About Gaynor Minden > Company History

 

Gaynor Minden opened its doors in the Chelsea section of Manhattan in 1993. We had one employee and one product, the patented pointe shoe made from high-tech materials that Eliza Minden had developed over the preceding eight years.

Today, we serve several hundred dance-specialty stores nation-wide as well as numerous overseas distributors, and almost every major professional ballet company in the world including American Ballet Theatre, England's Royal Ballet and Russia's Kirov Ballet.

The Gaynor Minden Boutique in Chelsea has expanded repeatedly to accommodate our rapid growth and a wide range of new products including extensions to the original line of pointe shoes. Eliza Minden holds six US government patents for the various innovative and beneficial (among the official criteria for a patent) products that she has designed.

The original pointe shoe line has greatly increased from the first stiff-shanked model in a limited selection of sizes to now include a variety of ultra-flexible shanks and boxes made from the most advanced elastomers — materials only recently developed — and a much larger size selection including a special narrow-heeled style for the sleekest possible fit. Built-in suede platforms, dyed to match the pink satin, are now a standard option for even greater durability.

Gaynor Minden's initial commitment to Dancers' Health and Education has also expanded. Our new products include collaborations with leading dance medicine experts. In 2003, we launched our "Eat Right" campaign to raise awareness of disordered eating. We give Pointe Shoe Awards to deserving students to support their dance studies at summer programs and are extending our donations to include study during the academic year. During the war in Yugoslavia we sent free shoes to dedicated dancers who braved sniper fire to get to class and we also assist dancers in Cuba. Gaynor Minden gives lectures on the history of pointe technique, pointe shoe construction and injury prevention at dance schools through out the country. Our web site aims to provide the most up-to-date information on health and safety and to be an informative and lively resource for dancers, their teachers and parents.

We sought dancers' input in the development of every Gaynor Minden product and continue to do so. Please let us know what you think by e-mailing us at webmistress@dancer.com or calling us at (800) 637-9240.