This Shoe Designer and Entrepreneur Proves Gender and Age Are Not Barriers to Achieving Your Goals

Joanna Smith spent a career designing shoes under name brands that she could not call her own. Working under labels such as Keds and Cole Haan, Smith was inspired to branch out on her own, founding Crowne Comforteur, a line of comfortable and affordable shoes in a marketplace that promised opportunity.

"I saw a growing need in the market for a brand that encompasses both comfort and aesthetics, and I wanted to fill that gap," Smith told Forbes.

At 62 years old, the entrepreneur dismisses age as an obstacle.

"I feel like I can do anything. I want to set an example for my children and for myself that you're never too old or too young to start doing something you truly love," she said.

Remembering her time in the industry, Smith recounts her more than 30-year career — one that began in a department of forty male employees, where she was the first female.

"Some of my coworkers wouldn’t even talk to me," Smith told Forbes. "And the ones that did often said things I didn't want to hear. But I pushed through, against the odds, knowing that I had the strength and talent to do the job. I wasn't going to give up!"

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