IAM2013 – CEO Empowers Women’s Foot Health and Wellness

Podcast Interview with JeNay Silva

In a world where comfort and health often take a backseat to style and productivity, it's refreshing to come across a brand that combines both.

In this episode, we have JeNay Silva, the founder of Her Collective Sole, a Sneaker Wellness brand dedicated to revolutionizing the way women view and care for their feet.

At Her Collective Sole, they believe that sneakers are not just a fashion statement, but a crucial aspect of foot wellness. JeNay and her team are changing the narrative around foot health by introducing the concept of “sneaker wellness.”

This new lens views sneakers as an essential element of foot innovation and promotes the integration of foot health into the sneaker industry.

Her Collective Sole is a brand on a mission to empower women through sneaker wellness and foot health.

JeNay Silva's vision, authenticity, and commitment to self-discovery have propelled Her Collective Sole into the forefront of the foot health industry.

By creating a space where women can openly discuss their foot health concerns and providing innovative solutions, Her Collective Sole is revolutionizing the perception of foot health while promoting comfort as a culture.


Previous Episode: founder-opens-up-more-conversations-through-sneakers

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Full Interview:


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JeNay Silva Teaser 00:00

For me, it was like putting somewhere women could have their space to and not have to be like silent network. A lot of times they're wearing heels to work and can wear flats to work. And they're being silent about what's bothering them. And to me, it was like, oh, if your foot is hurting underneath your desk, taking your shoe off, doing different things and not really knowing what the next step is for you.

Intro 00:20

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I Am CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:48

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast. And I have a very special guest back on the show today. I have JeNay Silva. JeNay.

JeNay Silva 00:55

How you doing? Good. Great to be here.

Gresham Harkless 00:58

I know. It's great to actually see you in person. We're obviously here live at Intelligent Office. We did a podcast before she actually was on episode number 642 of our I Am CEO podcast, but now we're here for the live recording at Intelligent Office.

So excited to have you back on. Of course, meet you in person as well, too.

JeNay Silva 01:12

Thanks for having me. I'm just so excited. You're doing amazing things. So I'm just You know, this is a pleasure for me to be on I Am CEO podcast for sure.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 01:20

Yeah. The pleasure is all mine. You're doing phenomenal things that I know we talked about a little bit more, during the previous episode.

But what I want to do is pass you the mic here a little bit more on you, what you've been working on, what you're doing and how you're making that impact for the clients you work with.

JeNay Silva 01:34

Sure. So, for those who don't know, I ran a business called Her Collective Sole. Her Collective Sole is a Sneaker Wellness brand.

We call it sneaker wellness because we believe that it's just like tech. Tech was a word and now it's the industry. So we're trying to make waves in that space. We're creating our own industry, of course, where we can connect foot health, foot innovation, footwear innovation. And if you have a space that could be connected to the sneaker industry to make a creative space for you that you feel seen.

So with that sticker wellness, we are partnering with different brands right now. We're continuing to grow. We're actually changing over the business to a full e-commerce business for people to actually have a way to guide themselves or start themselves in their foot health care journey, what we call our wet the foot box.

So we're excited about that. So, yeah, just making a continued impact. We are continuing to do foot health workshops at women's socials where we just had a women's actual ladies night where we did a sneaker cleaning as well as foot health workshop where we were able to actually give away some giveaways for our insoles.

So we actually Her Collecting Sole. So actually we create our own insoles. So our insoles are specifically for the lifestyle of sneakerheads, right? It's for the lifestyle. You can wear sneakers, but a lot of more and more women are wearing sneakers and they're walking them.

So we're trying to continue our impact, of course, hopefully all over the world for women, for sure. And their foot health journeys.

Gresham Harkless 02:58

Nice. I absolutely love that. It's when I first mentioned a, the first thing I did was say, okay, what kind of shoes are we working? What are you doing with what type of flat things that you have on? But I love even I think when we spoke at the previous episode, I don't think there's as much awareness around this.

