I love designing children’s shoes! It’s fun, extemely creative, and challenging. I knew from day one that I wanted to be in the kids business whether it be shoes, clothes, accessories, or even writing a book.
My first job designing shoes was for Skechers. Actually, when I first interviewed with them, I was interviewing for a Product Development position. I said to my prospective boss, “I want to design kids shoes here.” Her answer, “We don’t design kids shoes here…it’s a take down business.” Uhmm, okay I thought. How could it just be take downs? Although mom’s like shoes that look like mom or dad, but what about children’s only designs? What about creating something that is too cute that a parent or grandmother can’t resist? What about developing product unique to the brand and the category? I, who does not take no for an answer, decided I would take this job and create my own position while I was here. Two months later, I became the children’s shoe designer.
I will have to say it was quite a challenge in the sense that my position was not taken seriously. No one ever really knew who I was, even though the Skechers kids business was growing with specific kids Skechers product. The owner of the company had no idea that my job even existed. He thought the entire line was taken down. No one dared to even tell him. Even the buyers would tell him that the product looked great and he would reply that it’s from the women’s line. Why was this happening? Are kids shoe designer or product people not taken so seriously? Are we step children in the design world or business world?
I have to admit I did take it personally, at that time, because I was proud of the work the Kids team was doing, and we were not being recognized for it. I continued to design and contribute to the growth of the kids division but I decided I want to start designing women’s shoes. I had no idea I was being pigeon holed. It took at least a year for me to make the transition to women’s shoes but I did it thru perseverance. I am not just a kids designer but a designer. I just happen to love designing kids shoes.
I found this kids business step children feeling to not be present in just the shoe business but also in the writing world. I recently started working on a kids book and my writing partner mentioned that in a class she took for writing, the adult book writers snuff the kids writers. What is going on here? Are people in the kids business not considered talented, creative, or hardworking enough? I hate to say it but that is not so and also the kids industry is a thriving market.
Working freelance has been great because it has given me the opportunity to work on projects and brands I love. I not only get to design sexy, dress heels but also some cute little casual shoes for kids with my fun stamp on it! Being creative in all realms is important to me. I will dedicating a blog to Kids Shoe Design. It will show kids illustrations, inspiration, photos, and much more. Stay tune for that. It’s not just adults who love shoes, kids do too!