California-Based Beech Sandal Company Makes Pedicures a Breeze



Psychologist Moves Her Focus From The Head To The Feet

By C. MacDonald

A Seal Beach Psychologist turned her attention from the head to the feet, after finding herself in a dilemma several years ago.

"I was sitting in a pedicure chair and realized I only had closed toe shoes," recalled Gayle Trenberth, Ph.D. "My toes weren't dry and I had to rush back to an appointment in my bare feet. I thought there's got to be a better way."

That night, she dreamed of a sandal that would spread the toes for a smudge-free polish and still let her go about her day in good-looking footwear. "I got a single thong sandal, cut some rubber tubing and sewed in separations for the rest of the toes," recalled the now-retired psychologist.
Then she went to the library, researched sandal factories and ended up faxing 30 of them a picture of her dream sandal. A factory in Indonesia responded and wanted to work with her. So an excited Gayle sold her RV for $5,000 and created Beech Sandal Co., LLC.

The clever woman, who grew up in Redondo Beach, next got a patent and went to a trade show to gauge interest. It was a hit and manufacturing began. By faxing spas and salons her information, then following up with a phone call, she started selling her sandals. When she could, Gayle visited potential customers in person. Later, her son, Chris, helped create an online store ( Now, over 10 years later, her business has boomed and she sells more than 50,000 sandals in the United States and thousands more overseas.

There are six styles of Yoga Sandals, known for their toe separators, supportive footbed, firm heel support and durable, non-skid rubber soles. "They give you more flexible feet with each step, better balance and overall body alignment as well as energized feet and legs," said the enthusiastic owner of the million dollar woman-owned business in Huntington Beach.

The popular woman styles come in over 10 colors, including pink, tangerine, brown and black. The most popular color is black and the biggest market is New York, Florida and Texas. They also are popular in Alaska, California and elsewhere. Yoga Sandals Originals 2 has adjustable toe separators and beaded straps for a customized fit and style. Yoga Sandals Pedicurz and Comfy Slippers also are very popular, not just because of their good looks but the comfort they provide. (There's even a man style Yoga Sandal in tan.)

Gayle's husband, Ben, a former martial arts competitor and instructor, said the yoga sandals are increasingly popular because of the proper support they provide. "The four thongs insure the sandal won't slide around on the foot and there's support that protects the arch," said the native of Denmark, who met his wife in a martial arts class. "With each toe gently separated, there's a natural alignment of foot bones and muscles that help posture and balance."

Positive reviews in "Prevention Magazine," "Yoga Magazine," and others further the legend and sales of Gayle's invention in the spa, salon, yoga, health and medical communities as well as with the general public--constantly looking for ways to help their often neglected feet.

Veteran Yoga Trainer Sandra Sammartino told Gayle that many students have reported greater foot mobility with her sandals. Podiatric Surgeon Emma Supple wrote Gayle that her sandals "relieve pressure on the instep and gently splay the toes, thus easing pressure on the metatarsals and digital nerves." The National Health & Wellness Club has tested and recommended them.

In the future, the innovative Beech Sandal Company founder says she plans on developing toe as well as pedicure socks, orthopedic sandals and other solutions to help peoples' feet.

A special THANKS to Dr. Gayle Trenberth, who has spent her life helping others solve their problems. She's now doing it, one foot at a time!

(For more information, visit




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