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I don't know if there's a phrase is the right way to say a foot out. And what that looks like and how I think it, definitely correct me if I'm wrong, it pours into your overall health. If you don't have those things in place. So I love that you're armed with awareness and of course, the insoles and all the things that they need to make sure that those things are healthy.

JeNay Silva 03:29

I do I really am passionate about foot health. I had my own journey as reason why I went into it as a sneaker head, but also to I was in tech and I started on the ground floor. So with that, I was doing an average of probably 20, 000 steps a day. And I was, and I'm a fast walker. I'm the person that they're like, Oh, slow down on my feet.

So I was walking so much that I was creating a lot of imbalances in my body and didn't even know what that looked like. And so, for me, through my journey, I also was brought into a space where I was allowed to have a wellness budget. And in that I was able to get an ergonomics assessment, never had 1 didn't even know what it was.

And so, even when I go do workshops and ask people, raise their hand. Has anyone had an ergonomics? They're like, I don't even know what that is. So for me, it's about changing the way people can see different words, right? Verbiage is a huge thing in business. And I believe an impact that sometimes we have to create our own because some words have been used and people don't necessarily resonate with it.

And so for me, I call it like comfort is a culture, right? So it's like our comfort community. And inside of that, we can actually talk about ergonomics. We can talk about, how our transition more and more people are wearing feel good Fridays at work, right? Or sneakers at works or sneakers with their suit or having sneaker balls.

And in that, there's never really a conversation on how foot structure looks or the mobility of it while you're wearing them. And that's what we want. We want to make foot health cool. That's really what it was, and so that's what we continue to strive to do. A lot of times people come to me and they're like, Oh, are you doing anything for men in this time of third?

And it's not that we want to leave men out. But a lot of times in the conversations, women continue to have a lot more and percentages will tell you a lot more ailments, right? Maybe that maybe it's becoming a mom and his foot drop. Maybe their foot got a little bit wider, sometimes I get like athletes who might come to me for like questions and stuff, but it really is.

For me, it was like putting somewhere women could have their space to and not have to be like silent network. A lot of times they're wearing heels to work and can wear flats to work. And they're being silent about what's bothering them. And to me, it was like, oh, if your foot is hurting underneath your desk, taking your shoe off, doing different things and not really knowing what the next step is for you.

Gresham Harkless 05:42

Yeah, that's true. That's so powerful. That's why I love that. Comfort is a culture. I have so many different words and phrases that will be adopted for you because words do have so much power.

And I think by saying that, even as the women might feel like there's only certain things that they can wear, they don't have, they feel like maybe there's not as many options. There's not as much awareness and conversation around those things.

So I love that you're blazing that trail. But of course again, army the people with the things that they need to be able to take better care.

JeNay Silva 06:08

Yeah. So we actually, so I will tell you like in our foot health box, we call it with the foot.

The 1st with health box of the industry, and we include our in souls, we include, we're going to include a stretch band. We include where it's trying to also get other partners to put other things in the foot health box for them to enjoy for their foot health journey. Rather, it's different business collaborators of the sort and then allowing it to kind of like, you can go on the scan, the QR code on the box, and then it'll take you to the YouTube channel.

And then it'll actually show you what you can do to stretch your feed. And it'll have a little bit more in the library and that's what we're building right now. So the content is like building up different people in different places. So you can have someone, maybe it's resonating with you in Miami or resonating with you in Maryland, D.C.

And being DMV-based, we're really trying to find some really good fitness trainers, mobility coaches, right? In that space and bring that to the forefront for sure.

Gresham Harkless 07:00

Nice. I love that. And that part of the commerce and everything.

JeNay Silva 07:04

Yeah, absolutely. Yes.

Gresham Harkless 07:06

I love to hear that. And I was just telling off line before we started.

It's we're gonna have her back in again and again and again to hear how the beauty of everything has been growing as she's been expanding and doing really phenomenal things.

