo Wright shares his Jellyfeet invention and what he’s learned along his entrepreneurial journey.

The uses for Jellyfeet are innumerable. The non-latex covering worn over the foot proves useful when donned in locker rooms, a yoga class, swimming pools, hotel rooms or at airport security, and can be worn outdoors, with socks or barefoot. Jellyfeet can also be used to moisturize feet, enhance medications, protect feet from injuries, or to treat athlete’s foot, plantar warts and more.

The idea originated during the athletic years in junior high and high school of the product’s developer Maceo Wright. “There was no clear solution for protecting your feet when transitioning from the sport you’re playing to the showers, the locker room area, to any shared public communal floors,” Wright says. “I was compelled to start testing products that would cover the entire foot.”

With the inception of his idea also came the challenge of developing the product while maintaining his 40 hour per week career in corporate America. “I was not in a situation where I could just do Jellyfeet,” he says. “I found myself working the typical 8 to 5 and then after work, whenever I had a spare moment, I would go down in my basement and work through creating this product.”

After getting patent approval in 2008, conducting research and development and consumer surveys and finalizing the product, Wright officially launched Jellyfeet in 2015.

“I spent a lot of my own money on the product line,” Wright says. “Even now, we avoid any investors or loans; we really wanted to use our own resources. It was definitely challenging and still is.”

A proud moment for Wright was realizing he was a part of something original in the creation and production of Jellyfeet. “I learned that this product did not exist in the consumer market, which was exciting,” he says, “because you want to be able to confidently say, ‘I started something that did not exist.’”

Wright names his family and those in his inner circle as his biggest supporters during his entrepreneurial journey. “Really, the people that I break bread with, that I laugh, cry and get emotional with, are my biggest influences.”

Ron Maceo Wright
Age: 37

Background: Liberal arts, graphic design, art and art history. He participated in collegiate athletics: track and field and college football at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He pursued a graduate degree at the Humphrey School of Policy and Planning.
Humorous aspect of the business: “I was surprised at how much I did not know about the foot. Learning that we have thousands of sweat glands and bones and ligaments and how important the foot is to the overall health of the body, from blood to the pathways and nerve endings. I learned a lot and I even contemplated becoming a podiatrist at one point,” Wright laughs.

What is your biggest message to new entrepreneurs?
“Network in such a way that you are willing to be vulnerable. A part of [the process] is your willingness to be open and put yourself out there, figure out how to connect with people, invest in people and develop people. You can’t do it all on your own."