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Achieving his dream: 10-year-old Carter Waugh may be Napa’s youngest entrepreneur

Achieving his dream: 10-year-old Carter Waugh may be Napa’s youngest entrepreneur

  • Updated

When Carter Waugh had a problem with his flip-flops, he knew he had to invent a solution. Never mind that he was only 8 years old at the time.

Now, at age 10, he’s making that solution and vision a reality with a Kickstarter campaign launching in June to fund the creation of Critts: “part flip-flop, part foam shoe, all kid-approved.”

It all started on a family vacation two years ago when Carter’s flip flops would break and slip off his feet as he tried to explore, causing him to trip.

The other outdoor shoes he packed — a pair of waterproof foam clogs — gave him blisters and little to no support.

Neither was a good option for what he needed, so Carter got to thinking and told his dad about an idea he had for a new kind of outdoor adventure shoe.

Carter’s new type of shoe would combine the best of both worlds: an easy slip-on shoe with full coverage around the toe and support under the balls and arches of the feet that could help people of all ages run, jump and climb—all while staying cool and comfortable.

Since then, Carter remains instrumental in the marketing of Critts. “From the eco-friendly design of boxes without wasteful packaging, the sugar cane foam, and a donation of $2 per pair sold to support art education programs, it’s all his vision and passion,” said a news release from the company.

Carter said he got his inspiration for his entrepreneurial spirit from his parents. “I have learned from my mom and dad with their wine business and putting people first. They sent a very heartfelt letter to their wine club members recently,” he said.

“The letter was not about selling wine, but about acknowledging the COVID situation and checking in on everyone. They lead with their hearts and I think their customers appreciate that. I know I do.”

The design of Critts is equally as important, outfitted with a “mega-comfy” dual-foam footbed made from sugar cane.

Each Critt comes with the critter of your choice — a cut-out through the upper allowing air to flow through.

It is also water resistant and easy to clean with just a damp cloth. The outsole (bottom of the shoe) is produced with Vibram, the most durable and flexible rubber tread in the market, made famous in 1954 when the members of the first successful ascent to the summit of K2 were wearing Vibram rubber on their soles, the release stated.

“Critts are designed for hours of fun-filled wear at the beach, on the mountain, or at the park,” the company stated. Kids (and adults) can customize their Critts with fun colors and designs.

Carter turns 11 on May 19 and will be launching the crowdfunding campaign in June. He hopes this approach will allow him the opportunity to release his product to the public and help bring his dreams to life.

For details, visit

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