So, I know you touched upon a little bit on how you're serving class, what that looks like. And what would you consider to be what I call like your secret sauce? This could be for yourself, the brand or combination of what you feel sets you apart and makes you unique?

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JeNay Silva 07:29

Honestly, working on me, I have been in my wellness journey for about seven years, right? This will be my eighth year in September. And so in that journey, I took a lot of time to understand who I was so that I could be authentic to myself and to my brand.

And anyone will tell you, even if I walk into a room, I'm a hugger, I'm going to be myself, I'm going to kick it with you, and so that was who I was, and I needed to be able to show up as that person. And a lot of other businesses that I had started, I wasn't really showing up as myself.

So I wasn't able to really authentically communicate how I was feeling or there was different things. And so what this business has allowed me to do is also work on continue to work on me and show up as me and share my story transparently.

And hopefully that inspires, or I've had women come up to me after their workshop and say, I've been quiet about my feet, or I feel captivated or very closed in about my feet. And it could be other areas too, but at least if that knows that it's resonating with someone in the room, you have people who are athletes who go into marriages, not wanting to show their feet. And so to me, it was like working on me was the best thing I could do because a lot of times when you don't, when you.

People talk about burnout and we have these different conversations working on me was the only thing that keeps me healthy. My, my self-care, my me time, my, my time that what I like to value is important. Coming up with my value system was important. And all those things I call it my secret sauce is working on me.

Gresham Harkless 08:57

Yeah. That's so powerful. Let me ask you this. Was it like a kind of snap of the fingers type of thing where you're able to discover that? Or was that also part of a journey? And it sounds like it might even still be.

JeNay Silva 09:07

Part of the journey for sure. And honestly, I have this three-step system that I actually created in my wellness journey. probably about year three. It was, I had to get ready again. I had to reinvest again, which I spent a lot of time in the reinvestment phase. And then for the last two years, I've been in the receive phase. I had to want to receive what was meant for me again.

I had to want to be open to allow people to say, Hey, like I can help you. Because even when you're talking about like, When we, even though I connect things with sneakers and wellness, a lot of times it's still your own wellbeing, and how I was able to view things, how I'm able to let things go in the business, how I'm able to contract someone out in the business, how I'm able to navigate, or if I walk in a room and I'm like, okay, I just need to spend a little bit of me time and being like, this is okay, because I've created this space, but I, me as a wellness entrepreneur, me as a wellbeing person.

And this is what I exude. So if I take a little quiet time where I say, Hey, let me get about 5 minutes or today's really not my day. I feel comfortable saying those things because this is how I process long as you can receive that and you can be able to articulate that you set boundaries for yourself.

Gresham Harkless 10:20

I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that.

I don't know if you would consider that to be like your, CEO hack, like the app, book or habit that you have that makes you more effective and efficient.

But I was just thinking like when you, again, going back to that space idea, I feel like when you create space, it also allows sometimes more. I don't if I want. say real but powerful things to sometimes enter by having that space of practicality of being able to send a message, say, Hey, how are you doing?

Thanks to your family, people that are close to you spend time with. I feel like that creates space so that you can have those more impactful things that enter into that space.

JeNay Silva 10:55

Absolutely. I, if I can agree with that for sure because even when it comes to creative thinking, sometimes people will be a lot time for creative thinking.

But to me, I'm like, creative thinking comes when you're just open and you're just being able to receive and walk in your flow and walk into Oh, you know what? I'm walking into this building today and I feel good. And then I noticed that there was a chair outside of the building. There's an orange and it was white.

And I was like, Oh, that would look good on a conference floor. You know what I mean? Those types of things. Like I wouldn't be able to think about if I was just walking with so many things in my mind or not paying attention. And so I think that a lot of times when we say we're giving you some space, it just allows for things to come, whether it could be people or a conversation.

Right? And so for you to be open to that, you have to be able to let some things go and really create the space for sure.

Gresham Harkless 11:46

Yeah, it's powerful.

