AP NEWS

‘Good Morning America’ to feature sisters from N. Huntingdon, inspirational shoelaces

April 29, 2018

Three sisters who grew up in North Huntingdon will show off athletic shoes with their custom-designed laces printed with inspirational phrases Monday on a national television show to be broadcast from Pittsburgh.

Jeanna Rayman, 36, and Rochelle “Sheli” Bungard, 34, both of North Huntingdon, along with Randi Greene, 32, of Chesapeake, Ohio, will model the laces they have designed for their company, Mantra Laces LLC, for the “Deals & Steals” segment of ABC’s “Good Morning America” that will be broadcast from Point State Park, Bungard said. They are scheduled to be on between 8 and 9 a.m. during the two-hour broadcast but could be bumped depending on breaking news, Bungard said.

“We are so honored and excited to have been chosen for ‘Good Morning America,’ ” Greene said.

The “Deals & Steals” segment, hosted by Tory Johnson, will focus on National Small Business Week, which runs from Monday through May 5, Bungard said. Johnson noticed Mantra Laces online, she said.

Johnson said she loved the sisters’s personal story and their product.

“What’s not to love about three sisters who are best friends, uplifting one another, deciding to spread that same spirit of optimism through a small business,” said Johnson.

“Sneakers are a huge consumer trend so Mantra Laces has found a great niche for applying the power of positivity to a functional product that we all use daily.”

The laces, which cost $7.99 a pair, have inspirational phrases the sisters created, such as “feel the fear, do it anyway,” “inhale confidence, exhale doubt” and “love yourself first,” Bungard said.They started the online business in the spring of 2017 as an item for a gift bag for yoga students in Greene’s class in Ohio, and it took off from there, Bungard said. “It was a way to help inspire, motivate and encourage others,” she said.

Selling laces for athletic shoes seems appropriate for the sisters, the daughters of Gene and Marsha Rayman, because all of them are athletic and played sports at Norwin High School, Bungard said.

The sisters are listed as general partners in the business, according to Pennsylvania Department of State records.

“To be able to share this experience with my sisters is a dream come true,” Rayman said.

To make the dream a reality, they work with a shoelace manufacturer in China to have the laces printed and built a team of mentors who guided them in establishing the business, Bungard said. The sisters, who have backgrounds in education, business and sports management, couldn’t find a similar business to print the laces in the United States, Bungard said.

Mantra Laces does not have its own storefront, but the products are sold at The Line Boutique in Irwin and UrbanFitCo in Sewickley, in addition to the online sales at www.mantralaces.com, Bungard said.

“Business is going far better then we could’ve imagined, and we’re so excited to see where this opportunity leads,” she said.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.