Here we are, one year on, and this is us. Who would have thought that we'd ever be doing this, let alone making it to one year without separating ha! It's been a wild ride but we've had some seriously good times doing it.
Where it all began
Sole Kids was a two year project in the making before we decided to jump head first in. I (Dee) had been working as a Podiatrist for 5 years. I had such a love and passion for Podiatry and for helping people but for some reason there was just something that wasn't fulfilling me, I felt like there was something missing. The problem was, I had no idea what that thing was. I've always been such a creative person, I drew everything from houses to cartoon characters, which eventually transformed into painting on canvas. It wasn't until I was at a podiatry conference one year that I realised there were no podiatrist designed kids shoes! I knew then that I could put my creative side to work all while keeping in touch with my love of podiatry.
I put it to Ben (Gumnut) and before he had time to think he just said, YEP! He knew that I was looking for more, for something that really felt like me and this was it. Well from deciding to do it, to actually doing it was an absolute sh*t show. It took 2 years to design the shoes, to find manufacturers (don't even get me start on the language barriers) to sampling, and actually receiving our final designs. Let's just say it's been a huge learning curve but we couldn't be any happier that we had a crack at this thing called Sole Kids.
The biggest fear we've had to overcome
I honestly think committing to do it and continuing to show up every god damn day was one of the biggest challenges we faced. It's so easy to say you're going to do something but making that jump and putting your name and face out there (which I'm sure every small business can relate too) is by far the scariest thing we've done.
I do recall doing our first ever market was another completely terrifying challenge. Again it meant we had to literally face the crowd. It was the first time we had to use the iPad and square reader (portable eftpos device) which we had absolutely noooo idea how to use. Let's just say we were in absolute shambles but we made some sales. Bloody YAY!
There's so many! I'm just proud talking about our little business. From where it started, how we got here and why we're so passionate about it. Every time I see a little sale pop up I'm proud. Im proud to think that that person completely trusted us enough to buy from us, that they loved our work and that they wanted to make it theirs too!
Making a feature in the Frankie Magazine this October was another HUGE achievement - honestly who would have thought two kids from the bush would be in Frankie mag!
What's next for Sole Kids
We've got some big dreams in place. And of course we want them all to come true now but one beautiful boss lady once said to me that "magic takes time" and THAT has never resonated with me more. We want to keep improving our environmental practices from our designs to the materials we use and the way in which we function behind the scenes as a business. I'm keen to experiment with new fibres such as apple or pineapple leathers, corks and recycled tyre outsoles. There's always so much you can work on, dream about and improve so we're going to keep on doing that and we can't wait to take you guys along for the ride. So buckle in babiessss!
Of course we couldn't end this piece without thanking every single one of you beautiful little soles. We honestly wouldn't exist without you all. Whether it's a purchase, a like, a comment, reading our blog, telling your mates about us, sharing photos of your little ones in our shoes, it all counts! We get just as excited seeing all of this as what we did on the very first day! You mean so much to us and we can't wait to see you on the next leg of our journey.
Sole Kids. x