So, we might have already touched on this, but what would you consider to be what I call CEO nugget. A little bit more word of wisdom or piece of advice, it might be something you would tell your young business self, you were to hop into a time machine or potentially your favorite client.

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JeNay Silva 11:58

I'm going to take a leap today. Because one of the people that I want to work with, I'm going to put it out there in the atmosphere, I believe a manifestation. And so, I remember when I got to see Tiana Taylor on a panel at complex con, I got to talk to her, Kristen Crawley, a couple other people, and they were doing a women's panel.

And so, and one of, if I could, if I would have taught my younger self something was to honestly, like what people say, be ready, right? Be ready for maybe your questions or even raising your hand. When someone say, for instance, the person says, who would like to ask a question and you go up to the mic and I'm never scared, but sometimes in a space, you're not really sure what your business mind is doing.

I was still very young then. And so her collective soul hadn't even been born yet. And so I wouldn't just want it to go. Cause I'm like, I'm a sneakerhead. I want to go hang out at complex con, but I knew I wanted to go to the women's panel. Didn't nobody know why I wanted to go what was there.

But I said, why not? But when I could tell my younger self something and anything is to be ready, but also know what your business like goals are and what they're doing. And being open to ask questions even if you may have your own answer, but to other people.

So, for instance, or example, I raise my hand and say, I was asking on a Taylor, what would you think about women creating insults for the future or for future comfort and how would they look as an entertainment industry? What do you think a collaboration looks like? Is now you have, she has the auntie. For the film company, and you're doing all these things and she's wearing all these different designers and she's taking care of her feet as a sneaker head.

And it's the really the essence of not being scared or nervous for your dream.

Yeah. So I would say it was be ready, know what your business is doing or know what your, what you want your business to do. Because sometimes those things come, then you're asking questions even about your business to another industry that may not even know what that looks like.

And so that's what I would say is be ready, be you and know what your business is doing.

Gresham Harkless 14:14

Yeah, that's so powerful. So definitely appreciate you for sharing that. So, would you say it would be the answer to my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO and our goal to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So JeNay what does being a CEO mean to you?

JeNay Silva 14:28

Being a CEO to me means being open and being empathetic, and it means being able to not just lead from the forefront, but also being able to lead from the back. I say that because sometimes, as a CEO, I'm always intrigued to like start from the bottom.

Or I'm always intrigued to learn from someone else. I love learning and I love education. So I always say leave from the front and leave from the back. If your power of delegation is something actually that continues to go that continues to grow. And knowing how to delegate, knowing how, where, what things are happening next. And then building to that.

So I really believe that at the end of the day, being a top CEO is also just being empathetic, listening, delegating. And then also, like I said, being authentic to yourself, you can't be authentic to your brain, if you're not authentic to yourself.

You lose, maybe lose navigation. You kind of maybe, maybe have a little. Self-doubt and all those things. So take time for yourself, right? Take time to understand what's next and then what do you see? What do you see it doing? And then write down who you want to collaborate with, this year, I know for myself, I'm actually creating like actual Flyers for my vision board this year, right?

I'm using Canva to create. Flyers. I'm putting things in different places. So the flyers are going to look like they would be entertainment flyers like you would see at an event. And I'm using those as my vision board this year for 2024.

Gresham Harkless 15:58

I love it. I love it. And it's so powerful. Again, when you, when you have those visions, you actually make those things practical again, those things set you up for that success.

So truly appreciate that definition. What's the best way for people to get ahold of you?

JeNay Silva 16:10

You can contact me on my Instagram. Instagram at Her Collective Sole. Okay. We have, you can also reach us on LinkedIn on Her Collective Sole. Is everything. And then on Facebook, it's Her Collective Sole.

Gresham Harkless 16:21

Perfect. And then make it even easier. We'll have the links and information to show notes to so that everybody can get ahold of you.

JeNay Silva 16:26

Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Outro 16:28

Thank you for listening to the I Am CEO Podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I Am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at This has been the I Am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


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