Footwear Plus Magazine | August 2022

Page 48

Recipe for Success Beuatiisoles founder dishes on how the brand came to be. By Greg Dutter

IT WAS UGLY. It was scary. It was a potential killer. It also was the impetus landed in hundreds of boutiques nationwide, as well as in Nordstrom and behind Beautiisoles, an upscale women’s brand (SRP: $250 to $495) launched Lord & Taylor. “It’s been a very good beginning,” she says. “We now have in 2020 by snack food executive/competitive ballroom dancer/burgeoning shoe stores reaching out to us.” executive, Robyn Shreiber. That “it” was a soft corn between the toes of her left What retailers like, Shreiber says, is Beautiisoles’ wow factor. “There’s a foot. Shreiber had been living with the nagging ailment for years that, in 2018, genuine femininity and eye for detail,” she says. “Attention to detail is critidoctors warned could lead to sepsis—a potentially fatal infection. cally important, and that includes stitching colors, lasts, ornamentations, the Lying in the hospital bed post-surgery, Shreiber vowed to channel her years exact placement of those ornaments, fit, comfort (Beautiisoles shoes feature of pain and suffering into something beautiful or, more precisely, Beautiisoles. six millimeters of padding), heel shapes, colors of soles and sockliners, etc.” “I had been running around the world, selling snack food products, dancing Shreiber adds, “Everything about each shoe involves hours of conversation, competitively and doing everything I do, but always wearing too tight heeled and when someone tries on one of our shoes, they feel instant comfort. They shoes only to wind up in the hospital with a very look up immediately and say, ‘Wow.’” serious issue,” she says. “I had to do something for The wow for Spring/Summer ’23 starts with a all women, and decided to create a line of shoes that gorgeous color palette, reports Shreiber. “There’s would be gorgeous and comfortable.” lots of mint, gorgeous lilac, beige and lemon,” she Beautiisoles cooks up Just one catch: Shreiber didn’t know a soul in the says. “We also have lots of elegant gold chain style and comfort, a.k.a. shoe business. But that didn’t stop her. She’s a selfornamentations and crystals, floral embroideries, its “wow” factor. described “tremendous multitasker” who always gets stunning heel shapes and classy textured pumps her foot in the door. “I have a huge bandwidth and I’m that are like burlap.” Shreiber says the broad generally awake at 4:30 a.m. each morning, working collection is aimed at Beautiisoles’ equally broad through the day and dancing competitively in the target audience. “We are for every woman—from evenings,” Shreiber says. She also possesses decades twentysomethings to 60-year-olds,” she says. “We of product manufacturing experience—something have flats, wedges, kitten heels and higher heels. We she told herself repeatedly early on. “I kept telling have conservative, office-friendly block heels and myself, how different can manufacturing snacks and gorgeous shoes for a night out.” What Beautiisoles shoes really be,” Shreiber says. “Find a good sourcing doesn’t have is basic black shoes. “Everything partner, mix the necessary ingredients, sample the has that extra oomph,” Shreiber explains. “Like goods, get it made, find distribution and ship.” While ballroom dancing, you can follow the steps, but that may be a tad oversimplified, it’s essentially the can you really evoke what you’re trying to do with path she set out on in 2019. the dance? Our shoes do.” Early on, though, that path was bumpy. For Ever the multitasker, Shreiber plans to continue starters, the initial samples weren’t all up to snuff. doing both jobs, as well as dance. A typical day sees Also, getting one’s foot in the door of retailers, her meeting with national accounts in the snack amid a raging pandemic, proved quite challenging. foods industry, overseeing new product launches Then fate struck—Apr. 21, 2021, to be exact—durand dealing with supply chain issues. There are ing one of Shreiber’s presentations at a Miami also zoom meetings with Beautiisoles’ sales and Beach boutique. The retailer suggested Shreiber design teams, as well as with retailers. Then, most meet her boyfriend, who just so happened to be evenings, she’s off to the studio, ballroom dancJohn Hanna, a veteran of the shoe business with ing for two to four hours. It’s a heavy lift, but the a resume that includes CEO of Charles David and, exec wouldn’t have it any other way. “I just do it,” prior to that, founder of The Fashion House, which Shreiber says. “I make things happen.” She also held licenses for Nicole Miller, Isaac Mizrahi and credits her “phenomenal” teams at both companies Robyn Shreiber, founder, Beautiisoles Richard Tyler, among others. “It was as if my great for making it happen. “Everything starts with a grandmother was on my shoulder like an angel,” Shreiber recalls of the sale,” she says. “You can have the best product, but it will sit on a shelf if you initial meeting with Hanna, who was officially retired. “Worlds collided, can’t sell it. We have a very dynamic sales team that’s extremely hands-on in a good way, and we soon started working together and rebranding not and great at outreaching and following up.” just from an overall aesthetics viewpoint, but also operationally, sales, As for Beautiisoles’ next steps, Shreiber says the approach will be stradesign—in all ways.” tegic. “I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, which is how my father The new-and-improved Beautiisoles launched in January of this year. built our snack foods company,” she says. “We started with one product and The debut season, Shreiber reports, has been a huge success. Thanks, in now manufacture over 10,000.” Shreiber envisions, in three years, targeted part to Hanna’s input and connections, an experienced sales team and brand extensions for Beautiisoles. “We won’t be making dishes,” she says. “But improved designs from a new sourcing partner in Italy, Beautiisoles has handbags and other accessories are a definite possibility.” 46 • august 2022

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