Home » It All Started with a Heel Lift: The Warwick Enterprises Story

It All Started with a Heel Lift: The Warwick Enterprises Story

richard-warwick

Every company has a story behind it. How they got started, what their future hopes are — and everything in between. Today, we’re going to share the story of Warwick Enterprises.

A Heel Lift Epiphany: The Beginning of Warwick Enterprises

The owner of Warwick Enterprises, Richard Warwick, started out as a salesman for a medical company’s orthopedic supplies. However, he was itching to become an entrepreneur and start his own business. While speaking with one of his clients at the time, a doctor, Richard was told the doctor was not interested in the supplies he was currently selling. The doctor told Richard if he had a good shoe lift he could sell him, he might change his mind. The doctor said the current shoe lifts on the market came in too many sizes, wore out too quickly, slipped in the shoes and were uncomfortable to wear. That’s when a light bulb turned on in Richard’s mind. On February 1, 1982, Warwick Enterprises was born.

Richard spoke with an orthotist friend of his who said he could help create a prototype. What made the heel lift unique was the 1/8th inch peel-able layers so it could adjust to someone’s individual needs — this later became known as the Adjust-A-Lift®. Richard took the Adjust-A-Lift® heel lift prototype to various doctors who expressed interest in the heel lift.

Over the next year, Richard learned how to sell the heel lifts while his friend learned how to make more of them. After that, Richard bought out his friend’s share of the business and for the first seven years he ran it completely on his own. (He now has two full time and three part time employees in addition to himself).

From Heel Lifts to Shoe Inserts: The Growth of Warwick Enterprises

The growth of Warwick Enterprises was initially slow, “When you start with nothing but an idea and a willingness to work hard with a totally new concept it is hard to get things going. Banks do not want to make risky investments. People do not want to invest. So, all I could do was to get to work on it the only way available, namely do it all myself,” Richard said.

For the next six years, he would order small amounts of materials, rubber, leather and adhesive; make the shoe lifts in his spare time and sell them as he could. It took eight months to sell the first thousand and six more months to sell the next thousand. During that time, he discovered that in addition to chiropractors, there was a market for orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, physical therapists, and the orthotic-prosthetic field.

To make a long story very short, there now is a distributor network handling the product. Warwick Enterprises’ unit sales now are close to half a million total units!

What’s Next? Future Orthotic Product Goals for Warwick Enterprises

Warwick Enterprises currently offers five total products: the Adjust-A-Lift® Heel Lift, the Warwick Wedge™, the Full Sole Insert, the Heel Lift Ankle Sock and the Kinetic Comfort Heel Pad. But Richard has more ideas in the works.

The newest product he just introduced is the Heel Lift Ankle Sock. It’s a sock with a pouch to hold his heel lift or wedge. This will make it possible to maintain the benefits of a lift even without shoes on! The other product still in the works is a generic prefab, also known as prefabricated, orthotic. This is used for arch support. Richard uses one of these himself right now so he knows the results are excellent!

Going Strong for Over 30 Years

Warwick Enterprises is going strong and they have no plans on slowing down. Richard said it has been extremely rewarding to see the company grow and maintain many long-term employees – most of his staff have worked for him for over 20 years.

Let’s not forget the ultimate reward: helping people enjoy a better quality of life by relieving aches and pains brought on by uneven leg lengths and daily microtrauma to their feet!