innyoot slipper boots

5 minutes with Daniela Eichberger – Co-founder of innyoot and Entrepreneur

Daniela (aka Dani or ‘The Dreamer’) one night had a dream about about slipper boots and after a magical creative process with her good friends (and co founders Kay Taylor and Steph Wilson) innyoot was born. Their business has since expanded into an open source collaboration between pattern makers, designers, seamstresses, inventors, crafters and artists to design, make and sell lifestyle products.

1. What inspired you to start innyoot?

I couldn’t find any cool and trendy slippers online so I just went to my 2 entrepreneurial friends Steph and Kaye and asked them whether they could help me create a slipper business. They love setting up new businesses and Iain, Kaye’s husband, is our innyoot sugar daddy, he’s been so kind and lovely to invest in our venture in return for a lifelong supply of slippers.


Pictured left to right – Steph Wilson, Daniela Eichberger, Kaye Taylor and Iain Taylor


2. Can you explain what an innypreneur is?

Yes it’s crafty people, designers, pattern makers, seamstresses and sellers, working from home, being part of an international open source collaboration that designs, makes and sells lifestyle products.

3. How does someone become an innypreneur?

They just get in touch with us and then design, make or sell a product. innyoot will help with the creative process not only providing the platform to express, share and sell the creations but we also bring the community together.



4. Where and when can we buy a pair of slippers?

Well that depends. We’re hoping to put our slipper pattern up for purchase in a months’ time via our website If you’re a crafter you can download the slipper pattern and make slippers yourself or someone in the community who is a maker can make a pair of slippers for others to purchase.

5. Where do you see innyoot in 5 years time?

In a street van on the road travelling to craft markets, singing our innyoot song, selling slippers and sharing slipper stories over a cuppa.

Seriously I don’t know yet where we’re going to be but we’ll definitely end up somewhere, it will be a surprise to us too where that’s going to be.



And just for fun…

6. If you could walk in anyone else shoes for a day (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

Ew I don’t want to walk in a dead persons shoes and neither in one that’s alive, I’d rather make my own slippers and walk in those.

7. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us?

Me and my boyfriend have a collection of 60 plush owls which we talk to each day. Crazy right. They all have their own names and their own story to tell. We’re hoping to turn these conversations into children books one day…but for now it’s just crazy conversations between two crazy people.

Epic Owls


8. You have the chance to time travel to any moment in history – which one would you choose and why?

Going back into history…hmmmm….not sure. I think I rather time travel off into the future when 3D printing is more advanced so I can 3D print my own house, car, plane and my own pizza.

9. What footwear are you currently wearing?

innyoot slippers of course, what else is there to wear 🙂

10. What is your favourite quote?

“All is well in all of creation” – from some dead guy in the other realms

Learn more about innyoot slippers on the website

Follow them on Twitter – @innyoot

Mike Friton

5 minutes with Mike Friton – Footwear Design Innovator at Friton Design

Mike FritonMike Friton’s career as a Footwear Innovator started over 30 years ago at Bowerman Lab, an athletic footwear “think tank” created by Bill Bowerman, Co-Founder of Nike. During his career he worked in Nike’s esteemed Innovative Kitchen as a Senior Innovator, where he patented 14 prototypes. In 2011, Friton left Nike to launch his own footwear prototype enterprise – Friton Design.


Bill Bowerman

1. What inspired you to design footwear?

I loved to run and competed for many years. During my College years I started working for Bill Bowerman and building my own shoes to race in. We also worked with many athletes and patients that doctors would send to us. Our approach was based on health before performance. Most companies today focus on performance and often over look health resulting in footwear that causes injury.

2. Which of your innovations are you most proud of and why?

I think the last project I did for Nike will have the greatest impact on people with disabilities. Tobie Hatfeild and I developed a shoe to accommodate a patient with cerebral palsy. We added a heel zipper with a cord that tightened the forefoot. There are now thousands of pairs on the market with the system called the flyease.

3. Can you tell us about your most recent innovation?

I am currently developing shoes that have a dynamic fit system so that they will fit many sizes and shapes of feet. The idea is to make shoes that fit like socks. This will allow the foot to move more naturally and improve the health. The goal is to make shoes that follow the feet rather than shoes that the feet have to follow.

4. Your company offers workshops and classes on footwear design. What is the most important piece of advice you can you give to someone wishing to become an innovator?

Don’t be afraid to play. As adults it’s often considered irresponsible to freely explore as we did as children. Many schools have eliminated art and craft classes that allowed tactile and creative thinking. Reconnect with this any way you can.

5. Your work has also extended beyond footwear design into experimental 3D textile and paper sculptures. What was it like collaborating with renowned artist Michael Curry?

At times Michael Curry and I could collaborate as if we were both one mind, we seem to know what the other was thinking without words. I have only experienced this with a few people in my life and it usually leads to amazing creativity.

And just for fun…

6. If you could walk in anyone else shoes for a day (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

Leonardo Da Vinci, The most amazing inventor of all time in my book. I would like to read all of the volumes he wrote. It’s too bad the most were lost or destroyed.

7. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us?

I play the guitar very badly but I still enjoy trying to make music. I have even taken voice lessons and have found that to be fun but also not what you would probably want to listen to. I’m a believer that playing music keeps the mind young.

8. You have the chance to time travel to any moment in history – which one would you choose and why?

I would like to visit the ancient Greek culture and explore their cities. I am sure they were much more than we can imagine. So much has been lost or erased from history. Ancient Egypt or Mesoamerica would also be great.

9. What footwear are you currently wearing?

I currently wear shoes the have a wider toe area to allow my toes to spread more. The 2 companies I like the best are Keen and Clarks. I can no longer wear most athletic shoes with out feeling pain in my feet and knees. I have become sensitive to the damage these shoes have caused from many years of wearing them.

