Marilyn Monroe once said, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” It’s a cute quote, but for me, it’s a constant reminder of why I founded Protect My Shoes and continue to persist each and every single day.
I apologize in advance if this post sounds more like a diary entry. LOL! I suppose that with everything going on in this world, it is making me more introspective, re-evaluating what matters. Hailey suggested I write for her wonderful company’s blog about what it takes to be a female entrepreneur. At first thought, of course I’ll happily write a few paragraphs. However, on second thought, there is no absolute blueprint to being an entrepreneur. If there is, please show me the way! I’d like to get my hands on that step by step guide.
The answer is simple when asked why I started my company… I love shoes! I was tired of the ineffective and wasteful tissue paper stuffers that shred all too quickly, leaving the front part of shoes unprotected. Thus, I set out to develop environmentally-friendly patented shoe shapers that would seamlessly insert into a variety of shoe styles to protect women’s fabulous shoes, both in the closet and in the suitcase when traveling. Our design philosophy at Protect My Shoes is creating everyday functional items that are also pretty to add a touch of style to our lives. After all, it’s the little things that make like that much sweeter. We are not saving the world, but we are saving one pair of shoes at a time. At the office, we often refer our shoe inserts as candy for shoes.
Now, when asked what I’m most proud of as an entrepreneur, my answer is also very simple… I’m proud to have taken an idea, produced it into a tangible product, and launch a brand for consumers to use and enjoy. I know that there are so many wonderful business ideas out there that are brewing, but bringing that idea to life can be daunting. What if it isn’t perfect? What if no one likes it? What if the investment is too great? Those are all normal concerns that I, too, share. Because I’ve been able to overcome these internal doubts and bring my vision to fruition, I’m proud to call myself an entrepreneur, or the shoe stuffer lady for that matter.
Most businesses are not overnight successes and social media doesn’t help either. We see beautiful images all over Instagram, highlighting milestones, accomplishments, and joy. Our Instagram profile @ProtectMyShoes is a perfect example of doing just thatand it’s completely okay. It’s a great medium to tell thebrand’s story through attractive happy visuals. Let’s not forget that a picture is worth a thousand words. Yes, we are not showing our followers the behind-the-scenes disappointments; the sweat and tears that go into building a business from scratch. However, I think it’s important to remind ourselves that a business, like so many other things, is a journey that requires persistence, determination, consistency, and hard work. After all, it’s a marathon (in our high heels), not a sprint to the finish line.All the businesses we see out there have their own story that is far more complex and inspiring than the rosy images we are led to see.
I was a panelist on a recent Lynn University webinar, Spring Board Your Career, but I,myself, left that session inspired. Although my fellow panelists were in completely different industries, we all agreed that there hasn’t been one single most important
experience or job that helped us get to where we are today. Rather, it’s a series of events, occurrences, and people that have led us to our current state of flux. At this present time, we are where we are meant to be. In retrospect, everything eventually makes sense. Life’s journey is a process and so is the entrepreneurial journey. The one constant in life is change. I often remind myself that it’s better to go for it with all my energy and might because, in the end, the only failure is not ever trying.
“Shoes are just a pedestal. What interests me is the power of the woman who wears them.” ~ Christian Louboutin