December 28, 2017

I once heard one of idols, Oprah Winfrey, use the expression "shift happen." It immediately became my own internal mantra, as I began and now continue this journey to create a more comfortable alternative for the traditional high heel shoe. Believe it or not, one of my earliest design collaborators told me that women didn't care about shoes being comfortable."Women only care about fashion," he declared! Why hire him, you might wonder? It was because I saw the need to educate him, whether he remained in my company or not. Within a few months, I am proud to say that he had a significant shift in his thinking. Now that we are starting to grow, I actually have successful designers reaching out to become part of my creative team. One designer, who had been working for a very well known luxury shoe line reached out to me recently. "Why do you want to join my team," I asked curiously? " You work for a very successful company and I am just starting out?" She responded very simply. " I have learned how to make beautiful shoes, but I am only 28 years old and my feet already hurt from the shoes I help to design!"  It was at that moment that I allowed myself to enjoy a rare moment of reflection. I realized that I was already helping to create a shift in thinking within the design community. I also realized that, to  the people who are joining my team, this is more than another job. We have all joined together on a mission. This includes the creative team, the factories, the sales team, and even the buyers! Recently, a buyer from a prominent department store chain in Switzerland reached out to me. She heard about my shoes and asked me to send a few pairs to her and her boss, They quickly asked to set up a meeting to view the collection in Milan. It was clear when I met them, the shoes had already sold themselves. An order was immediately placed, followed by a request. "Please come to Switzerland and help educate our sales team!" These buyers have the conscious awareness of the importance of this line. So, by mid-April, our shoes will be at the Manor Stores in Zurich and Basel Switzerland, and yes, I will go to Switzerland to educate their sales team. I realize the importance of educating people about my shoes. I also realize that the sales people are the greatest foot soldiers I can have. We all share the vision that we can make a huge impact on the way women choice their footwear. Fixing feet has provided me many years of great professional gratification. Nevertheless, I have to say that re-engineering the high heel shoe is already providing me a great deal of gratification, and we are just beginning! We are seeing women make more mindful choices in many aspects of their lives. I am hoping to include footwear in this mindfulness. So, I now say, yes, shift happens! Bring it on! Xo Joan Joan Oloff - Womens Shoes

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