10. What is your favourite quote?

“Do good stuff” Bill Bowerman, I take that as meaning health before performance when I’m working on shoes.

Mike Friton discusses ‘The Last’ (the form that the shoe is built around) and the health of the athlete

Find out more about Mike and Friton Design on the website

Barry and Josef Church-Woods

5 minutes with Barry Church-Woods – Venues & Companies Manager at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Co Founder of The Big C and


Barry Church-WoodsBarry Church-Woods is an accomplished project manager, a successful blogger, a passionate self starter and a campaigner for equality.

1. What do you love most about working for Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

I travel quite a lot with the Fringe Society to let people know what it’s all about and how to take part. A couple of days before previews there’s a moment when the noise outside changes. When you can hear the drag of suitcases and sets as the acts arrive, ready for their set up and tech rehearsals. That’s the bit I absolutely love. When it’s all about to happen and the artists are here. Each year I get to support so many brilliantly inspiring creatives. Mad, funny, tortured and ambitions, all bringing their work to the largest arts market on the planet. They make the Fringe happen. They turn our tiny city into the cultural centre of the universe for 25 days in August.

I’m actually leaving the Fringe Society to run Civil Disobedience in a couple of months. I’ll be producing on the Fringe, so hopefully I can still experience it in all its brilliance – just from the other side.

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5 minutes with Stephen Whitelaw – CEO of Orthic Consulting and Digital Guru

Stephen WhitelawStephen Whitelaw is a digital marketing consultant, social media evangelist, technology public speaker and self confessed geek. His passion for all things digital is infectious and he delivers thought provoking and insightful workshops which never disappoint.

1. How and when did you start your career in digital marketing?

When I was lecturing at Glasgow University in 1985, I got into trouble for trying to use the internet (the web had not been invented by this time) to sell a camera that I had – I got into a lot of trouble – I was told by the University Court that the internet was to become one of mankind’s greatest inventions (true) and that it should not and would not ever be used for commercial gain (not true!). So I guess 1985 was my first failed attempt to marketing something online. P.S. I eventually did sell the camera – one the members of the University court thought it was a good prices – but told me not to tell anyone that he bought it (Oops!)

2. What do you love the most about your work?

Every day is a school day – there is so much to know – and I love learning.

3. What is the biggest work challenge you have faced in the last 12 months?

The pace of change is almost exponential – so keeping up to date is a full time job.

Stephen Whitelaw4. With regards to technology and the Internet, where do you think we will be in 20 years?

I regularly speak at seminars presenting a talk called the ‘Future of the Internet/Web‘ – it looks 24-26 months into the future – even that is tough to predict. However to answer the question – I suspect there will be massive advanced in technology – first the Internet of Things/Objects will cover virtually everything on our planet bringing with it enormous business opportunities and also terrifying privacy/security issues. Artificial Intelligence will have matured and be assisting mankind in medical research creating exciting life extension breakthroughs and cures for many of the diseases inflicting us today.

5. Do you ever get nervous speaking in public? And if so, how do you overcome this?

Yes, I do get nervous on stage – especially when speaking to large and informed audiences e.g. Google, Microsoft etc.. – however I usually tell some funny/silly stories about myself and when everyone starts to laugh at me – it seems to relax me

And just for fun…

6. What is your favourite website?

I have so many – however if I was on a dessert Island – it would have to be the BBC website – – all 25.9 Million pages of it.

stephen whitelaw7. What is your favourite quote?

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy. While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do” By Rob Siltanen.

8. Can you tell us something about yourself that might surprise us?

I have not watched TV since the late 1970’s. The last show I watched was Z-Cars and the last news reader I listened to was Mary Marquis (who I fancied when I was 15!).

9. If you could invite 3 people to dinner (dead or alive) who would they be and why?

I love tasty food however I am a terrible cook and my wife is a wonderful cook – so she would have to one of them or the guests would be eating carry out junk food. The other two would be Richard Feynman (A famous physicist – one of my heroes and perhaps the person with the most curious minds that has ever lived) and maybe even Mary Marquis – as long as my wife did not find out I fancied her in the 1970’s!

10. Spider-Man or Batman?

Spider-man for sure – he gets to kiss Mary Jane (i.e. Kirsten Dunst) upside down 🙂

Watch Stephen discuss Future Trends for the Digital Tourist in a video from 2014, which was part of a series of seminars on the ‘digital tourist’ for Tourism Intelligence Scotland ( and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (

Find out more about Stephen on his LinkedIn profile.

Follow Stephen on Twitter – @toowist

The Swiss Family Orbison 1

5 minutes with Keith Matheson from The Swiss Family Orbison

Keith Matheson

Keith Matheson – pictured in the centre at his 52nd birthday bash

Keith Matheson is a member of the recently reformed band – The Swiss Family Orbison. Keith (guitar & vocals) and his band mates –  Kit Clark (vocals, keyboards & harmonica), Gregor Philp (guitar & vocals), Colin Davidson (bass & vocals) and Dougie Vipond (drums & vocals) are back together for 3 hot ticket gigs in Scotland this April.



  1. How did the band originally come together and what inspired you to start making music?

The Swiss Family OrbisonWe had all (Dougie aside) been playing in Dundee based bands for a number of years and so all knew each other pretty well already. When Kit decided to put a band together we were all only too happy to give it a go. Kit and Dougie knew each other from their time in Danny Wilson and Deacon Blue so when Kit approached Dougie to play drums he pretty much agreed immediately and that completed the line up.

Regarding inspiration to start making music: I remember making a cardboard guitar with a scrap bit of wood for a neck and performing at the school concert with 2 pals to ‘Teenage Rampage’ by The Sweet playing on a Dansette record player when I was in primary 4, so I blame Glam Rock!

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