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Today’s Tidbits Birthday Girl is Steffie Tomson, Ph.D., the founder and CEO of Getaway Sticks. Each month we celebrate a local business owner on her special day.

Happy birthday! How many candles are you blowing out? 
The big 40!!
How are you celebrating? 
My husband whisked me away on a surprise trip to the Bahamas last week which was a total blast! How he managed to keep it a secret for 6 months is beyond me, but I was completely blindsided and loved every minute!
What’s on your birthday wish list?
It seems ridiculous coming on the heels of the hottest summer on record, but I’m wishful thinking for fall. I have been pining after these hoops by Mejuri – they’re such a great wardrobe staple, and I like anything that can be flexible. This little red Chanel-tweedesque jacket is such a fun fall piece to zhuzh up anything from jeans to dresses. And then of course, my very favorite Everlane sweater. This piece comes back every year and I have it in several colors. This year I’ve got my eye on pink. The weighted hem, mock neck, and oversized fit make a perfect layer for ambling through the Menil on a crisp fall day.
You have a Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine in Neuroscience. Tell us about your career. 
I have been a scientist since the beginning. I grew up loving biology, science, and fixing things. When it was time to apply to graduate school, the brain was the organ that captured my imagination, so I earned a degree in Neuroscience studying synesthesia (a common perceptual condition where people associate color with letters, numbers, or days of the week). I continued through a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA and became an assistant professor at BCM in Houston. 
Tell us why you launched your shoe line, Getaway Sticks.
During my time as a professor, I was walking thousands of steps a day and killing my feet (and joints!) in the process. I was literally falling behind my male colleagues, walking slower and skipping events that were too far away. Since it was my job to think about cognitive processes, I couldn’t ignore the little voice that said, “Steffie! These heels are absurd and they are holding you back! There has to be a better way!” That idea led to a side hustle, which led to Getaway Sticks, which makes me the proud founder and CEO of the coolest shoe company in the world!
Finish this sentence. Women in STEM are…
Rock stars.
You’re a native Houstonian. How has living in Houston helped grow your brand? 
Summers here are undoubtedly the worst, but Houstonians have a knack for fashion and I have grown quite the following from the professional female scene here. Houston women are powerful, and Getaway Sticks shoes walk around some of our most prominent buildings, supporting professionals such as consultants, CEOs, general counsel, real estate agents, dentists, doctors, podiatrists, and many more. We are proud to call Houston our home!
How do your two careers balance one another? 
In July of 2022, I retired from Baylor College of Medicine to focus on Getaway Sticks and family. Since then, we have grown our revenue 400%, hired our first employees, and placed our shoes in several large wholesale accounts. Although I miss science and the wonderful people I worked with, I love getting out of bed each morning with the knowledge that I am changing the landscape for women’s footwear one day at a time. 
What sets your brand apart? 
We are female-founded and female-designed. The vast majority of women’s shoes are designed by men, which makes no sense to me. How can you possibly claim to sell comfort when you have no experience with daily wear? Second, at Getaway Sticks we design for the elevated woman who has high expectations for everything in her sphere, from clothing, to friends, to career, to home. Our heels are made with two inches of solid RoamRoam™ for maximum shock absorption, our ankle strap has a quick-release hook for fast, easy on-off, our outsoles have grip for slippery sidewalks, and our toe box is wide enough for toe wiggle. This fall, we are launching a new collection of ballet flats with our signature RoamFoam™ foundation. 
Tell us where the name Getaway Sticks comes from? 
Getaway Sticks is a vintage term from the 1920s that means legs, and it morphed into a term for sexy women’s legs. We adopted the term as an optimal combination of motion and femininity.
Favorite pair from your collection?
Zebra. These have become my favorite ‘neutral’ pair – they just look great with everything. White, black, tan, red, blue. They are just enough pattern to pop, but not so much that it detracts from an outfit. Hip tip: Get 30% off when you shop Zebra and 5% of proceeds go to the Houston Zoo Zebra habitat. Discount added to cart. 
Bestseller to date. 
Safari! This light tan color goes well with so many skin tones and just blends straight into the leg. It looks fantastic with suits and sundresses alike. Our customers often start with Safari, and then come back to buy the rest.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner, where are we most likely to find you?
Breakfast – My kitchen coffee pot.
Lunch – Goode Company Cantina, Local Foods, or my lunchbox.
Dinner – Cooking at home. It’s cathartic for me at the end of a long day to put ingredients together and end up with a delicious creation that we share as a family.
Three apps you can’t live without in your job.
Procreate (shoe drawings and patterns), Monday (organization), Shopify
Podcasts or series you’re addicted to.
Wiser than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle, Smartless, How I Built This, RadioLab
First thing you do when you wake up, last thing at night.
When I first wake up, I make a cup of Bloom powder drink and a cup of coffee. Once I finish Bloom, I tuck back into bed with my coffee and do my Wordles and News for the day.
Just before I go to bed, I make a cup of Calm magnesium powder and read my kindle. I’m usually out in minutes.
Best concert ever.
Taylor Swift 1989 years ago. They’ve only gotten better, but that one was my first and I’ll never forget it!
Your daily uniform?
Getaway Sticks, oversized button-down, capri pants, hoop earrings, bangle bracelets.
Always in your bag.
Covergirl Clean Girl Yummy Gloss. It’s not fancy, but in the words of Bethenny Frankel, it’s “at the level.”
What is your sign and do you identify with it?
I am a Leo, and although I don’t subscribe to Zodiac profiles, I love the idea that I am somehow lion-inspired.
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