As you guys know, we love to interview small business owners and entrepreneurs and share what we learn with you! This week we are featuring Fledge Feet. They offer darling fold down high tops for kids! Callie is one of the sweetest ladies, and I know she is going to go far with this darling shop. Be sure to check her out, follow her on social media, and of course, get some of these cute high tops for your little ones!
Tell us a little about you and what you do:
I grew up in Orlando, Florida before moving to Utah to attend BYU, where I graduated in Elementary Education. After teaching 6th grade for two years I became a stay at home mom, when my little girl was born. Most of my days consist of her and I love it so much. I feel so blessed to be able to be home with her, but I also have noticed a need for me to keep up with my own hobbies, which include Soccer, baking, eating, running so I can eat more, reading, and many different kinds of crafting!
When did you start your business?
Shortly after Christmas, the thoughts and designs for Fledge Feet started evolving and after some time of working out all of the details and making some trial shoes, we opened shop on Etsy in mid-March and extended onto our own website Fledgefeet.com shortly after that. So we are still very new and learning a lot each day!
How did you get started?
I had always been dreaming of creating some cool invention and every time I thought I had an original idea, I would Google it and it would be out there already. I also love creating and designing and had just recently finished designing and creating a Christmas stocking for my little girl. I had some ideas for some slipper that I wanted to design and sell, but then started dreaming up this fold-down high top style shoe. I am in love with the fold-down high top look! I knew I couldn’t take on that much sewing alone so I told my mother-in-law that I had some ideas for an etsy shop, and if she were ever interested to let me know. A little while later she said “let’s do it!” and so the adventure began. We started drawing out designs and putting them together. Through trial and error and some testing of the shoes on my little girl, the first “Fledges” we created!
Walk us through a typical day for You:
Most of my days are scheduled around my little 24 month old. She keeps me busy with meals, cleaning, baths, playing, and going to the park and library. We spend a good amount of time blowing bubbles, doodling with chalk and eating peanut butter and honey sandwiches outside for picnics. I keep her busy shopping for groceries and fabric and we both enjoy getting samples at Costco. So when do I sew shoes?? Well, first of all, I do not do it alone. My mother-in-law, who has been sewing for 20+ years is the other half of our business and she does lots of sewing!!! I squeeze in making shoes during nap times and usually get my best amount of work done in the evenings, after the little munchkin is in bed or during daddy-daughter time. I have had more than one really late night, getting shoes done, but I really do love it. I love my quiet time, just thinking and creating.
Where do you get your design inspiration?
I am a little bit obsessed with shoes, and have been in love with the fold-down high top style. I am also digging all of the geometric and tribal prints that are “in” right now. And so, to bring the two together, I decided to create a high top that is simple on the outside, but when folded down, reveals a fun and colorful print. I toss ideas and images around in my head and imagine up new things, but when I set out in search of them, I have a hard time finding what I have pictured. This project has been really fun, to get the ideas in my head out into a tangible creation.
Do you have a favorite item?
It is really difficult for me to choose a favorite, since I have selected all of the fabrics that we use and love them all (I have a problem with buying fabric and can’t let myself go around it without seeing some I “have” to buy), but the navy/teal triangle combo, might be my favorite of all the shoes right now. Although, I have some new fabric that I am really, really excited about and I should have it out in the next week or two.
What sets you apart?
Other companies I have seen make soft sole baby shoes, but not many of them are made with suede. Suede is amazing because it not only gives a soft sole, which allows babies to use their toes in balancing as they learn to walk, but among other soft sole options it has the best traction, which is why it is used on the bottom of many dance shoes. When they suede becomes smoothed over after lots of wear on it, it can be re-roughened simply by rubbing it with sandpaper or rubber to restore its traction. The design of our shoes is one-of-a-kind as it was created from scratch from images in our heads. We Also provide the option to create custom shoes, by pairing any of our fabric together, rather than just selecting from our prearranged combinations. We are also willing to search for fabric that is requested or use fabric that is sent to us in custom orders.
Where can our readers find your shop and products?
You can find our products and customize orders on our website: fledgefeet.com or search our shop, fledgefeet (one word) on etsy to see all of our products, including one of a kind products, for which we no longer carry the fabric . Sign up on our website to receive coupons/deals and follow us on facebook and instagram (@fledgefeet) for coupons, giveaways, and to stay updated on new products.
What advice would you offer newbies or those looking to start an Etsy shop?
Obviously, reach out as much as you can through media (facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, etc.) and networking. Blogs are a great way to get out there ! Plan to give away a good amount of products before making a profit. As you give away and word gets out there, it will come back to increase the success of your business.
Today’s featured mom: Joseline Brown
She was nominated on Instagram by @_ellesbowplace, and her nomination caught my eye because I too have a husband who works long hours, leaving a lot of the child rearing up to me. The nomination read: “I am nominating Joesline Brown, her husband works super long hours and her baby girl is just getting over her first virus and she hasn’t complained once! She’s so sweet and such a great mom!”
When I emailed her for more info this is what she sent:
The mom I nominated is Joseline Brown of Texas. She’s from a small town near Waxahachie and has lived in Texas all her life. She married her husband Justin in 2011 and had her daughter Sophie in April of 2013!
She works full time and comes home to be a mom mostly on her own because her husband spends most of his time working. He tries to be there as much as he can, but mostly things fall on Joseline’s shoulders and she never complains!
She is truly an inspiration. Recently Sophie has been dealing with spikes of high fevers (up to 103) and a full body rash. Her doctor has diagnosed her with a virus that has to just run its course, and I can’t imagine how frustrating it is to not being able to make her daughter well. She has been bringing Sophie to work (she works in a small office and doesn’t interact with customers) or staying home to make sure she doesn’t get other babies at daycare sick! Even with all of this on her shoulders she always thinks of the good and reminds me to look at the good.
Let’s give this mom a virtual pat on the back! Leave some comment love for Joseline!!!