Well, here we are well into 2014 and we have some exciting news. Starting this spring, we will be selling our very own re-souL shoes for women! It is something that we have been working on for quite some time and now that the shoes are almost here, we are hopeful, a little bit nervous but very excited to share our story with you.
As I am typing this, our shoes are in the process of being manufactured in Italy. But long before this point, it all started with a question. “What if we designed and sold our own shoe collection?” What if?
Eleven years ago, when we first started our re-souL business, it had come at a time when I was ready for a change. I had worked in the product development division for a major department store. Basically, I got to design and sell shoes to our buyers. I really loved my job. I was in charge of forecasting major shoe trends for the American market, I designed and developed new shoe collections for the private labels. I shopped major cities, travelled to Europe, Brazil and China and worked with shoe factories. It was my dream job! But after 7 years, all that travel had taken its toll and I really wanted to slow down. Legh and I had just been engaged and I didn’t want to be away from home 150 days out of the year anymore. That was when I had my first “what if” moment. What if I quit my job and we opened our own shoe store?
I had seen many great shoes and shops from my travels. I wanted to be able to bring some of those things I saw to Seattle. I wanted to carry shoes that you could only find from travelling abroad. Opening our own shop was fun, exciting, scary and it was the best decision we ever made. We were a different kind of shoe store, special and we loved it.
Fast forward a decade plus. Our little shop has grown a little over the years. We have a website, we have developed strong relationships with our brands. We have amazing and loyal customers. We have an awesome staff. But we want to keep growing. How do we compete in a constant changing global market? How do we help our team grow with us? How do we keep challenging ourselves and grow creatively? It’s only natural to ask these questions, don’t you think?
The answer popped into my mind like the proverbial light bulb going off. Out of my mouth came the question, “What if we designed our own collection of shoes?”
I knew we could do it, so I immediately started to sketch. I started envisioning colors and materials. Visions of my re-souL gal started popping into my head too. What was she like? What does she like to wear? What’s her style? What is missing from her shoe collection?
As we began to discuss more and more about this, the idea became a goal and the goal became the plan. So this spring we will be selling our re-souL collection for women and we really hope you’ll like it. We are so excited to show you!
Next time, Part 2: Creating the re-souL Collection: Design Process >>