We all have our own unique journey. Starting a business that I love has truly taught me that life is about the journey, rather than just the destination. My company is founded on the premise of empowering women from morning to evening in style on their own journeys in life.
It always inspires me to hear the different journeys that each of us are on and I thought it fitting to write my first post on my journey–so here goes.
Looking back on how I made the decision to resign from a stable job, in order to pursue a shoe line definitely took some time and growing.
I haven’t always felt confident. I was shy growing up and after moving to the U.S. with my family from South Africa at age 17, it took some time to settle. It was hard to make new friends and to start over again. However, immersing myself in a new culture built my confidence– having to speak to new people and step outside of my comfort zone did the trick. When I started college, making friends was easier since everyone was on the same footing and ready to make new friends. Having the opportunity to attend a U.S. college is something I’m incredibly grateful for.
In college, I studied business and travelled to Milan for a semester to study fashion. I don’t remember the exact moment where I knew I wanted to design shoes for women, but it happened sometime during those four years.
After I finished school, I knew I wanted to learn more about fashion but didn’t feel ready to take the leap of pursuing a shoe line of my own. So instead, I told my mom that I was moving to New York City to work in fashion. A part of me also thought that it was important to experience New York, because it’s one of those places that if you can make it here, you feel like you could make it anywhere. Needless to say, it took my mom at least a week to recover from the news.
I arrived in NYC without knowing a soul. I remember my mom driving away in her cab back to the airport, both of us crying. From there I began to experience every aspect of the fashion world, working on the marketing and editorial side of it. My first New York Fashion Week felt like a dream come true and I literally had to pinch myself as I stood amongst the crowds. Time went on and I moved around to get more growth and experience at companies like Shopbop and ShopStyle. I enjoyed marketing, the people and relationships I built along the way but something was still missing.
I have always loved shoes and been fascinated with how important they are to a women’s style and her ability to use them as a power symbol and way to exude confidence. It’s not that shoes give confidence to a woman, but they do help relay that message as soon as she steps into the right pair. I also don’t think that it’s coincidence that we often remember the shoes we were wearing during some of our most memorable moments in life.
After a few more years, I began to entertain that dream of my own shoe line. I wanted to take a risk in order to see for myself if I could do it, and stop wondering if I could. Most importantly, I wanted to pursue what I was passionate about all along. As the idea started to percolate further, I was simultaneously also noticing how my busy lifestyle required so many different types of shoes throughout the day. I found it difficult to find a pair that could promise me comfort and style all day long, especially during the work week. All the brands I wore and liked, well they were good for certain parts of my day, but never proved to be functional throughout my day. I was lugging an extra set of heels to work to put on before meetings and so on.
And that was when everything came full circle and I felt like I could make a difference for women. The line is designed to empower women from morning to evening in style. This line is about closing the market gap between unrealistic high fashion footwear and budget brands and giving us the equal footing we deserve at work, or wherever we are. Allowing women to wear one pair of shoes from the morning commute to a late night dinner with friends. Providing a variety of high-quality styles–flats, heels, and sneakers.
I have learnt so much along the way and built a newfound confidence that has allowed me to take the risk and do what I love to do. At the end of the day I want to empower women to feel comfortable and confident in their shoes and with whichever path they decide to take in life.
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