It started out of pure dissatisfaction and to be perfectly honest, darn discomfort!
I’d been working in the corporate world doing long hours and I mean…. really long hours so was often on my feet from 6am in the morning until stupid o’clock. I love to dress up and be presented well (ok, I really love shoes… don’t judge me!) so for my heels to be on my feet from 6am most days, was not uncommon!
Are you getting the picture?
Now don’t get me wrong, I was in love with the idea of the shoes I was wearing but boy oh boy, they were killing my feet. Killing me slowly with the lack of support and padding. I’m sure I was hearing little voices from each of my toes telling me that I was not being a very good friend to them (that in itself, is another part of my creative imagination).
Never being one to just say “that’s how it is”, I actually woke up one night, had a chuckle to myself and said in my kinda joking, kinda “I’ve never been so serious” voice, “Hey I should Design Shoes”!
Oh boy…. the seed was planted so I had no choice, the dream simply had to happen! I wanted pretty, I wanted feminine and I was over the “hooker heels” but not ready for the nanna flats you get from the Chemist!
We are 7 years old now and oh boy what a ride it’s been and continues to be. Scarletto’s has become a niche for ladies who are over 30 and are looking for shoes that are classy, timeless, interesting, AND comfortable!
We get to a certain age and our feet start telling us things. We get bunions, we get wider feet – it happens, so I thought that I musn’t be the only one feeling like this. There had to be other ladies who were having the same shoe sagas as me! Apparently I was right!
Of course I was going to make my first million in no time and going to retire to an Island in the Maldives after two years… yeah, nah, that didn’t happen, in fact I think we sold 6 pairs of shoes in our first month!
Don’t be fooled into believing that you will get where you want to in the first 18 months if this is your first business! I’ve made so many expensive mistakes along the way, but it is all learning and growth and once you’ve done it once, you won’t do it again (it hurts way too much… lol).
In saying that, if I knew then what I knew now, the business would be where it is now a whole lot sooner, but… where is the fun in that? Learning is growth, growth is learning!
There were dramas with my first two manufacturers as I was after top quality and they just were not cutting it. They presumed I wanted cheap cheap cheap, but they were wrong. I was after top quality and I wasn’t going to settle for any less.
I will never compromise on quality so you can be assured if it is not right, it won’t make it to your feet!
We now work with a bespoke factory in China who know exactly what our standards are and know I won’t settle for less.
Having a good relationship with your Manufacturer is so important, especially when you are dealing with a country where English is not their first language. Sometimes things can get lost in translation and sometimes you end up with shoes that you didn’t quite plan for!
In some cases, this has worked out to my advantage and I have thought… “Oh, that looks really cool, we will go with that”! (But… even I have my limits on crazy shoes!).
Throw in Cancer, a divorce and some expensive mistakes, and you can say it’s been quite the rollercoaster! Luckily for me, I’m not afraid of a challenge!
So where are we now?
Today I have staff! Yes, I have staff and I can tell you that having people work beside me that are just as passionate about the business as I am, is pretty cool. And…. I get to delegate the stuff I don’t want to do… (yes, I did say that out loud!). It also allows me to do more in the business and have time to create and design the shoes, which I LOVE LOVE LOVE!
We are currently updating our systems as we were finding that what we had was not efficient enough and wasn’t capturing the information we wanted. We were spending too much time on doing things that could have been a lot quicker (not to mention the expense). It was ok when we were smaller, but now that things are ramping up, we want and need to be as efficient as possible.
Watch this space for what is coming next Sisters! It’s pretty darn cool if I say so myself.
7 years on is often the time we get itchy for change right? Oh boy…. not here! I am probably more passionate about Scarletto’s now than I was when we first launched as I know what I am doing now and it’s so much more fun.
We are established and starting to become really known.
I have very very high expectations for the product and service, and I really dislike the fact that the best service you get from a Company is generally before you buy the product and it stops after that.
I am so proud that we get amazing reviews and so much repeat business from our Customers. That tells me that we are doing things right. Sure, you will always get the customer who just isn’t a match and that is ok too.
What would I say to anyone wanting to start their own business? Just do it! Do your research but don’t overthink it. If the fire is there, you will succeed. You will only fail if you quit!
Scarletto’s is here to stay and I could not be more excited, pumped, proud and energised!
In Summary Sisters, we are growing, we are excited and we are so grateful for your continued support and love of Scarletto’s, as without you, we simply wouldn’t be here!
If you’d like to hear a little more about the journey over the past 7 years, have a listen to the video. If nothing else, you will surely have a laugh!
“Own the room Sisters”