Dominique McClain Barteet '83 recently found herself on the Pennsylvania soundstage of QVC, the 24-hour shopping network, doing what she does best: working without a script. Nothing about the former North Carolina Miss American Teenager's life has fit into a neat little box. Except, of course, the shoes.
Barteet is the inventor and founder of Onesole, a revolutionary, interchangeable shoe concept that's perfect for busy travelers or people with big fashion ideas, but small closets.
As the name suggests, with Onesole, you only buy one sole, but it comes with three swappable snap-on tops. If three isn't enough, you can buy an unlimited amount of tops to keep your footwear fresh every day of the year. Since hitting the market in 2003, the open-toed chameleons have been a huge hit, selling out every time Barteet shows her face (and feet) on QVC.
Ever since her College of Charleston days, when she was a member of the very first Honors College class, Barteet's been following her intellectual and professional intuition wherever it may lead. At the College, she was no wallflower. "I was into everything at school," she says, including organizing one of the original dance marathons benefiting the American Cancer Society.
A consummate traveler, the "one shoe, many mates" concept had been floating around in Barteet's head for years. Not until she was customizing some dog-themed mouse pads (did we mention she's also a dog breeder?), did she come upon the idea of making the snappable Onesole tops out of stretchy, comfortable neoprene.
Barteet says she definitely gets some of her entrepreneurial fearlessness from her days at the Honors College. "Nothing was regimented," she remembers. "You could go out there and try different things." Now she's taking Onesoles to Europe.
Back on QVC, Barteet doesn't forget the love of philanthropy she learned during her Dance-a-thon days. She makes sure to donate a portion of her profits to women fighting breast cancer.
Find out more about Onesole and look out for a new product line (hint: bags!) on the Onesole website.